Shiitake Mushroom Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)
This vegetarian pho (noodle soup) is easy to make and super popular, even with the carnivores. Loaded with flavour from the spices and the shiitake mushroom.
Ingredients - Soup
2 cinnamon sticks
3 whole cloves
2 star anise
1 large white onion peeled and quartered
10cm pc of fresh ginger, peeled and halved lengthwise
4 cups of vegetable stock or broth
4 cups of water
2 tbs of tamari
1 packet of flat rice noodle
1 tbs of olive oil
2 packets of dried shiitake mushroom
Mung bean sprouts
Thinly sliced spring onions
Very thinly sliced fresh jalapeno
Small wedges of lime
I usually cook this in a slow cooker because I'm often cooking for 10 or more! You can also do it quicker on the stove top which is how I've described below.
Heat your pot / pan and add the cinnamon, cloves and star anise and toast until fragrant (3-4 minutes). Add the onion, ginger, vegetable stock, water and tamarin. Raise the heat to boil and reduce to maintain a gentle simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Meantime, prepare the rice noodles by cooking according to directions. Set aside.
Then, prepare the mushrooms as per directions.
Once the broth is done cooking, strain out the onions, spices etc by using a mesh strainer into a large bowl / pot. Taste your broth and add more tamari and/or salt until you reach desired flavour.
Put a handful of noodles into each bowl, top with mushrooms, ladle the broth in to just cover and then garnish like crazy. The greens really freshen up the oriental flavours.
Slow Cooker is different in that you can leave it for a long time while doing other things. I usually strain the broth, add the mushrooms and leave for an hour or two and serve it as is.
I think the mushroom flavour in the slow cooker adds another dimension of deliciousness. Experiment for yourself and let me know your thoughts xo