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

  • Good soup darling girl, and how is the wee heady then? But I must talk to you about Twitting, i think I would like to Twit. Though i am uncomfortable with the word Twitter, and Blog.. that is a cumbersome kind of draggy moniker too.. I cannot nap, useless at it! so i must run! cReplyCancel

    • It’s mind-numbing sleepiness… how do you do it??!! Tweet if you wish to twit? We can chat if you prefer:0ReplyCancel

  • That looks light and flavorful too. I love the cilantro on top. It is fun to see people from all over stop by isn’t it.ReplyCancel

  • I’ll just come to your house the next time I need a bowl of pho and a nap. Looks good — a “phake” after my own heart.ReplyCancel

  • Phake or not, I’d love to sit down a bowl of your Pho, and especially if a snowstorm is in the offing. (How I hate the thought of an impending snowstorm and all that it entails!) And thanks for the mention! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • You will have snow eventually, correct? I’ll hope for just a light skiff of it to come your way then:)ReplyCancel

  • Hello from Dublin Ireland! The soup looks lovely.ReplyCancel

  • This looks really interesting. I haven’t used lemon grass or red curry paste before. It looks really warming and flavorful!ReplyCancel

  • Oooh, I do so love soup. Any kind of soup. Hot or cold. Just dish it up and I’m as happy as a cuddled teddy bear. Can you describe that Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce for me? Is it sweet-ish or sour-ish? Tomato based or vinegar based?ReplyCancel

  • Looks like a perfectly convincing pho to me, and since I just brewed up the stock from my Thanksgiving turkey carcass . . . here we come! Of course I could do Tom Kha, too . . . . The nice thing about the cool weather having *finally* arrived here in NTX is that I can do one soup day after another if I wish, so I’m guessing I’ll just have to do both! And then some. Thanks for a grand inspiration, as always. 🙂ReplyCancel

    • I hadn’t thought of turkey… mmmm that would be delish as well! Btw, what do you think of the word “carcass”… always sounds so grim:) when it makes such amazing stock!! It hardly does it credit. Perhaps it should be turkey with “good bones”? lolReplyCancel

      • Ah, yes–‘carcass’ or the (I think) more glamorous sounding older spelling ‘carcase’–after all, it can refer to the body of refined cabinetry as well, so I think of it as a sort of architecture. As it is, I have to remind myself to use American spellings of so many things (erm, ‘glamorous’, for example) when blogging so as not to sound even more like a pretentious ass, since people do know I’m from the US, despite my preference for almost all UK spellings. [But then I’m also a twisted and sneaky cretin and wouldn’t hesitate to talk about making soup stock from turkey *corpses*, if it weren’t that I have a modicum of respect for others’ sensibilities being far more refined than mine. What can I say, I’m an unrepentant carnivore *and* a tacky person. Sigh. So I’ll stick with carcass/se. 🙂 ]ReplyCancel

        • Hahaha, I loved the *corpses* and I can’t wait for more colourful food blogging from you:) This foodie world needs a little shaking up now and then:)ReplyCancel

  • Yum!!! I love pho. Never thought to make it myself though.. yours looks SO delicious!ReplyCancel

    • Thanks so much, I hadn’t either, but thought it should be fairly straight forward.. and it was:)ReplyCancel

  • Looks like a cracking Pho I say. I’m loving any Vietnamese flavours at the moment. I think it’s one of my favourite cuisines.ReplyCancel

  • Isn’t ‘meeting’ people from all over the world so fun?? It’s one of the things I love best. I also have to share that I was a kindergarten teacher for many years before I stayed home with my kiddos. I do miss it a lot. 🙂 But I love my ‘job’ now, too. But back to the Pho – it looks very good. Lemongrass, ginger, and cilantro make me happy, anytime.ReplyCancel

    • It was an awesome job… not sure it would ever measure up to our current one:) It’s great being a mom! I think I miss it most ever fall…when I should be setting up my classroom and printing names on coat hooks and scribblers…ReplyCancel

  • I love Pho and your Phake Pho with the addition of the Thai flavor looks like pretty legit soup to me!ReplyCancel

