Sunday, January 9, 2022

Shrimp Pho

Pho is a Vietnamese soup that warms the soul while it nourishes the body. Traditionally, it is made in large quantities and eaten with family and friends, completing the experience by healing our spirit with love and friendship. Typically, pho is made with beef broth, but since I love chicken soup as well as shrimp, this one is made with chicken stock and shrimp. Enjoy!


For the soup:
3-4 cups low sodium chicken stock
one 1 inch piece of ginger, sliced
1 star anise
8 whole cloves
1-2 tsp fish sauce
1 Tbs sugar
1 tsp olive oil
12 or more shrimp
1/4 cup water
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 2 inch matchstick
1 baby bok choy, thinly sliced
1/2 cup green beans, sliced into 1-1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup broccoli crowns, separated into small pieces

2 oz rice noodles

For toppings: 
2 Tbs whole mint leaves
2 Tbs whole Thai basil leaves
2 Tbs sliced cilantro
1 Tbs jalapeno, thinly sliced
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup mung bean sprouts


Pour the chicken stock into a large soup pot. Add the ginger through the sugar to the chicken stock and heat until steaming, but not boiling, over medium low heat. Prepare the vegetables while the stock warms. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the shrimp until opaque, about 3 minutes on each side. Remove the shrimp to a plate. Add the carrot, bok choy, green beans, and broccoli to the skillet along with the water and cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are still bright in  color, and are crisp tender. Heat a second pot of water to boiling, then add the rice noodles and cook until tender, usually between 5 and 15 minutes, depending on brand. Drain the noodles. Prepare the toppings while the noodles cook. Pour the stock through a strainer, so that the ginger, anise, and cloves are removed, and return to the soup pot. Add the shrimp and vegetables to the pot. 

To serve, place some of the rice noodles in the bottom of a bowl. Ladle a healthy portion of the soup over the noodles. Let each person add their toppings of choice. 

Serves 2 generously, easily doubled or tripled

Stealthy Cooking Tip: You'll notice that there's no added salt in this recipe. Fish sauce and chicken stock, even the low sodium kind, have plenty of sodium. While I love, love, love take out pho, making it at home is one of the ways that I (and you) can control sodium, because take out is always saltier than my home made! It's also one of the ways that I can increase my vegetable intake. This recipe probably has more vegetables than most take out pho you'll find.

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