I had a craving for pho the other day and thought it also might be the perfect antidote for the over-eating at Thanksgiving-- not that I had that problem (we had our Thanksgiving in October), but we were overeating while I made all those dishes to photograph!
According to Vietnamese pho experts, pho is "noodles in soup", not "noodle soup". You're supposed to have plenty of the savory broth to drink after you eat the noodles, etc.. Also, I have it on good authority that pho is not really pho unless you use beef or chicken (not turkey, pork, etc.), BUT there is a dispensation for vegetarian pho (which is called Pho Chay). Pho Chay is usually made with tofu (or tofu and mushrooms), but I decided to make it with thin slices of my Seitan Steak (that recipe will be in my new book, but you can use any favorite "beefy seitan", or beefy Chinese TVP strips, or commercial "steak strips" or "beef strips", such as Morningstar Farms, Gardein, Lightlife, Yves, or President's Choice instead). Since gluten "mock meats" have been common in Asia for centuries, I'm hoping that this doesn't take my soup out of the real pho realm!
Choices for "beef strips":
My Beefy Seitan Steaks (recipe will be in my new book)
Chinese TVP "Beef" Slices
Commercial "beef strips" or "steak strips"-- there are several brands (see text above)-- these ones are a Canadian Brand, presidents Choice, but made by Gardein.
You could also use "Beefy Soy Curls®" (recipe at link):
The green onions for the garnish should be the green part only, and sliced very thinly on the diagonal (not chopped) and the onion should be sliced paper-thin with a mandoline slicer. Cilantro is the most common garnish, but Thai basil and mint are also used (and I generally use one of these because DH dislikes cilantro).
This soup is so comforting on a cold day! And yet you have all the crunchy fresh sprouts and herbs to add sunshine to the meal!
4 ounces fresh ginger, smashed with the side of a cleaver or large knife
1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
3 star anise
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
4 teaspoons Bragg's Liquid Aminos, or light soy sauce
1 to 1 1/4 lb. Seitan Steaks (the recipe will be in my new book), or you can use 16 ounces (458 g) of one of the suggested substitutes above in the text (if the substitute is dried, the weight is for the reconstituted product)
8 green onions, green only, very thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/4 cup thinly-sliced cilantro, mint, or Thai basil
Garnishes (choose all of them or whichever you like):
Vietnamese hot sauce (Sriracha)
sliced hot red or geen chiles
more fresh Thai basil, cilantro or mint leaves
fresh lime juice or lime wedges
Bragg's Liquid Aminos, or light soy sauce