SERVES 4
Soup

Ingredients

Part 1: For the broth
  • ginger,2-inch,chubby section,unpeeled,
  • yellow onion,1,medium-large (9 ounces / 270 grams),unpeeled,
  • Fuji apple,3,ounces / 90 grams,peeled cored and cut into thumbnail-size chunks,
  • celery,2,medium stalks (4 ounces / 115 grams total),coarsely chopped,
  • carrot,1,large (6 ounces / 180 grams),cut into thick rounds (scrub and use unpeeled if you like),
  • napa cabbage leaves,1,pound / 450 grams, halved lengthwise then cut crosswise into large pieces,
  • star anise,2,,16 robust points total,whole-star-anise
  • cinnamon,1-inch / 2.5cm,stick,,ceylon-cinnamon-sticks
  • fennel seeds,1 1/2,teaspoons,,whole-fennel-seeds
  • coriander seeds,1,heaping teaspoon,,whole-indian-coriander
  • water,9,cups / 2 1/4 liter,,
  • bottled clam juice,1,cup / 240 milliliters,,
  • fine sea salt,1 1/2,teaspoons,plus more as needed,la-baleine-fine-sea-salt
  • dried shrimp,3,tablespoons,,
  • shrimp,10,ounces / 300 grams,big,shells intact (select large extra-large or jumbo size)
  • fish sauce,1 1/2 to 2,tablespoons,,red-boat-fish-sauce-250-ml
  • organic sugar,about 1,teaspoon,or 2 teaspoons maple syrup (optional),coombs-family-farm-organic-dark-maple-syrup
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Phở Hải Sản (Seafood Pho)

“I hope you don’t make seafood pho for the book. It’s not true pho,” my mom said. Why not? I’d tried lobster and fish pho at Vietnamese restaurants in the United States and was surprised (and somewhat aghast) that they simply cooked the seafood in beef pho broth. The lesson learned from those experiences was this: seafood pairs well with pho spices.

To create a piscine pho noodle soup that isn’t overly fishy, I opt for a vegetable broth seasoned with spices, dried and fresh shrimp, and bottled clam juice (the filtered liquid from steamed clams; the Bar Harbor brand is excellent). Ginger and seafood are great friends, so the aromatic root replaces black pepper for zingy heat. The finished pho is elegant, attractive, and delicious. — from The Pho Cookbook: Easy to Adventurous Recipes for Vietnam’s Favorite Soup and Noodles by Andrea Nguyen. Buy this book from Indiebound or Amazon.

Reprinted with permission from The Pho Cookbook: Easy to Adventurous Recipes for Vietnam’s Favorite Soup and Noodles by Andrea Nguyen, copyright © 2017. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photography credit: John Lee © 2017

Written By Andrea Nguyen | Oct 24, 2018

Ingredients

Part 1: For the broth
  • ginger,2-inch,chubby section,unpeeled,
  • yellow onion,1,medium-large (9 ounces / 270 grams),unpeeled,
  • Fuji apple,3,ounces / 90 grams,peeled cored and cut into thumbnail-size chunks,
  • celery,2,medium stalks (4 ounces / 115 grams total),coarsely chopped,
  • carrot,1,large (6 ounces / 180 grams),cut into thick rounds (scrub and use unpeeled if you like),
  • napa cabbage leaves,1,pound / 450 grams, halved lengthwise then cut crosswise into large pieces,
  • star anise,2,,16 robust points total,whole-star-anise
  • cinnamon,1-inch / 2.5cm,stick,,ceylon-cinnamon-sticks
  • fennel seeds,1 1/2,teaspoons,,whole-fennel-seeds
  • coriander seeds,1,heaping teaspoon,,whole-indian-coriander
  • water,9,cups / 2 1/4 liter,,
  • bottled clam juice,1,cup / 240 milliliters,,
  • fine sea salt,1 1/2,teaspoons,plus more as needed,la-baleine-fine-sea-salt
  • dried shrimp,3,tablespoons,,
  • shrimp,10,ounces / 300 grams,big,shells intact (select large extra-large or jumbo size)
  • fish sauce,1 1/2 to 2,tablespoons,,red-boat-fish-sauce-250-ml
  • organic sugar,about 1,teaspoon,or 2 teaspoons maple syrup (optional),coombs-family-farm-organic-dark-maple-syrup
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Step one: Make the broth

Char, peel, and prep the ginger and onion: Use medium heat on a gas or electric coil burner, medium-hot heat on an outdoor grill or barbecue, or the broil setting in an oven (have the rack in the top or second position). Regardless, let the skin get a little splotchy with black; use tongs to occasionally rotate the ginger and onion (or shallot) and to grab and discard any flyaway skin. When working indoors, turn on the exhaust fan and open a window. To steady the aromatics on the stove, use a small grilling rack, heavy-duty broiling rack, or oven-safe cooling rack.

Step two

Monitor the aromatics because they char at different rates due to their uneven size and shape. After 10 to 15 minutes, they’ll have softened slightly and become sweetly fragrant. Bubbling at the root or stem ends may happen. You do not have to blacken the entire surface. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 10 minutes.