  • I have that hour everyday around 4pm too! I am a kindergarten teacher and absolutely love it! Definitely keeps me on my toes! 😉 I have never had Phake Pho Soup before but it sure looks tasty. I great way to prepare for a snowstorm. 🙂ReplyCancel

    • That is so awesome!! I love meeting another teacher, espec in the same field:) Lots of energy required for that job, eh? I didn’t get my nap so should go to bed soon… it’s 10:50 pm here… thanks for stopping by!ReplyCancel

  • Now there’s a bit of Pho Phakery worth missing my nap for! Thanks for the inspiration Smidgen. Looks delicious.ReplyCancel

  • Our tiredness must be catchy as for days now, if I could, I would nap just like a kindergardener and love to wake up to nice graham crackers and milk. It is the perfect season for some warming Phake Pho soup to warm those weary bones. Take CareReplyCancel

    • Where I live, the sun is lower in the sky each day until the Winter Solstice… so the early onset of dusk is perhaps not helping the matter… You take care as well:)ReplyCancel

  • Hello from Istanbul, Turkey! You are amazing lady dear Barbara, how I love your posts… Yes, maybe I am not a cooker and also spending time in the kitchen as you all, BUT I love you all, I am really a fan of your beautiful blogs. Especially I should say your blog is one of my favurite ones… I always add to my recipe notebook your recipes… This soup seems so delicious… And also so artistic served… I tasted with my eyes, at first. 🙂 But soon I want to try this soup. We have similar one but it is always so nice to cook something new in the kitchen… Thank you dear Barbara, with my love, niaReplyCancel

    • I think anything creative is such a joy, that is why I love the beautiful photography of your website, Nia:) I can imagine Istanbul through all of your beautiful photography!ReplyCancel

  • Great idea! I happen to have one whole rotisserie chicken left over!ReplyCancel

  • I am so glad I came across this recipe! I have just recently discovered Pho soup, and I am going broke buying it! Awesome.ReplyCancel

    • Yes, I’ve begun thinking it is not only less expensive to eat at home, but typically food I can prepare tastes so much better. I think it’s the freshness of ingredients and being able to eat it piping hot off the stove or out of the oven!ReplyCancel

  • Mmm what a fantastic soup, this sounds delicious! Love those bowls too, they’re too cute! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Camberley, Surrey? That’s just round the corner from me! It’s a small world!ReplyCancel

    • So cool.. you’ve probably run into them at the grocery store? Next time do a shout out for WordPress friends:)ReplyCancel

  • This Phake Pho Soup sounds so darn delicious. And it looks amazingly wonderful to eat during the winter months. Thanks for this recipeReplyCancel

  • “That “clunk” you just heard was the sound of my forehead hitting the desk.”
    Is that what that was?ReplyCancel

  • Your Phake Pho sounds like it turned out great…spicy and warming. I hope you get a chance to rest.ReplyCancel

  • Yum! I love reading and seeing how other people make pho! My momma always makes the beef version, but when there’s chicken she’ll make a Bun Mang Ga (Bamboo shoots and chicken noodle soup).ReplyCancel

  • There seems to be a crowd in. It’s a bit like the Eurovision. Dublin calling, Dublin calling… Here is the vote from (one of) the Dublin jury(s). 10 points.
    Lovely preamble to the soup. I hate that dead head feeling in the supermarket. Surrounded by 10,000 items and no idea what to cook.

    • Hahaha, Thanks for the vote… er 10 points! Thanks for stopping by, it’s late here so I’ll be visiting you tomorrow! Night!ReplyCancel

  • Oh don’t forget us following in the far arctic Northwest Territories of Canada, admiring your photos and dishes while the snow piles up outside and the temperatures casually sit at a pleasant -10C. Beautiful soup using on-hand ingredients! Oh I wish coriander would grow indoors here, but the lack of decent sunlight during the winter makes it impossible!ReplyCancel

    • Oh, my.. you do live in the coldest climate of all of us.. and the darkest!! I hope you keep bundled and try this soup, even with dried coriander it would be so comforting!ReplyCancel

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