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Asian Noodle Soups--Cook-Off 18

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131 replies to this topic

#31 Chris Amirault

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 09:30 AM

Blackening aromatics is easy. All you need is a fork/tongs and a flame. I suppose if you don't have a gas range, you can always use your broiler to blacken your onions and ginger.

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You can also use a cast iron skillet on the stove top, which is a common Mexican technique.
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#32 edsel

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 10:20 AM

I'm making pho following Adrea Nguye's recipe on vietworldkitchen. I made the stock last night, but cooked it longer than she says. We'll see how it turns out - sure does smell good. :smile:

#33 Marco_Polo

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 10:27 AM

This cook-off thread, as always, is inspirational! And what a wonderful topic: Asian noodle soups!

It has kick-started me to prepare one of my all-time favourite dishes, kuksu, or, as we always called it in my home, Korean 'spaghetti'. Homestyle kuksu, as made by my mother (who's version was, of course, always THE BEST), is a big bowl of slippery, white son myon or Korean vermicelli noodles swimming in homemade kalbitang beef broth and garnished with Korean barbecued meat - bulgogi or kalbi; strips of egg; sharp, vinegary cucumbers; soy-dressed spinach or watercress namul; and toasted sesame seeds.

Here a picture of last night's dinner:

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For me, this is food for the soul: there is nothing better.

I will post some step-by-step pics showing my method as soon as I can. It's about as simple as can be.

Marc

Edited by Marco_Polo, 22 January 2006 - 12:21 AM.


#34 BarbaraY

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 10:35 AM

In my cupboard, I have a can of Knorr Brand Beef Broth Vietnamese Style for Soup Pho. I've yet to open it and I'm wondering, has anyone used this?

#35 Susan in FL

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 11:19 AM

All this is making my mouth water... I don't know yet when or what I'll make, though. Thanks for the inclusion of links to recipes, all.


Two quick tips:

Don't have frozen stock in your freezer? Don't have the time or inclinition simmer bones? I like to make what I call a quick broth. Saute lots of spring onions in 1 tbsp of vegtable oil. Throw in a glug of dark soy and spread it rapidly around the pan with your wooden spoon, then after a few seconds, dump in a load of water. The hot pan caremalises the sugars in the soy and leads to a deep amber, complex and tasty soup base without hours of effort. Of course, adding stock at this point is also welcome but I always like to do the caremalisation step for any asian soup.

Second tip: If your adding in thinly sliced meat at the end, don't put it in straight away, it will overcook. Turn off the heat, add some leafy greens, stir and wait for 2 minutes, THEN add the (still slightly frozen) beef. Wait at least 5 minutes, the beef will look distressingly raw, but it will eventually come up to a perfect medium rare rather than be overdone.

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And thanks for those general but very valuable tips.
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#36 aznsailorboi

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Posted 21 January 2006 - 04:48 PM

I'm making my Pho now for tomorrow, but I won't be able to put up the pics yet coz its still not done, but I will be able to tomorrow night.

the purpose of the blackened aromatics imparts that nice brownish tinge to the soup as well. The onion and the ginger has that stronger scent to it when its fresh, and it usually lingers in the broth if placed in the soup fresh, on the other hand when its been charred they give a nice caramelized flavor and the caramel color.
...a little bit of this, and a little bit of that....*slurp......^_^.....ehh I think more fish sauce.

#37 eJulia

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 08:36 AM

Several months ago (has it been that long? shame on me!) I made my first Shrimp Hot and Sour Soup, roughly interpreted from the CIA Cooking at home book. It rocked IMHO!

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It uses Pad Thai noodles, shrimp, shrooms, garnished with lime, yum.

Edited to fix name of dish.

Edited by eJulia, 22 January 2006 - 08:38 AM.

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#38 BarbaraY

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 09:30 AM

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Finished soup.

Edited by fifi, 23 January 2006 - 12:38 PM.


#39 Marco_Polo

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 12:12 PM

Here's my illustrated step-by-step for the kuksu.

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Kuksu is a classic of the Korean kitchen, and an excellent one-dish meal, combining noodles in rich broth with an array of garnishes that can be as extensive as you like: marinaded, char-grilled meats, a variety of different namuls (crunchy vegetable salads), shreds of seaweed or stips of fried egg, kim chi of course, darn near any other panchan that you care to use. Everyone, I imagine, makes it their own way. This is the way my mother always did it.

