Thursday, July 7, 2011

Back from the Phog

After three-some (hehe threesome) weeks, I am returned. Over mountains and hills, across beaches and ragged weathered seal-lined bluffs, through pastures and fields of grapes, shaded by the magnificence of giant sequoias and redwoods, squeezed down crowded bridges and windy streets, burnt by the sun, rained on by the heavens, and battered by the wind, yes, I am returned. Marginally thinner and plausibly wiser I now sit in front of my computer, the very one I was anxious to leave, bored and unwilling to go to bed. Scattered around my xbox controller and TV remote are the flashlights and tools and the first aid kit and rope and my copy of Don Quixote, my journal and weathered Atlantic Monthly, and all the other odds and ends that I'm too tired of looking at to bother putting into storage. Yes, I am returned.

It was an absolutely fantastic ride of which my pictures could not possibly do justice, but as much as I had fun and will fantasize about the cool nights and sunny days, it's also nice to be home. I cooked very little on this trip, but I hope to post a couple of my meals one of these days when I have nothing else to post, but that night's not tonight, because I made PHO!!!


Everything in this recipe is approximate, because I didn't bother to measure anything out, so take or leave my numbers and make sure it tastes good to you.

For the broth:

2 c. Water
3 tbsp. Rice Wine
3 tbsp. Rice Vinegar
1 tbsp. Soy Sauce
1 tbsp. Sriracha Sauce
1 tsp. Fish Sauce
1 Jalapeno chopped
7 oz. (half a pack) Rice Noodle (Thick) Dac San Viet Nam Banh Canh*

Mix the liquids and simmer with the Rice Noodles and Jalapeno.

While the noodles are simmering:

8 cloves of Garlic diced
1.5 square inches of diced Ginger
2 Carrots sliced
8 bunches of Baby Bok Choi
1 pack Firm Tofu cubed.
~30 Fish Balls from the Asian Grocery Store (this is what makes this good)

Saute (in Sesame Oil) the Garlic and Ginger and then after a while add the Bok Choi and Carrots. Then add the Tofu. Pour the mixture and the Fish Balls into the broth.

1/2 lb. thinly sliced Beef (have the store slice it thinly, because I can't do it this thin by hand... at least not easily)
4 Green Onions chopped
Big bunch of Cilantro chopped
Big bunch of Thai Basil chopped

Saute all of these ingredients in some more Sesame Oil and squeezed Lime and then add to soup. Simmer as long as you want and garnish with some fresh Thai Basil.

This is restaurant quality. I will make this again. Will you?

*It's rare for me to really like the noodles, so I had to list the brand and name as it appears on the package (minus the accents) so that I can make this again.

**Did the title make sense? San Francisco has a lot of fog and I made a pho. Can you dig it?

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