Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Daring Kitchen - Pho Ga

This month, the Daring Kitchen finally paid off for me. After the dishes I didn't have time for & the dishes that I thought were dumb, I finally hit the jackpot with the dish-that-I-never-thought-I-could-make-at-home. 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. The dish of the month was Pho Ga -Vietnamese chicken soup.

The first time I had Pho was when I was still in high school and the first Vietnamese restaurant opened in my hometown. Whenever I went in, it seemed as though I was the only person who was not Vietnamese and did not know what to order. A key lesson I've learned through these times is: if everyone around you is ordering the same dish, follow them. This lead me to Pho Bo. Since then, many Pho restaurants opened (and closed) in my hometown, sadly including the Happy Cow restaurant - the soup place with the picture of a laughing cow on the sign.

Since my school days, Pho has become somewhat vogue. I can understand this. In fact, I can even understand Anthony Bourdain savouring the moment of expectation:

Here in Europe, a good bowl of Pho is hard to find. Maybe I'd have better luck in Paris, but until now - no go. All the more reason to scream with delight as Jaden gave her Pho recipe, from her new book. I pretty much followed this recipe (as well as I can follow any recipe) but added the bones from a leftover roasted chicken to the stock.

Jaden has 2 versions of this recipe. 1 is long and involves making your own stock. The other is shorter & can be found in her new cookbook. I followed the long one, mainly because I had some chicken bones in my freezer that I was saving for a soup anyway.

Complete with the garnishes, the workaholic & I slurped up our soup & only wished that the chilis in Germany were hotter. I forgot the lime until my bowl was almost empty but it didn't bother me too much - I was salivating like Anthony Bourdain and looking forward to leftovers.


Cathy said...

We are knee (okay, ankle but it doesn't sound as good) deep in snow....pho is my go too lunch with this kind of weather!

Lauren said...

Beautiful job! The pho looks amazing =D. Lovely story too!

Heather B said...

Love the Bourdain clip! Great job on your challenge!

taste traveller said...

Cathy: I'd love to see your recipe!

Lauren: thanks!

Heather: when I was researching this, I found the clip & couldn't resist!

redmenace said...

Sounds fantastic! I could not live without pho. I was just saying to someone that it is the magical soup!

Megan@Feasting on Art said...

Your pho looks so yummy!! I followed the quick recipe because I wanted to see how similar it was to the traditional one. Thanks for sharing the clip!

Erica said...

Great picture, That soups looks so good:)I would love to have a bowl now,it is very cold here today.

The Little Teochew said...

No, you didn't!! I applaud you for taking on the "long recipe". I would have use ready made stock, LOL! It looks delish, BTW!

taste traveller said...

Redmenace: you are so right!

Megan: I hope you enjoyed it.

Erica: It's getting cold here too :-( And it's raining.

LT: The beauty is that if you have the right spices, you can use ready made stock. I think I might do that now... ;-)

Murasaki Shikibu said...

I was looking for a recipe for Pho so this is just great. Thanks!

taste traveller said...

Murasaki: you might want to take a look at this. A goldmine for Pho!

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