when i was in florida e and i had some time to ourselves to enjoy the local food scene. mostly we walked around and enjoyed the silence, did some shopping, and then hit the first restaurant that hit our eye.
one night while walking the main st in sarasota we spotted a vietnamese noodle house. pho cali, the best noodle house ever. everything was fresh and the amount of food they gave you was ridiculous. it was a meal i put on my list.
traditional pho is made with a beef broth, noodles, cooked and raw meat, cilantro, basil, hot peppers, sprouts and served with hoisin sauce and sriracha with a lime on the side.
a couple days ago i happened to come across an article by rocco dispirito for a quick vietnamese noodle soup with beef. sort of pho like. a great start to what i wanted for dinner tonight. i took his basic recipe and expanded on it. was a great vegetarian meal, from the stock to the veg and tofu, it hit the spot.
instead of the traditional condiments that are usually served i kicked it up a bit and put a dollop of sambal in it. sambal is basically ground chillies with tons of spices that range from tamarind and turmeric to garlic and lemongrass. i am a little daring in the kitchen. e and i love hot sauce and we eat it with everything ranging from eggs to pizza. in case your wondering where i picked up the sambal, no joke, bed bath and beyond. they have an international market now. i have actually been able to find spices there that i can not locate anywhere, like red curry and lavender.
simple and quick vegetarian pho
for the stock
- 4 cups veggie stock + 1 cup of water
- 1 tbl agave syrup (you can use sugar)
- 1 tbl grated ginger
- 1 tbl soy sauce
- 1 lime, halved juice, set aside other half
for the soup
- 1 block of tofu
- 1 head of bok choy
- a splash of sesame oil per bowl
- rice noodles
- in a dutch oven add: stock and water, ginger, juice of half a lime, soy sauce and agave. cook on a med to low simmer for 10 minutes.
- in a separate pot, cook your noodles and add them to the bottom of your bowl. mix with a splash of sesame oil. sprinkle with cilantro, basil, and scallions.
- after the soup has been cooking for 10 minutes, add your tofu and bok choy (or any other vegetable you want), cook for 2-3 minutes, making sure not to overcook your bok choy.
- spoon tofu and bok choy in bowl with noddles and ladle soup over. serve with hot sauce and hoisin, enjoy.
hoisin is something you can find in your local market. if i had some i would of used it. tonight’s meal was quick and simple, and it was good.