The Bug and I had a craving for Pho and Bun. Who doesn't love noodle soups? I didn't have any rice noodles in the house, and sure didn't have any scrumptious spring rolls. But I did have some good odds and ends, and ended up making a darned good Faux Pho.
1/2 Yellow Onion, minced
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
One tablespoon olive oil
One tablespoon sesame oil
About one teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamon
3-4 alspice seeds
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
Fresh or dried ginger, to taste
Angel hair/vermicelli pasta
Thinly sliced beef, pork, or chicken (I used leftover steak)
For garnish--use what you have around:
Mint leaves or cilantro
In a large, deep saucier pan/pot, saute onion and garlic in oils until soft and fragrant. Add spices and cook about 30 seconds, or till fragrant. Add the chicken broth--I've left amounts of the broth and noodles up to you. Some like it soupier, some want to make pho for four, some for one. Heat to boiling and reduce to a simmer. Let simmer about five to ten minutes (this is a good time to prep all your garnishes). Use a hand-held strainer, like a tea strainer, to remove alspice and fennel seeds. If you can't get them all, don't sweat it.
Bring broth back to a boil and add pasta. Cook according to directions, stirring frequently. You should have a lot of pasta in relation to your broth, but remember, it will continue to suck up the broth as it sits in the pot, so not too much pasta!
Add sliced meat about one minute before serving. Serve in a deep bowl with garnishes on a plate on the side.
For a bonus, I threw in a couple of Ling Ling's potstickers--it was a wierd combo dish of pho and potsticker bun.
The Bug said it was as good as the pho we get when we're at pho places. I take that as a big compliment, since he's become a pho expert!