Pho Pho Pho.. Happy Holidays!

Fragrant Pho Noodle Bowl with BUCKWHEAT NOODLES!
Serves 2-3
 
Buckwheat can’t be beat!
If you are gluten intolerant or just trying to find some variety in your diet, buckwheat and products made with buckwheat flour are a delicious treat. Despite its rather confusing name, buckwheat has no relation to the wheat family of grains. In fact, it is not a grain at all, but the seed of a plant related to rhubarb.
You can find buckwheat in its whole form at natural food stores. It has a greenish hue and a distinctive, triangular shape. It is possible to cook buckwheat whole to create a creamy porridge for breakfast. You can also crisp it up in the oven and sprinkle it on oats, salads or even desserts.

Buckwheat has a high protein content, and contains all essential amino acids, making it an excellent choice for vegans and vegetarians. It is high in magnesium, a mineral which has a pleasant muscle-relaxing effect. Side-note for the ladies: eating magnesium-rich foods before your period will help ease cramping, headaches and back pain.

One of my favorite ways of eating buckwheat is in the form of soba noodles. I keep a package of them on hand at all times because they make a wonderful meal base when I am pressed for time. Looking for fast food at home? Soba noodles cook up in a bout 7 minutes.
Soba noodles can be found at natural food stores, and with Asian grocers. Definitely check the ingredient list to make sure that they contain 100% buckwheat flour, especially if you are sensitive to gluten. Some soba brands use more wheat than buckwheat in their flour blends.

Although it is more traditional to use rice noodles in pho, BUT if you’ve never tried soba before, I think this would be a great initiation.

 
Fragrant Pho Noodle Bowl
Serves 2-3
Broth Ingredients:
2 lbs. / 1 kg onion (white, yellow, red…)
1.5 oz / 50g fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. fennel seeds
3 black cardamom pods (green cardamom also works)
3 star anise
5 whole cloves
½ tsp. black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. coriander seeds
½ Tbsp. sea salt
6 cups / 1.5 liters water
 
Directions:
  • Peel and roughly chop onions. Wash ginger and slice, leaving the skin on. 
  • To the pot of water add all spices, onions, ginger and salt. Bring to a boil and let simmer for one hour or more with the lid on. You can also boil for thirty minutes, turn off the heat and let the broth steep until you are ready to eat.
  • Strain broth through a sieve into another pot and discard all solids. 
 
Noodle Bowl Suggested Ingredients
  • Noodles: soba or rice (cook according to package directions)
  • Greens: bok choy, spinach, swiss chard, 
  • Cruciferous veggies: broccoli, romanesco, cauliflower, cabbage (raw or lightly steamed)
  • Other veg: mung bean sprouts, carrot, bell pepper, mushrooms
  • Garnishes: lime, toasted sesame seeds, Thai basil, spring onion, sriracha, tamari
 
Assembly:
  • In very large bowls place some roughly chopped greens. Ladle in the hot broth, which will quickly wilt the greens.  
  • Add noodles, all veggies and top with the garnishes. Thai basil may be hard to find but it is worth the search! Makes all the difference. Serve hot. Enjoy. 
  
Elizabeth Cotter1 Comment