Technical note: I've tried to keep the pictures small to load fast, and they are not always completely sharp as I took them with camera set on aperture priority to avoid using flash.

Homestyle Kuksu - Korean 'spaghetti'

First make your broth. As noted above, this is often the key to a great noodle soup.

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I like to use top rib, an inexpensive cut of meat that makes a really rich and flavourful broth.

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First, I cut out the best of the rib meat, to butterfly for char-grilling; the meat that is left on the bone is for the broth.

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I marinade both the butterflied meat as well as the meat on the bones in the classic Korean barbeque mixture of plenty of chopped garlic, ginger, soy sauce, toasted sesame seeds, scallions, sugar and sesame oil. Get stuck in and massage the meat with your hands. Korean cooking is nothing if not hands on: this is the best way to ensure that all the wonderful, pungent flavours mix in well. It's best to marinade for a good few hours or even overnight.

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To make the kalbitang or rib broth first fry off the marinaded meat on the bone, then add water to cover. Bring to the simmer, skim, and allow to cook until the broth is flavourful and the meat tender. First frying the marinaded meat, my Korean grandmother always said, is the way to make the best, richest flavoured kalbitang. The soya, garlic, ginger and sugar marinade caramelises when it hits the pan and the broth has a good, deep rich colour and flavour.

Meanwhile prepare the condiments.

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I love crunchy, sharp, hot and sweet cucumber namul! Slice a cucumber or two as thinly as possible, place in a bowl, add plenty of salt, cover with water and leave for a quarter of an hour or so. Rinse off salt, squeeze out all the water from the cukes, then dress with rice vinegar, sugar to taste and a good spoon or two of coarse ground chilli powder (I use Portuguese piri piri).

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Next, beat an egg or two (one at a time) and fry to make very thin omelettes. Roll up, and slice into shreds.

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Also steam some spinach, squeeze out all the moisture, and dress with cho jang - vinegar dipping sauce, made with soy sauce, vinegar, a little sugar and sesame oil. In addition to the cucumber, spinach and egg strips, I like to garnish with shredded scallions, some chopped cilantro and some toasted sesame seeds (toast sesame seeds in a skillet, then add sea salt and grind coarsely in a mortar and pestle).

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The noodles should be son myon - Korean wheat vermicelli. Boil until done, then refresh under cold water.

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Meanwhile char-grill or fry the kalbi or marinaded rib meat.

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Everything should now be ready for assembly.

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Take a bowl of noodles...

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Add a ladle or two of the rich kalbitang broth. Then garnish with the dressed cucumbers, spinach, strips of egg and char-grilled rib meat. Sprinkle a little toasted sesame seed on top.

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Crunch, crunch, slurp, slurp. Enjoy!

Edited by Marco_Polo, 22 January 2006 - 06:02 PM.


#40 torakris

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 02:57 PM

Marco,
That is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen! I really want to try this but I have never seen those son myon noodles before. Any susbstitutes?

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#41 Marco_Polo

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 03:07 PM

Hi Kristin, you can make kuksu easily with Japanese wheat noodles such as somen which are, I believe, almost identical to son myon. If I haven't got somen, I'll use udon. And *confession confession* if I haven't got either I've even been known to use spaghettini - hey, remember, please, this is homestyle cooking and the key really is the kalbitang broth and the variety of the delicious toppings. The noodles, important though they are, are a delicious and slippery slurp!

MP

Edited by Marco_Polo, 23 January 2006 - 01:59 AM.


#42 bilrus

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 06:00 PM

I clipped this recipe for Pho Ga from the Washington Post a while back and have been meaning to make it. Pho 75, the restaurant the recipe is from is one of the best pho shops in the DC area. This thread got me off my rear and motivated.

Today I made the broth. Probably going to have the soup itself tomorrow or Wednesday.


Shallots and ginger to be roasted:
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Chicken cooking - much quicker step than traditional stock making:
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Star Anise and cinnamon being toasted:
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This is a huge bowl of broth - probably 5 quarts. It is surprisingly rich given the relatively brief cooking time:
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Chicken ready to be cut up for the soup:
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More pictures to come when the soup is served...

Edited by bilrus, 22 January 2006 - 06:01 PM.

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#43 Grub

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 01:24 AM

Tom Yum soup with chicken. And noodles.

