There are only three things constantly in my freezer:
1. fresh chicken stock
2. fresh dashi (stock for Japanese dishes)
Heck, I don’t even have ice.
From time to time, I do enjoy a hearty bowl of pho, which is very easy to make at home (I buy the noodles, of course! ). Over the years, I’ve learned to appreciate the texture and taste of quality stock in a dish, simmered from chicken or beef bones.
My friends know that when it comes to cooking, I don’t measure as I pour everything straight out of bottles like a mad scientist. Baking bread, however, is a different story.
For those who cook just the same way, here’s the recipe for my very simple soup base. Just throw the following things together in a stock pot:
- original recipe calls for beef stock, but I prefer chicken stock (this can be prepared ahead of time, simmered with chicken bones, onions, celery, carrots)
- one head of onion
- fresh ginger or galangal if available ( 2-3 round slices, a few mm thick)
- sweet basil (Thai basil)
-bird’s eye chili (2-3 pieces, do not crush in the broth or you’ll regret it… unless you want your stock spicy?)
-lemon grass stalks, bruised
Simmer everything over low-medium heat for 30 minutes. Boil the rice noodles separately and set aside while stock is cooking.
When everything is done, place cooked noodles in your bowl then pour some piping hot stock. I don’t really like the taste of bean sprouts in a broth so I’ve omitted that. Cooked squid balls are optional for me. Upon serving, garnish with cilantro, shredded pieces of cooked chicken, 1 piece fresh chili, chopped spring onions, fresh lime and a drizzle of hoisin sauce.
For added zing, add more fresh basil upon serving if you prefer a sharper taste. For those who prefer spicy, adjust with Sriracha or chili sauce.
- lemon grass (use the bottom stalks and bruise to release flavor)