Faux Pho

Someone told me last week that the cheapest place to buy rice flour (for my gluten-free son) was the Asian market.  Since I happened to drive by there on Saturday (picking my daughter up from a sleepover), I went in to see what they had.  I was amazed at how much of what they had was full of chemical additives, but still, I suppose I was inspired.

So last night, at “what’s for dinner” time, I came up with this:

Faux Pho

  • Stock of some sort (mine was lamb this time – from some bones I had boiled – oh, and asparagus – I had boiled the cut off ends of my spears, too)
  • ground meat (I used turkey)
  • noodles (I used rice noodles – kids love ’em, but I think they prefer bean noodles.  Those had disappeared from the supermarket, but I did get some from the Asian store & will use them next time)
  • sliced onions
  • veggies (I actually left the asparagus ends in, and sliced some mushrooms in there too)
  • crunchy veggie for topping (I used thinly sliced cabbage my mung beans haven’t sprouted yet)
  • Spices (I used ground garlic, coriander, and ginger)
  • Salt & Pepper

While the stock was heating, I stirred the spices & seasonings into the meat.  Then I used my baby scoop to make meatballs.  I looked around for an egg to help hold it together, but we were out, so I threw in a little of that boxed baby rice to make it a little stiffer.  Neither are crucial, but either could be an option.  I put the sliced onions and then the meatballs in the stock (which already had the asparagus, some of which wound up being edible, some not so much).  I added the dry noodles & pushed them down into the liquid.  They said to soak for 10 minutes, so I sliced some brown mushrooms and tossed them in near the end of that time.  I had picked up some enoki mushrooms at the Asian store, but they looked too delicate to toss into soup, so I threw them on top to let them warm up, but not disintegrate.  A couple of minutes later, I served it with some sort-of julienned cabbage on top.  Left crunchy, it provided a nice contrast to the rest of the soup, but pushed down into the broth, it could be softened as well.

Not fancy, not full of the 50 scary ingredients that I usually see in oriental recipes (I have always wanted to make Hot & Sour soup – until I looked at the recipe – ugh!), and probably no where near what a real Vietnamese Pho contains.  But it managed to give the “feel” of a Pho, wasn’t too intimidating for the kids, and –  importantly – was cheap, quick, and easy.

What do you think?  Have you done anything similar?

And yes, in case you were wondering…the rice flour was cheap.  I bought one pound bag for $0.99 and another for $1.39 just to compare.  Makes Bob’s Red Mill seem like gold.


About bigcrunchyfamily

I'm a crazy-busy mother of 6, trying to live a healthy, natural, and green life balancing living, learning, and loving as well as I can at any given time.
This entry was posted in Dairy-Free, Food, Gluten-Free, Noodles, Recipes, Soup, Turkey and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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