- Prep Time 15 minutes
- Cook Time 40 minutes
- Estimated Cost $9.25
- 13 Comments
I like to top it with tons of fresh cilantro, fresh minced garlic and sometimes mint and basil.
I kind of have a lot going on these days.
Between prepping for a fast-approaching cookbook release, spending my days at my awesome full-time job and the completely zany, absolutey crazy, I-can-hardly-believe-my-life-these-days news that the sitcom pilot I developed called Young and Hungry freaking got the green light from ABC Family on Friday, I have been doing a lot of running around, not unlike a popular poultry variety with its head cut off.
And you know what I don't have time for right now? This cold.
It's a nasty one and there's really only one way to fight it: pho. Preferably one that doesn't take very long to make, and doubles as a great opportunity to clean out my vegetable bin.
I like to top it with tons of fresh cilantro, fresh minced garlic and sometimes mint and basil. A few slurpfuls of this one, and you'll be feeling like a whole new girl. Or, at least, a slightly healthier one.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil, divided Pantry
- 1 onion, chopped, (save the peel) $0.50
- 5 cloves garlic, minced, divided Pantry
- 1 2" piece ginger (no need to peel it), minced $0.50
- 1 small bunch fresh cilantro leaves and stems, chopped and divided $1 for a bunch
- 5 tablespoons soy sauce (or to taste) Pantry
- 2 whole star anise pods (if you can't find whole pods, use 1/2 tsp ground star anise) $1.50 for 1 oz.
- 2 teaspoons honey Pantry
- 1 teaspoon black pepper Pantry
- 8 oz. extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2" cubes $1.50 for 12 oz.
- salt Pantry
- 8 oz. dried rice vermicelli $2
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, plus more to taste $2 for 10 oz.
- 1/2 green jalapeño, sliced $0.25 for a whole jalapeño
- Asian chili sauce and hoisin sauce to pass at the table Optional
Recipe Serves 2-3
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
- Add the onion, 4 cloves of the garlic, the ginger and the cilantro stems. Feel free to also add any lingering vegetable odds and ends in your refrigerator--this is a great opportunity to use them up!
- Cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until very fragrant.
- Add the soy sauce and stir well. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until soy sauce begins to cook off.
- Add 8 cups of water and stir well.
- Add the star anise pods, honey and black pepper and stir.
- Cover the pot and allow to cook, covered, for 20 minutes.
- While the broth cooks, heat the remaining oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Add the cubed tofu and fry until lightly crisp.
- Drain on paper towel and salt lightly. Set aside.
- Strain the broth and return to the pot.
- Taste for salt and add more soy sauce if needed.
- Cover the broth and bring to a boil.
- Add the rice noodles and cook for 8-9 minutes, or until tender.
- Stir the remaining clove of minced garlic and the rice vinegar and stir well.
- Ladle the soup into bowls, using tongs for the noodes if necessary.
- Divide the fried tofu between the bowls.
- Garnish each bowl with cilantro and sliced jalapeño.
- Serve with Asian chili sauce and hoisin sauce if desired.