I’m all for delicious noodles. I just came back from Tokyo where I spent 6 lovely days stuffing my face with all types of ramen. Ahhhh, take me back. There are distinct differences between ramen and pho. For starters, Ramen is Japanese and is meticulously made from a lovely broth of nothing but pork. And Pho is a Vietnamese staple. There simply is no mistaking that both are delicious in their own right. I made my own vegan version below.
Spicy Ginger Pho
About 12 cups of water
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
2 star anise
1 onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
5 whole cloves
About 4 inches worth of ginger
1 heaping tablespoon of Szechuan peppercorns
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
Salt, to taste
Toppings: Rice noodles, carrots, cilantro, Jalapeno, fresh limes, fresh basil, and bean sprouts
To make the broth, it’s super simple. Just bring the water to a boil and add in the bouillon cubes, onions, star anise, cinnamon stick, ginger, cloves, and red pepper flakes. Cook that on a rolling boil until the broth reduced by half. Taste it and if it needs a bit of salt, add some.
Then, strain the broth. This way you can remove all of the flavoring agents and you’re left with a nice pure broth. In the hot broth, add the rice noodles. They’ll cook quickly and absorb lots of flavor. Then, to garnish – add to your bowl, carrots, cilantro, jalapeno, fresh limes, fresh basil, and fresh bean sprouts and enjoy while it’s still warm.