Monday, February 17, 2014

Alternative Methods For Pho


Now that I have a pressure cooker, I've been revisiting soups like tonkotsu ramen broth and pho, since the pressure cooker drastically reduces the time and upkeep necessary to render stocks and broths. I last wrote about pho a long while back, using Andrea Nguyen's recipe, which appears to be the base recipe for every other recipe online--it is the mother of all pho recipes online, so to speak.

Well, this time around, I found a couple other recipes, including this one, which references both Nguyen's and Steamy Kitchen's (which also is based on Nguyen's) to look at, and did things slightly differently. As mentioned above, of course, I used a pressure cooker instead of the stove, which sped things up. The other big thing, though, was that I used my broiler to char the onions and ginger instead of a gas flame. This was much more convenient to do and very effective in getting a thorough char. By using a baking sheet/pan and broiler, you don't have to individually hold and turn each piece of onion and ginger. Actually, I no longer have a gas stove/oven, but the electric's been working just fine, and better yet, I actually have a broiler now, which has been very useful.

Lovely! Charred onions and ginger smell amazing.


Look at that beautiful color. Intriguingly, though, this time around the soup was much less rich than last time (which was too rich).  Maybe it had to do with the type of bones I used.* I didn't have thigh or knuckle bones this time, and made the soup with neck and toe bones.There was plenty of gelatin, and the toe bones had deliciously softened cartilage after pressure cooking (thank you, new toy). I just wish the richness was somewhere between what I had this time and last time. I'll have to play with it some more.*

*UPDATE: It wasn't more richness I was missing! I was forgetting to add the sliced onions for the final broth, which is critical in rounding out the flavor. Don't omit the onion!

Mmmm, cartilage...

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