Turkey Pho

Last night Bro came over for dinner. It was nice to be able to just chill with him. He helped me polish off most of the turkey left over from Thanksgiving. I decided to make pho, using my favorite pho soup base.

It’s way easier and cheaper than trying to make my own soup base – boil 10 C water, add packet (it’s all dry/powdered seasonings) and boil for one minute. Really, really easy. Broth made from bones that have been boiled all day would be great, but oddly enough bones aren’t that cheap.

I also poured some boiling water over dried mung bean vermicelli noodles in a large bowl. I like mung bean vermicelli over rice noodles because they retain a slightly al dente texture and they’re really hard to overcook into mush. Most packets say they only need boiling water over them for 3-5 minutes, but I usually end up doing 10 minutes. Anything less and they still taste undercooked and hard to me. After that, I strained them and let them sit in the sink. Hooray for quick and relatively fool-proof noodles!

After the soup boiled and while the noodles were “cooking” in their hot water, I assembled the fixins plate. Bean sprouts, cilantro, lime wedges, and red onion.

I went to the Asian Supermarket, but I didn’t like how the bean sprouts looked, so I hopped across the street to Lee’s. I haven’t been there since the new place opened, and guess what? They are keeping competitively priced! The bean sprouts were the same price ($0.79/lb) at Lee’s Market as they were at the Asian Supermarket. And the cilantro looked a little better at Lee’s (but it was a little flavorless in the soup, sadly).

Turkey! It was a little dry (well, it was about a week old at this point…), but the soup broth restored moisture and made it nice and juicy! I feel like this broth cooled down very quickly with all of the extras added in. Ah well, nothing the microwave couldn’t fix, and Albany John and Bro had no such complaints.

Albany John whipped out the condiments to go with our little family meal – chili flakes in oil, chili oil, hoisin sauce, and fish sauce. The chili flakes in oil is my favorite. It has a chunky consistency and you only need a pinch of it to really spice up a dish. It burns, but so, so good! The chili oil itself is like liquid fire – viscous, red, and hot-hot-hot. Hoisin sauce adds a dash of sweet saltiness and rounds things out.

I added hoisin and chili flakes in mine, plus all of the fixins! Bro and I piled on the red onions. So yummy!

I really like this pho since it’s so hearty and bone warming, and very easy to whip up. You don’t need to have all of the fixins, just what you have on hand (but I really love bean sprouts). I do think the condiments help doctor up the broth a bit to take it from “Pretty good flavor from a packet” to “Oh, I’m going back for seconds!”
  1. Grace said:

    i'll be honest–i've never tried pho of any kind. frankly, i'm proud of myself for knowing how to properly pronounce it! it looks and sounds pretty darn tasty to me, so i don't know what i'm waiting for.

  2. llcwine said:

    Interesting…Metroland did a review of Van's this week and had a lot to say about the pho. Must be vietnamese week in the CR

  3. uuuuuhhhhhhh genius!!! love love love pho. and you make it look so easy 😀

  4. Sharon said:

    Which Asian market did you buy this Pho base from? I am completely addicted to Pho, but I never make it at home because I just don't have the time with school and work. I know it won't be perfect, but sometimes I don't want to leave the house for Pho! Thanks

  5. Grace – It's nice in its simplicity. When I first had it, it was sans condiments and I was like “Okay… uh, bland soup. W/E” But man, those condiments really make it.

    llcwine – Crazy! And I keep meaning to try Van's pho. Not too shabby of a price, either.

    p – nah, it's all in how you open the packet ;P

    Sharon – I got it from the Asian Food Market on Colvin Ave in Albany, NY. It's really cheap too – 69 cents! And for two people you only need to make half of the packet (trust me, this is coming from a heavy eater, too).

    lk – Right? Turkey soup, turkey shmoop. Pho's great for chucking in some leftovers.

  6. Not all chili oil is created equal.

    I miss my favorite authentic Sichuan restaurants, where I could get dumplings in chili oil.

    My guess is that I could eat those all winter, and skip both long-johns and moisturizer.

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