Tonight’s dinner made me feel super Asian, like my ancestors were nodding in approval. I’ve been thinking about my dad lately, who is full Vietnamese, and I have this vague memory of my Grandmother Chau making phở when I was little. The combination of these thoughts made me crave some phở to bring back some of those memories. You can get phở at any Vietnamese restaurant and some Thai restaurants these days, but Frank and I decided to make our own, along with a huge batch of summer rolls.
First things first, boil some water and get your rice noodles to soaking. Ours took 60 minutes, so read the directions on your package and start that right away. I also used chicken stock I had made beforehand.
Step 1: Slice a large onion in half and roast it for 10 minutes (or until charred), along with a large piece of ginger.
Step 2: Thinly slice two chicken breasts (or you can cook a whole chicken beforehand, save part of it, and use the broth for the soup).
Step 3: In a 6 quart pot, add chicken broth, onion, and ginger, and bring to a simmer.
Step 4: Prepare your spices, and then add them to the simmering liquid. Fill a small mesh (tea) bag with the following spices: 1 tsp toasted coriander seeds, 4 cardamom pods, 1 cinnamon stick, 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, 3 cloves, and 5 star anise.
Step 5: Simmer your broth for 30 minutes, then add thinly sliced chicken until cooked.
Prepare your bowls by adding noodles and pouring broth over it.
- sriracha hot pepper sauce
- hoisin sauce (I use this sparingly because it’s sweet.)
- thinly sliced purple onion
- thinly sliced serrano peppers
- chopped fresh cilantro
- bean sprouts (mung beans)
- sweet Thai basil
- thinly sliced green onion
- limes, quartered
The summer rolls were really easy but just took a bit of time. We did them while the broth for the phở was simmering.
We simply chopped up the following—
- Green onion
—boiled some thin rice noodles and added some mung beans.
Then we just rolled it all up together.
The resulting meal was delicious!