Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Phoney Pho

Cravings are irrational, or so I keep telling myself. I learned early on in my pregnant life (about 100 years ago) that dill pickles are NOT an irrational craving. They only become irrational when mixed with ice cream. Just ask psychgrad about dill pickles. I believe she has some residual cellular memory of these cravings from in utero.

So in a round about way, what I've come full circle on is today's craving which was for a steaming bowl (a tub would have been even better) of Vietnamese Pho Soup. The only issue I have with the real deal is the sodium content (note sodium obsession kicking in). In an effort to keep it healthier, I created my own version and although there's something really special about sitting in a small Vietnamese 6 table restaurant having this massive bowl served to the table, this version does satisfy the craving and I feel better for it for not ingesting excessive amounts of sodium.

Home made chicken broth (store bought would work too)
Cut pieces of whichever protein you chose (or not). I used chicken
1/4 cup pea pods
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1/4 - 1/2 cup mung bean sprouts
1/4 cup broccoli florets
1 baby bok choy cut up
rice vermicelli noodles to your liking
Siracchi hot sauce (or whatever hot sauce you like)

1. Fry together pea pods, shredded carrots, broccoli, baby bok choy so that they only lose some of their crunch - about 3-4 minutes
2. Boil water, add vermicelli rice noodles - don't cook for more than 2 minutes, drain.
3. Bring soup to a boil. In the meantime, in a large bowl cut up protein, add drained vermicelli noodles, fried vegetables and then soup.
4. Top with fresh mung bean sprouts
5. Add hot sauce to your taste

This soup is nutritious and very filling. I don't add any spice at all to this soup - the hot sauce gives it both bite and flavour. StumbleUpon