Monday, February 10, 2014

Pho (Vietnamese Rice Noodle Soup)

Another one of my favorite things to eat is Pho. I will still eat a hot (& spicy!) bowl of Pho in the 100 degree summer heat!

A friend (thanks Diana!) gave me this recipe & I haven't made it the easy way (using canned broth) since! 


- beef bones (frozen bag from Asian Market)
- chicken bones (I use 2 leg quarters) - optional
- 5-6 star anise
- 3-5 cloves
- 2 cinnamon stick
- 1 piece ginger
- 1 head garlic
- 1 rock candy
- meatballs (I like the beef ball with tendons)
- yellow onion
- fish sauce
- salt

Herbs & garnish:
- cilantro
- basil
- jalapeƱo 
- bean sprouts
- green onions 
- lime

Spicy Beef (optional)
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1/2 can red curry 
- 14 oz tomato sauce
- 1 tsp minced garlic 
- 1 tsp chopped lemongrass (or powder)

- pho noodles
- pho basket to cook noodles


1) Using an 8 quart pot, boil the beef bones for 30 mins. Take out bones and wash pot. This makes the soup more clear (I actually skip the first part and throw beef bones & chicken in at once)
2) Fill pot back with water and put beef bones back in & add the chicken. 

3) Chargrill the yellow onion, ginger & garlic. Remove skins and put it in pot. 


4) Heat (I use a pan) the star anise, cinnamon, & cloves until aromatic. Wrap in cheesecloth and put in pot.   


5) Add the rock candy (pic above - don't heat it up with spices though!). Boil soup for at least 4 hours. Add water if needed (if it boils down too much)

Optional: After 2 hours I add beef tendons because it's my favorite thing about pho. 

6) Add salt & fish sauce to taste after 4 hours. 

7) Add meat balls. Boil for addition 30 minutes. 
8) I usually refrigerate overnight and let the fat thicken on top and scoop that up (yuck). The chicken thighs are fatty!

Spicy Beef:
1) Brown beef adding minced garlic and lemon grass. Drain. 

2) Return pan to stove on low heat and add tomato sauce and curry. Mix well. 

3) Let simmer for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat. 

Herbs & garnish:
1) Wash and chop all herbs/garnish. 
1) Boil a pot of water (big enough for the basket)
2) Fill basket with noodles and give it a bath in boiling water for no more than a minute.

3) Place noodles in big bowl and ladle soup into bowl. 
Add spicy beef and herbs/garnish. Some popular items to add are hoisin sauce, Sriracha & hot chili oil. 

Frozen breakfast burritos

Breakfast is the most important meal right? It sure is for me (and coffee)! If I don't eat, I turn into someone else, someone unpleasant. So.... When I was looking for an easy way to make something ahead and freeze, I saw this on Pinterest. Duh! Why didn't I think of that??? Okay honestly, I'm not a big fan of tortillas but I love everything in a breakfast burrito! As long as it's not corn tortillas, I'm good. Anyway, with about 10 inch tortillas, I ended up with 26 burritos.


1 lb pork Sausage - I used Jimmy Deans HOT sausage
1 pack of tortillas - Choose size depending on how big you want your burrito. Mine were approx. 10 inches
2 cups of shredded cheese - Fiesta Blend
1 bag of hash browns 
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
Salt/pepper to taste


Brown sausage and put on paper towel plate to drain.

Cook hash browns using fat from sausage (I know, I'm not dieting right now so who cares?! Haha) & put to side. 

Beat eggs with milk & season. Cook in same pan until done

Add back the sausages and hash browns. Stir to combine. Remove from heat. 

Warm up tortillas in a clean pan (or however you prefer to warm tortillas). It's easier to roll up when it's warm. It will tear and break if it's cold or even room temperature if not careful. 

Scoop desired amount on to warm tortilla. Add cheese. Roll. (I once forgot the cheese and my husband teased me about it until I made the next batch!)

Wrap in plastic wrap. I usually put 3 in a ziplock bag and throw them in the freezer that way. I'll bring 3 at a time to work. 

HEATING: remove plastic wrap and wrap in paper towel. Cook on high for 45 seconds. Turn over and cook for another 30 seconds. This will vary depending on the size of your burrito. 

Enjoy with salsa! Or whatever you like. :)