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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Faux Phở Bò (Vietnamese beef noodle soup)

One of the reasons Vietnamese cuisine is ridiculously enticing is that the modern version was largely designed to appeal to both native Vietnamese as well as French taste.  As such, sometime after the turn of the 20th century, Phở Bò, or a rice noodle (Vietnamese) and beef (French) soup was born.  My take is actually a faux version of this amazing soup because it is made with tofu noodles that are far less caloric than rice noodles.  So I guess one could describe it as a turn of the 21st century trying-to-be-less-chubby American version.  At any rate, it is easy to make at home and perfectly healthy.  What I really like is that it has a wonderful citrus flavor that is light and refreshing which makes it ideal for hot summer days.  I actually prefer it without the beef... but I prefer almost everything without meat! But, it is a great option for leftover roast.

Phở Bò

To add a little giddy'up to this meal - serve it with Chicken Salad Wontons.

Chicken Broth (4 cups)
Water (1 cup)
Shirataki Noodles (16 oz)
Mushrooms, sliced (1 cup)
Fresh Basil, chopped (1/2 cup)
Cilantro, chopped (1/2 cup)
Green Onion (4 stalks)
Lime Juice (1 fresh lime)
Honey (1 tbsp.)
Garlic Powder (2 tsp.)
Salt & Pepper
Bean Sprouts (1.5 cups)
Beef, thinly sliced (12 oz)
Garlic Chili Sauce (to serve with soup)
Lime Wedges (4 - to serve with soup)

(1) Prepare noodles.  Drain and rinse twice. Dry noodles by pressing paper towels or a kitchen towel (more sustainable, of course) on noodles until as much of the moisture as possible is absorbed.  It is vital you get these squishy guys really rung out.

(2) Bring chicken broth, water to a boil.  Add garlic powder, honey, mushrooms and noodles.

(3) Boil until mushrooms start to get tender and then turn down to medium.

(4) Chop and add basil, cilantro, lime juice, green onions and salt/pepper to taste.  Soft boil for about 5 minutes.

(5) Turn to low until you are ready to serve.  when you are ready to serve, toss in bean sprouts and let them cook only until they are slightly soft (less than five minutes).

(6) Adding the Beef: if you are using raw beef, you can throw the thinly sliced pieces in at this point, or, you can do the traditional method and pour the steaming soup over the raw pieces in each bowl.  This cooks the beef medium-rare.  You can also use leftover or pre-cooked beef and add the pieces at any point.

(7) Serve with garlic chili sauce and lime wedges for individual seasoning.

Serves: 4
Cals: 207
Fat: 7g
Carbs: 14g
Protein: 23g
Iron: 20%
Calcium: 18%

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