I decided to try one of the other jars of pho soup base today. I feel bad though… I forgot to taste the broth before I added all the goodies that I like in my soup (sriracha, hoisin, lime juice, & chili oil). I can’t really comment on the broth beyond the looks of it. At least, not for the time being. I’ll try making it again tomorrow and remember to try the darn broth.
Luckily, I still had some cilantro left over from last weekend. We have a pretty chilly fridge, so things stay fairly fresh in the vegetable crisper. All except my mushrooms… they seem to be party poopers (and here I thought they were fun guys). That extra layer of flavor worked nicely with the green onions, sweet onions, Thai basil, and 3 red Thai chili peppers. I bought some thinly-sliced beef to add to the meat medley (sliced roast beef and beef balls) in the soup. It’s a bit thicker than the paper thin slices I get at the restaurant, but it worked out nice enough. Cooked just enough in the hot broth (you can see it already starting to brown in the picture) to remain tender and easy to chew. I just have to buy some tripe and beef tendon and my soup will have it all. Oh… forgot about the brisket. Need that instead of the roast beef.
The broth was a nice rich brown color with a orange/red hue. There seemed to be significantly more grease in this one compared to the previous two broth tests. Not enough to have to skim it or anything. Just enough to add some extra flavor. I’m pretty sure that it didn’t come from the beef balls and roast beef which I had in the broth as I brought it to a boil. I did that with the other two trials, so they cancel out.
In this bowl, I also used a slightly thicker noodle. The brand that I buy has two different thicknesses in the absolute exact same packaging. I have to say that I much prefer these ones. I soften them up in the broth while I’m getting the veggies prepped. I left them until later this time (read: I forgot about them) and I’m so glad I did. They didn’t get too soft and still had a slight al dente texture.
As you can see, no difference in packaging. Going to have to keep my eyes open when I’m buying them in the future. For a buck and change, I get enough noodles for three big bowls of soup. Really big bowls. Probably too many noodles for a proper serving now that I think about it. The sacrifices I make, I make for you, dear readers.
In closing, I’d have to say that this was a rather enjoyable bowl of soup. The rare beef was a welcome addition to the thicker noodles. Speaking of the noodles, I think I’m going to have to actually follow the directions in the future and pre-soak them first. I think they might be adding a bit too much starch to the broth when they’re cooking in there and thickening it up a bit. The last few spoons were almost gravy-like. Tasty, tasty gravy. I might want to try it with either jalapeno or serrano peppers in the future. While they don’t have the bite of the Thai peppers, they have a more pronounced flavor. I wonder if using a real chunk of lemon or lime would be an improvement over the squeeze bottle of lime juice I’m using currently…