A very healthy recipe to start a night with!
Soups like this asian pho soup, do help to bring balance back into a stressed life. I have posted a few similar pho soup recipes in my blog in the past. Pho is Vietnamese in origin, but traditional Thai cuisine also features pho soups.
Thai cooking is very popular in Las Vegas. Some of the best Thai restaurants in the world are located in Las Vegas. In fact, the top four Thai restaurants in America are located in Las Vegas! The number one Thai chef in the world has a restaurant in Las Vegas too. I have written a few restaurant review blog entries about Las Vegas Thai restaurants.
Thai recipes make use of spices that are not commonly found in average grocery stores. Pak Chee Farang is also known as saw tooth herb and has a strong "cilantro like" fresh flavor. Pak Chee Farang most often is used to flavor beef.
Fish balls are easy to make from fish meal. Frozen pre made fish balls from an asia market are just as good in terms of quality. The pre made frozen fish balls are a surimi fish meal product.
Banh Pho is an easily recognized rice noodle in Vietnam. Banh Pho is known as square noodle. This noodle has a fettuccine shape and can be soaked then steamed, stir fried or boiled.
Thai Fish Ball and Banh Pho Soup with Pak Chee Farang Recipe:
Cook 1 small portion of banh pho noodles ahead of time in boiling water, till the become tender.
Cool the noodles with cold running water.
Set the noodles aside.
Boil 3 cups of water in a sauce pot over medium high heat.
Add 1 lemon grass shoot that is tied in a knot.
When the broth becomes full of the lemongrass flavor (after about 10 minutes), remove the lemon grass knot.
Add 1 teaspoon of minced ginger.
Add 1 minced garlic clove.
Add 2 tablespoons of dried shaved bonito flakes.
Add 1 tablespoon of Thai Fish Sauce.
Add 1 teaspoon of Thai Chili Paste.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground galangal.
Add sea salt and white pepper.
Add 2 pinches of turmeric.
Add 2 pinches of Thai yellow curry powder.
Add about 7 or 8 thawed pre made frozen fish balls.
Add a few pieces of thin julienne sliced carrot.
Add 1 small handful of julienne sliced onion.
Add 2 small baby bok choy that are cut in half lengthwise.
Add a few strips of julienne sliced red bell pepper.
Add 2 sliced small shiitake mushrooms or portabella field mushrooms. (Small portabella mushrooms are a nice field mushroom for this recipe.)
Add 5 or 6 feather cut snow peas.
Add 1 green onion that is cut into bite size pieces.
Add 1/2 cup of coconut milk.
Add 1 squeeze of lime juice.
Pour the hot soup into a large bowl while the vegetables are still al dente.
Place the reserved small portion of the boiled Banh Pho noodles in the center of the soup.
Place a few whole fresh Pak Chee Farang leaves in the soup, so they lean on the edge of the bowl.
Float a slice of lime on the soup broth.
The bonito flakes flavor the lemon grass broth just like a Japanese dashi broth. Surimi fish balls are always light and puffy and they have a mild flavor that takes on the soup broth flavors. Coconut milk is a nice medium for the flavors and it has an inner warming effect when combined with galangal. The faint hint of curry spices is present in every sip. The refreshing lime is part of the overall flavor too.
The banh pho noodles are fun to eat in a soup like this one. Pak chee farang wilts like spinach in the hot broth and it imparts a stunning fresh strong cilantro flavor! This is a "feel good" chopsticks and spoon soup with a complex combination of light flavors. Yum! ... Shawna