Return to Main Recipes Page/Return to Home Page

Pho, Faux (M, TNT)
Source: "The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine Food Page"
Serves: 8

Poached Chicken and Broth:
1 6-lb. roasting chicken, rinsed
1 onion, halved and stuck with 1 whole clove
4 quarts water
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 bunch parsley, tied
1 bay leaf
6 whole peppercorns
3 slices fresh ginger peeled

To assemble the soup:
1/4 lb. (250g) soba noodles (thick, flat noodles), cooked until tender and then drained
2 cups cooked shredded chicken
2 cups thinly sliced bok choy or Napa cabbage
1/2 lb. snow peas, trimmed and strings removed
1/4 lb. thinly sliced shitake or other mushrooms
4 scallions, trimmed and sliced on a diagonal
1 cup mung bean sprouts
2 limes, cut into wedges
Rice vinegar
Soy sauce
Hot sauce
Cilantro paste (see below)
Scallion paste (see below)
Ginger parsley paste (see below)

Cilantro Paste:
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves (also called Chinese parsley)
1/2 cup whole unsalted peanuts
2 tbsp. vegetable oil, or to taste

Scallion Paste:
6 scallions, white part only
2 cloves garlic, halved
2 tbsp. dark sesame oil

Ginger Parsley Paste:
2 tbsp. peanut oil
8 1/8" thick slices peeled ginger, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. Chinese or other liquid hot sauce, or to taste
1/2 cup Italian (flat) parsley leaves
Canola/bland vegetable oil

Make Soup:
Remove the giblets from the chicken. Set the liver aside for another use. Feed the heart to your cat. Set the neck and gizzard aside for making the stock. Remove the backbone and set it aside as well. Cut the chicken into 4 parts; 2 wing-breast sections and 2 leg-thigh sections.

Place the chicken in a soup pot. Bring a kettle of water to a boil and pour enough boiling water over the chicken to cover it. Let it sit for 10 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the pot and discard the water. Rinse the pot and return the chicken to it. Add the neck, gizzard, backbone and onion to the pot. Add the 4 quarts of water. It should just cover the chicken. If not, add more water. Bring it to a boil, lower the heat, and skim the surface of the liquid until it is clear. Add the salt, parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns and ginger.

Cover the pot with a lid and simmer the chicken for 1-1/2 hours or until it is cooked through. Skim the liquid every 20 minutes to remove any particles that float to the surface. Lift the chicken out and transfer it to a large bowl.

Set a colander over another bowl and tip the contents of the pot into it. Discard the vegetables and seasonings. Refrigerate the chicken. Discard the skin and bones before using. Refrigerate the chicken stock. Skim and discard the fat from the surface of the stock before using.

Make Cilantro Paste:
In the food processor with the steel blade, work the cilantro and peanuts until they are finely chopped. With the motor running, add the oil through the feed tube a teaspoon at a time until it is incorporated. Add enough additional oil to make the mixture just fall from a spoon. Transfer the paste to a small bowl.

Scallion Paste:
In the food processor with the steel blade, work the scallion and garlic. Add enough oil to form a paste. Transfer to a bowl.

Ginger Parsley Paste:
In a skillet, heat the oil. Add the ginger and garlic and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Scrape the contents of the skillet into the food processor with the steel blade. Add the hot sauce and parsley and work the mixture to form a paste. Add enough oil to make a mixture that just falls off a spoon. Transfer to a small bowl.

In large bowls, portion out the noodles, chicken, cabbage and snow peas evenly. Pour 1 cup boiling hot broth into each bowl In the center of the table, have bowls with mushrooms, scallions, mung bean sprouts lime wedges and the three pastes, as well as the vinegar, soy and hot sauces. Allow guests to choose from the bowls whatever they wish to garnish their soups with.

Poster's Notes:
All my daughter will eat is chicken soup. One time, we ate at an oriental restaurant, and they served "Pho," a broth with thick noodles, chicken, bean sprouts and lime juice on the side. This weekend in the Boston Globe magazine, they had a group of recipes for Pho, and although they used treyf proteins, chicken, beef, or surimi* (imitation crab meat made from white fish) will work beautifully. What I really liked was the recipe for the broth, with the flavorful, spicy pastes that are added to each of the variations.

To use the surimi, substitute a vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

Posted by Maxine Wolfson

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A