my Journal

Phake Pho Soup

That “clunk” you just heard was the sound of my forehead hitting the desk.

This was my status update yesterday (yup, I Facebook, email, text, tweet, twitter, twitpic and blog my way through life, oh, and phone) and I wonder why this incredible fog of lethargy always overtakes me every day around 4 p.m. It takes everything I’ve got to combat the desire to sleep… and if I’m home, well, you know it’s that time of the day… “Nap Time”!

Maybe it’s because I was a Kindergarten teacher in another life, perhaps it’s the volume of chores I get through in a day, the spin class, the cooking, the baking or the fact that I wake up erratically at 5 or 6 a.m. every day. Seriously, just give me 15 minutes on the couch and I’m good!

Anyway.. around “that dreaded hour” I was dragging my, erm… feet around the grocery store trying desperately to come up with a meal plan that would make use of the left-over roasted chicken and enable me to check-out (metaphorically speaking) asap.

I thought about all of the meals my stellar fellow Bloggers from around the world would be making or had already made and eaten for dinner. Honestly, there will be some great stuff to read about tomorrow… homemade and canned, chopped, diced, cooked, baked and garnished. I wondered what Greg and Katherine would do if they were in my shoes… or John over in Chicago…

You see, Bloggers from all over visit each other daily and share successes, failures and make sublime comments on each other’s creations.  Where do my readers and these writers come from, you might ask? Here’s a few…

Skopje, KarpoŠ, Macedonia
San Diego, California,
Atlanta, Georgia
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Fairbury, Illinois
Peoria, Illinois
Camberley, Surrey, U.K.
Dublin, Ireland
and Calgary food bloggers and foodies alike…of course

to name a few…

So… you can just imagine the writing, images and beautiful dishes of food that are prepared with an incredible a variety of fresh ingredients… (well, you don’t have to imagine. Actually, if you click on the comments after each of my blog posts, you can see some the people who have made remarks. Clicking on any one of these lovely human beings will fly you away to another city and another dish or work of art.)

But I just couldn’t seem to muster up the energy…

Not sure if it was news of the impending snowstorm, but I started having a hankering for some Pho (a spicy hot Vietnamese Noodle Soup)… but it would have to be “Phake Pho” because I had almost no idea what ingredients to use and how to make it. I tried to conjure up images from the times I’d eaten it and all I could come up with was lemongrass and ginger…

Dubious purchases in hand, I made it back home in time to whip up my Phake Pho, delicious and almost as difficult to spot as a Louis Vuitton knock-off. Unfortunately, my nap had to be put on the back burner, someone needed a ride home from school.

Enough, here is the recipe. Easy peasy for any week night that requires a nap…

A few notes:

  • if you don’t have left-over chicken, just pick up a pre-roasted one from your deli or supermarket.
  • the lemongrass was limp and dismal looking so I substituted with a “chopped fresh organic lemon grass herb blended with canola oil in a tube” from the produce section, although my attempt to squeeze just a little out resulted in a big splurge, and “Oh, no!”…. in the end the flavor was perfect… whew!
  • all spices should be adjusted to taste, perhaps begin with half the amount that I used and go from there…
  • no homemade chicken broth in my house… so two cartons of organic chicken broth filled in
  • vermicelli seems to come in packages with two “bunches”, I used only one
  • because there is chicken in this, I believe its technical name is Pho Ga
  • I’m not sure Thai Red Curry Paste should be in this dish, but I’m o.k. with that
  • word has it this soup could also benefit from some fresh mint and basil leaves, a squeeze of lime and an ice-cold beer…

Phake Pho Soup

Phake Pho Soup
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked (use a deli roasted chicken to save time)
  • 2 liters chicken broth
  • 1 “bunch” vermicelli noodles
  • 1-2” knob fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • 1 – 2 tbsp Lemon Grass Herb Blend
  • 2 tsp + Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce
  • 1 – 2 tsp salt
  • 1 package bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed and drained
  1. Pour chicken broth into a large soup pot. Shred and chop chicken breasts and add to the broth. Immerse vermicelli noodles and continue to heat at a simmer. Meanwhile, peel and dice the ginger, dice the garlic and chop the onions. Add to the soup.
  2. Stir in Thai Red Curry Paste and Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce.
  3. Pour soup into deep soup bowl and add one handful of rinsed bean sprouts and top with a few sprigs of cilantro to taste.


pho soup

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