If you've eaten any Vietnamese food, this is probably it. Pho is a delicious, fragrant noodle soup filled with fresh vegetables and garnished however you like, which makes it a great meal if everyone in your family has differing palates. It's traditionally made with meat and is often eaten for breakfast, but we skip the meat and have it at dinner instead. If you'd rather, substitute chicken or beef for the tofu. After cubing the tofu we sometimes fry it in a skillet with 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil. After cutting it, be sure to pat it dry with a dishtowel or paper towels. Put it in the skillet on medium heat and turn it once one side has browned. Keep turning it until they are fried to your liking. Alternatively, you can toss the plain, uncooked tofu into the broth which will save you some time. We use pad thai brown rice noodles for this recipe, which are wide and flat, similar to linguine.
1 small onion, unpeeled and quartered
2 shallots, unpeeled, halved
8 cloves garlic, halved
1-2 inch piece ginger root, coarsely sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
10 cups water or clear vegetable stock
3 tablespoons soy sauce or Bragg’s liquid aminos
1 pound pad thai brown rice noodles
4 cups baby spinach, green cabbage, bok choy or other dark greens, chopped
2 14 oz. containers extra-firm tofu, cubed, and fried in coconut oil if desired
6 scallions, thinly sliced, both green and white parts
1 ½ cups mung bean sprouts
1 jalepeno pepper, sliced
1 cup chopped and toasted cashews or peanuts
1 lime, cut into wedges
cilantro, to taste
basil or mint, to taste
sriracha sauce or crushed red pepper
hoisin or plum sauce
Adapted from the Vegetarian Pho recipe at http://www.food.com/recipe/vegetarian-pho-238765.
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