The October 2009 Daring Cooks’ challenge was brought to us by Jaden of the blog Steamy Kitchen. The recipes are from her new cookbook, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook.
I like Pho, but this is the first time I've made it at home. I made a vegan version which is basically the fragrant broth and some noodles, topped with red onion, bean sprouts and lime--no cilantro since I loathe the taste of it and am quite convinced that it's the work of the devil.
I used a long-cooking homemade stock as the base for this recipe. When I make stock I usually make a large quantity and freeze individual portions. For the stock: Clean and roughly chop 1 big bunch of carrots, 1 bunch of celery, 2 or 3 onions, a little garlic, and usually about 8 ounces of mushrooms--fresh and dried. Put the veggies in a big pot and cover with a few inches of water. Add a bay leaf, a big pinch of salt, and some whole black pepper. Sometimes, if I want a dark, strongly flavored stock I'll add a few splashes of Braggs. I'm not exactly sure what Braggs is, but it has a soy sauce-ish taste and seems to be a flavor enhancer. You can find it at health food stores. Bring the water to a boil and then simmer for at least an hour--longer is better. You really want to get all the possible flavor out of the vegetables. Let the stock cool a little and then strain.