Step three

Remove the charred skin from the cooled onions or shallots, and as needed, rinse under running water to dislodge stubborn dark bits. Trim off and discard the blackened root and stem ends; halve or quarter each and set aside.

Step four

Use a vegetable peeler or the edge of a teaspoon to remove the ginger skin. Rinse under warm water to remove blackened bits. Halve the ginger lengthwise, cut into chunks, then bruise lightly (use the broad side of a knife or a meat mallet). Set aside to add to the stockpot.

Step five

When shopping, select firm, solid onions or shallots. If using shallots, big ones endure the charring best. Choose ginger that’s relatively straight; side knobs and little branches make it harder to char and peel. To avoid feeling rushed, char and peel the aromatics a day in advance and refrigerate; cut and bruise before using. Set aside with the apple, celery, carrot, and cabbage.

Step six

Put the star anise, cinnamon, fennel, and coriander in a small stockpot, about 8-quart (8 l) capacity. Over medium heat, toast the spices for several minutes, shaking or stirring, until fragrant. Add 4 cups (1 l) of the water to arrest the cooking process. Add the ginger and onion along with the apple and vegetables, salt, and dried shrimp. Pour in the remaining 5 cups (1.25 l) water and the clam juice.

Step seven

Partially cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, peel and devein the shrimp. Toss the shrimp shells into the stockpot. Cover and refrigerate the shrimp for later use.

Step eight

When the broth reaches a boil, uncover and lower the heat to gently simmer for 1 hour. (There’s usually no scum to skim.) At the 50-minute mark, add the reserved shrimp to the pot; use a noodle strainer or mesh sieve and work in batches to retrieve them easily. Cook until just curled into a C shape, then transfer to a bowl to cool. If not serving soon, cover and refrigerate.

Step nine

When the broth is done, let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, uncovered, before straining through a muslin-lined mesh strainer positioned over a medium pot. Press and squeeze on the solids to expel extra broth. Discard the solids. There should be about 8 cups (2 liters).

Step ten

If using the broth right away, season with fish sauce and, if desired, with extra salt and sugar (or maple syrup). When cooking in advance, partially cover the unseasoned broth, let cool, then refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months; season before using.

Ingredients

Part 2: For the bowls
  • dried narrow flat rice noodles,10,ounces /300 grams, or 1 pound / 450 grams fresh pho noodles,annie-chuns-pad-thai-rice-noodles
  • Cooked shrimp from the broth,,,,
  • fish fillet,10,ounces / 300 grams,such as rockfish, snapper, sea bass, tilapia, paiche, or salmon,
  • yellow or red onion,1⁄2, small (2 ounces / 60 grams), thinly sliced against the grain and soaked in water for 10 minutes,
  • green onions,2,,thinly sliced (green parts only),
  • fresh cilantro,1/4,cup (1/5 ounce / 5 grams), chopped leafy tops only,
  • ginger,1,teaspoon,peeled and finely chopped,
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Ingredients

Part 2: For the bowls
  • dried narrow flat rice noodles,10,ounces /300 grams, or 1 pound / 450 grams fresh pho noodles,annie-chuns-pad-thai-rice-noodles
  • Cooked shrimp from the broth,,,,
  • fish fillet,10,ounces / 300 grams,such as rockfish, snapper, sea bass, tilapia, paiche, or salmon,
  • yellow or red onion,1⁄2, small (2 ounces / 60 grams), thinly sliced against the grain and soaked in water for 10 minutes,
  • green onions,2,,thinly sliced (green parts only),
  • fresh cilantro,1/4,cup (1/5 ounce / 5 grams), chopped leafy tops only,
  • ginger,1,teaspoon,peeled and finely chopped,
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Step eleven: Prep and assemble the bowls

While the broth cooks, or about 30 minutes before serving, ready ingredients for the bowls. Soak the dried noodles in hot water until pliable and opaque. Drain, rinse, and drain well. If using fresh noodles, untangle or separate them and snip as needed. Divide the noodles among 4 soup bowls.

Step twelve

If the shrimp are extra-large or jumbo size, cut each into manageable pieces: lay it flat on your work surface, steady it with one hand while cutting it from the back to the belly. You’ll get 2 thin, nearly identical pieces. Otherwise, keep the shrimp whole.

Step thirteen

If the fish fillet has skin attached, remove it first. Cut the fish flesh into broad, thin pieces; hold your knife at an angle as if you’re cutting sushi. Set aside.

Step fourteen

Set the onion, green onion, cilantro, and ginger alongside the noodles, shrimp, and fish to form a pho assembly line. Bring the broth to a simmer over medium heat. At the same time, fill a pot with water and bring to a rolling boil for the noodles.

Step fifteen

For each bowl, place a portion of the noodles in the strainer or sieve and dunk in the boiling water. When the noodles are soft, 5 to 60 seconds, pull the strainer from the pot, shaking it to release excess water. Empty the noodles into a bowl. Arrange the shrimp and the fish on top. Add the onion, green onion, cilantro, and ginger.

Step sixteen

Check the broth flavor, raise the heat, and bring it to a boil. Ladle about 2 cups (480 milliliters) broth into each bowl, then serve immediately with any extras.