Fee, Fi, Pho, Yum!
I don’t know why, but it’s difficult not to go into pun mode when discussing Pho. Maybe it’s the fact that most of the Pho restaurants around have a bad pun for a name. My favorite is 9021-Pho in Beverly Hills. I’ve never eaten there, it’s just my favorite name.
Why do I call it “Faux Pho”? Because traditional Pho broth is simmered for many hours, sometimes days. And like my recipe for Saurbraten before it, my goal here is to take something that normally can take days and get the essence of the dish in a mere fraction of the time. Is it exactly the same? Er, no, hence the “faux”. But I can say that this is a super fragrant, tasty Vietnamese chicken noodle soup, or “Chicken Soup For The Seoul.” Sorry, that’s the last pun, I promise.
So, how do we go about constructing this thing? Well, get your spice bag ready first. Yeah, you could just dump the spices in the pot since we are going to strain the broth at the end anyway, but I like use a bag since you can whack it with the side of a cleaver or a mallet, to crack the cardamom and coriander without having spices shooting all over your kitchen. Put a cinnamon stick, about 4 star anise, 10 whole cloves, 5 cardamom pods (I used black cardamom) and a teaspoon of coriander seeds in a spice bag (or you could wrap in cheese cloth). With the side of a cleaver or a meat mallet (the smooth side), give the bag a little whack to crack the cardamom and coriander. Set the bag aside for the moment.
Quarter an onion, peel and divide a piece of ginger into two pieces and crush a couple of cloves of garlic.
Turn your electric pressure cooker to the medium sauté mode and plop in the onion, ginger and garlic. Sauté until it gets lightly brown.
Place 2.5-3 pounds of chicken breast (with skin and bones attached) on top of the onions.
Pour in the chicken stock and stir in the salt, brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke.
Toss in the spice bag.
Turn off the sauté mode.
Lock the top on, turn on manual mode and set the time for 12 mins.
While soup is cooking, cook a package of rice noodles according to package directions. When finished, drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. I like to use the flat rice noodles that say “Pad Thai” on the package, but you can also use the narrow rice noodles.
Get the toppings ready and arrange on a platter. I like to use fresh mint, lime wedges, bean sprouts and thinly sliced jalapeño. Put platter in the center of the table and a bottle each of Sriracha sauce and Hoisin sauce.
When the time is up for the soup, let the pressure come down naturally for ten minutes, then do a quick release.
Remove the chicken to a plate, and let it cool for a couple minutes.
Pour the broth through a strainer over another pot.
Pour the broth back into the inner pot of the pressure cooker.
To prepare the bowls, put some noodles in each one and ladle the soup into each one.
Sprinkle the green onions over each one and serve.
Let guests customize their bowl with whichever toppings they prefer.
|Pressure Cooker Faux Pho With Chicken|| |
- 1 cinnamon stick (about 3")
- 4 star anise
- 10 whole cloves
- 5 cardamom (I used Black Cardamom)
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 chunk of fresh ginger (about the size of 2 thumbs), peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2.5-3 pounds chicken breast with skin and bones attached
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cartons chicken broth (32 oz. each)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke
- Thinly sliced green onions
- Rice noodles (8-ounce box)
- Thinly sliced jalapeño
- Mint leaves
- Lime wedges
- Bean Sprouts
- Sriracha Sauce
- Hoisin Sauce
- Put spice bag ingredients in the bag or wrap in cheese cloth and give it a little whack with the side of a cleaver or the flat side of a mallet
- Set spice bag aside
- Heat the oil on sauté mode set to medium
- Drop in the onion and ginger and cook, stirring often until lightly browned
- Place the chicken over the onions
- Pour in the chicken broth
- Stir in the brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce and liquid smoke
- Toss in the spice bag and add the salt
- Turn off sauté mode
- Lock top on pressure cooker
- Set to manual mode, 12 minutes at high pressure
- While soup is cooking, cook the noodles according to package directions
- Drain noodles and rinse with cold water to stop cooking
- Arrange the toppings on a plate and set out Sriracha and Hoisin sauces
- When time is up, let pressure come down on its own for 10 minutes, then do a quick release
- Remove the chicken to a plate and let it cool for a couple minutes
- Pour the soup through a strainer into another pot
- Pour the broth back into the pressure cooker
- Remove the skin from the chicken and pull the chicken off the bones
- Stir the chicken into the broth
- Put some noodles in each bowl and spoon broth and chicken on top
- Sprinkle sliced green onions over each bowl
- Put platter of toppings on the table so that each person can customize the soup to their liking