Monday, May 7, 2012

Easy Asparagus Pho

This time of year I'm always looking for interesting ways to cook asparagus and  Vegetarian Pho with Asparagus and Noodles  in April 23rd's New York Times caught my eye.  I liked the concept, but the recipe for the Simple Vegetarian Pho Broth which was a requisite ingredient did not seem so simple.  Then I remember seeing a "new product" recently at Whole Foods, Pacific Vegetarian Pho Soup Base (also available in chicken and beef). I bought the pho and a box of Annie Chun's brown rice noodles plus the veggies to make an easy version of this recipe:

The NYT recipe is for 6,  I made it for 2, scale accordingly.

Put water for the noodles in a large saucepan on the stove to heat and prepare the veggies:

1/3 pound asparagus, break off tough stems and cut on the diagonal into ~2-inch pieces
3T Asian of purple basil leaves, slivered (I just had regular basil :-(
1 scallion, white end thinly sliced, green end cut on the diagonal into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 c cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 serrano chili, finely chopped
4 mint sprigs
1 lime, cut into 6 wedges
1 c bean sprouts (not included in  NYT recipe)


In a small sauce pan heat

16 oz. Vegetarian Pho Soup Base (I use less pho than the NYT recipe which uses 2 1/2 quarts to serve 6, or ~26 oz./ 2 servings)

While the pho is heating, cook according to package instructions (~4-5 minutes)

4 oz. brown rice noodles

While the noodles are cooking  blanch the asparagus for 2-3 minutes, just until crisp-tender. Drain and set aside.

Drain the noodles and divide the noodles and then the pho between 2 soup bowls. Divide the asparagus, the sliced scallion, half the basil and half the cilantro between the two bowls. Divide the bean sprouts, mint sprigs and lime wedges between two plates.  Place the bowls on the plates and serve accompanied by the chopped chili and remaining basil and cilantro.

I think the purchased pho which uses a mushroom base is quite tasty, but you can always make your own  :-)

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