My search to find gluten free Pho Soup in Boston has failed. I can not find it anywhere!! So please please please tell me if you know where I can get gluten free Pho!
For those of you who are not familiar with Pho (pronounced ‘fuh’), it is a tradition Vietnamese noodle soup; a savory combination of aromatic spices including star anise, cinnamon and ginger, and usually served with beef or chicken. It originated in Northern Vietnamese and is usually eaten for breakfast. The noodles are made from rice and it is often served with Asian basil, mint leaves, limes and bean sprouts. Sometimes it is even served with a plum sauce or chili sauce, for those who like it hot. This is one of my all time favorite Asian dishes and before I went gluten free I ate it all the time. So you can just imagine my frustration when I found out that so many restaurants (all that I’ve been to, except for one in NYC) use MSG or some other form of gluten in their soup.
Due to my frustration last week at Le’s Vietnamese in Harvard Square – originally I was told the soup was safe to eat but once we got there our waitress informed me that the broth contained MSG – I decided to make my own homemade Pho Soup. I was at whole foods this morning and found Pacific Chicken Pho Soup Starter and I was so excited! I think I almost jumped for joy I was so excited. Good thing I didn’t because we all know how crowded Whole Foods is on Sunday.
So I bought the soup starter, chicken breast, bean sprouts, lime and green onions and of course I already had rice noodles in my pantry. Now before you call me lazy for not making my own broth and using this starter, have you ever seen the recipe to make your own? It involves parboiling fish bones and/or beef bones for hours. This link is a good recipe if you are interested.
This way is so much easier and just as tasty! It can also be made with beef or vegetables, Pacific Foods makes all 3 starters. In 20 minutes or less you can be enjoying this convenient and flavorful soup..
Pho Chicken Soup Recipe: (makes 1 serving)
What you need:
– 1 cup rice noodles, cooked ahead of time and prepared al dente. When added to the hot Pho broth, the noodles will finish softening to perfection.
– 4-6 oz cooked or grilled chicken, sliced or cut into strips
– 2 cups Pacific Organic Chicken Pho Base
– Condiments: bean sprouts, lime, fresh Asian basil, green onions, cilantro, fresh green or red chili peppers, hot chili sauce, plum sauce
What you do:
1. Cook rice noodles to al dente
2. Bake or grill chicken and slice or cut into stripes
3. Bring soup base to a boil in a medium sized saucepan
4. Lower heat and add chicken and noodles.
5. Let stand on low heat for 3-4 minutes until chicken is warmed and noodles are fully cooked.
6. Ladle into soup bowl and add ‘’condiments’’.
It’s best to lay all ‘’condiments’’ out on the table and let each person add what he or she wants. My favorites are bean sprouts, scallions, basil and lime. I never add the chilis or sauce because I can not handle that kind of heat.
And don’t forget, Pho is meant to be eaten with chopsticks and the broth is to be sipped from the bowl, slurping is ok!