Photography by Angie Norwood Browne
1 small unpeeled onion, cut in quarters or eighths
2 unpeeled shallots, cut in quarters
8 peeled garlic cloves, cut in half
1” peeled ginger, coarsely sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
3 star anise pods
4 whole cloves
8 cups clear vegetable stock
3 tablespoons soy sauce
fish sauce (to taste)
1 lb rice noodles
8 oz firm tofu
6 scallions, thinly sliced
1 ½ c bean sprouts
basil, mint, cilantro, left whole, to taste
1 lime, cut in wedges
1 japaleno or hot pepper, cut in slices
½ lb bok choy, cut in quarters
1 cup small button mushrooms, cut in half
hoisin sauce, to taste
sriracha sauce, to taste
In a hot pot over medium-high heat, add onion, shallots, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, anise and cloves. Dry roast, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to char. Add stock and soy sauce. Bring to a boil over high heat. Turn heat doen to medium-low, cover, and simmer about 25 minutes. When the flavor and taste are to your liking, strain into a clean pot and discard the solids left behind. Add fish sauce to season (it will add the needed salty flavor to the broth). Keep warm over low heat.
While the broth is simmering, place the noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for 20 min.
Cut tofu into small pieces, brush lightly with oil and bake until the edges are firm, about 10-15 min at 350 deg F.
Boil a pot of salted water and blanch first the bean sprouts for 10 sec, then shock in ice water. Remove from ice water, drain, and set aside. Repeat with the bok choy, but it will have to be in the boiling water for about 30-45 seconds.
To serve the soup, place noodles and tofu in the bowl, add desired vegetables to the top, and stir in hoisin and sriracha to create the desired flaveor. Herbs and toppings can be added according to preference.
Recipe and Food Styling by Emily Browne