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There is something to be said about this classic Vietnamese dish. I remember the first time I went out to eat at a Vietnamese restaurant; I was unsure of what to expect. I had the misconception that the meal would be your regular greasy, heavy food, the type that requires extra sweet time at the gym. The first time ordering Pho, I was surprised, yet fascinated, as the largest steaming bowl of soup with all sorts of fresh ingredients were placed in front of me. After the first bite, I was instantly hooked.
Years later my husband and I took a trip to Southeast Asia, Vietnam was one of our stops. I was in pho heaven. I still daydream of the many stops at the central market in Hoi An, for a big bowl of Pho.
A typical pho includes rice noodles in broth, a combination of raw and sautéed vegetables, fresh herbs, and rare sliced steak. My version is a healthy twist on the classic dish, using a vegetable broth and chicken.
The great thing is that this dish can be made within 30-minutes for a quick weekday dinner, and isn’t compromising in flavor. To speed things along, I used a rostiserie chicken.
In a large pot, you’ll want to combine the vegetable broth, chicken, green onion, grated ginger, rice wine vinegar, ground black pepper, cinnamon sticks, star anise and salt. Bring to a full boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. While the broth is cooking, melt the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for about 5-6 minutes, or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in the hoisin and sesame oil and cook until the sauce thickens and coats the mushrooms, about 1 minute more. Remove from heat. Divide the rice noodles among four to six large bowls, then fill each bowl with the ginger broth. Add bean sprouts, sliced jalapeños, shiitake mushrooms, fresh basil, and cilantro and serve with lime wedges, hoisin, and chili garlic sauce.
I'm an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), offering guidance to high achievers in aligning their lifestyle with well-being through daily wellness and self-care routines, promoting balance and harmony. Join me at Wellness Bum for tips on living well, and consider subscribing to my newsletter or booking a coaching session.