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Turned out really good, in spite of some mistakes. But man, this thing was downright traumatic to make. It seems other south east Asian soups get more attention than this thing, because I had problems finding a recipe for it. I only heard about it from some travel show from Thailand, where this soup was cooked by an old lady on a little boat who operated like some kinda street (river) vendor. It seemed so simple and fresh that I had to try it. I searched around for recipes, but this was a while ago, and I hadn't gotten into the good habit of taking detailed notes on recipes after trying them out...

So this time, I was going by a recipe that was OBVIOUSLY incomplete, or incorrect. WAY too little liquid, so I had to add lots of water -- I had NO idea what I did the last time... I think this just freaked me out, because I was just completely on tilt after that. Forgetting all sort of stuff. Forgot to add kaffir lime leaves. Forgot the green onions. Decided to add bean sprouts to the recipe, and got the bean sprouts -- but forgot to add them too. It's a bloody miracle the thing tasted even half decent. Me and Bob Villa: happy freakin' accidents.

Oh yeah, and I forgot the lime juice too -- remembered it after plating it, and added it then.

And of course -- this being an Asian Noodle Soup cook-off, I guess I just couldn't resist screwing the noodles up too, so I cooked them way too soon, and left them around until they congealed into a massive, solid lump that I had to stab at like Norman Bates in order to get them into the soup bowls. I should have used red chilis instead of green, too...

But seeing all these excellent soups here, I reckon I'll have another stab at an Asian noodle soup, though. Fantastic work.

#44 Pan

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 03:16 AM

Here are some Google results for "tom yum kai recipe." Not all of them are actually relevant. "Tom yum gai recipe" results are fewer, but still substantial; same caveat as before, though. Most of the first page of "tom yam gai recipe" results seem irrelevant. "Tom yam kai" has somewhat better results. Between all four of those spellings, there are recipes to choose from, but the important thing is to find a good recipe that satisfies you, not a bunch of recipes that don't. And a propos of that, whose recipe did you use, that you found wanting?

Edited by Pan, 23 January 2006 - 03:17 AM.


#45 Grub

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 03:47 AM

... And a propos of that, whose recipe did you use, that you found wanting?

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Thanks for the links. The recipe I used, I have no idea about... It's so long since I did this, and I hadn't yet started keeping good records of source materials for recipes at that point...

#46 ellencho

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 08:40 AM

FYI, here's my link for the pho recipe I posted up on recipegullet.

And here's a pic of a wonton soup I did a couple weeks ago:
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#47 Jason Perlow

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 08:52 AM

Wow, that looks like a really deep broth, ellen!
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#48 Chris Amirault

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 12:04 PM

I'm working at home today so I got the pho bo stock started using the Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet recipe as a guide. When I went to the Southeast Asian market yesterday to get the meat, I asked the Cambodian woman who runs the store what I should use for pho stock. "Oh, well, they use that beef over there," she said, sighing. Always with the Vietnamese food....

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I'm not even sure what exactly to call this meat. The shank cross cut? I had about 7 pounds, and after breaking it down by cubing the meat and trimming the fat --

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I had 3 1/2 lb meat and 2 1/2 lb bones and marrow. Seemed like a good ratio. I used the Alford and Duguid recipe because, well, everything I make in that book is fantastic, and also because I had seen this double boil method for clarifying the stock over in the cabocha and pork butt bone soup thread by Ah Leung (hzrt8w). It's pretty straightforward: you bring the meat to the boil and boil vigorously (I stirred constantly) for 4-5 min; you basically make this really disgusting stew of proteins, blood, and other dreck. I have chosen to spare you the image.

I also roasted the ginger and onion on my new (:wub:) gas range using bamboo skewers:

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I toasted the star anise, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, and cloves while the onion and garlic got charred and chopped:

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Then into the cleaned stock pot we go with lots of cold water, the cleaned meat and bones, and the aromatics. It's going to simmer for a while now.

I also thought I'd share a method I came up with for skimming scum when you have aromatics floating around. I use the fine sieve to skim the scum , and of course I inevitably capture some of the aromatics. To save them, I dump them in a coarse sieve and rise them off, then dump them back into the pot:

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More a bit later. I want to see the bottom of the bowl with this stock, baybee.
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#49 Shalmanese

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 01:43 PM

I'm not even sure what exactly to call this meat. The shank cross cut? I had about 7 pounds, and after breaking it down by cubing the meat and trimming the fat --


I would call it osso bucco.

Then into the cleaned stock pot we go with lots of cold water, the cleaned meat and bones, and the aromatics. It's going to simmer for a while now.

I also thought I'd share a method I came up with for skimming scum when you have aromatics floating around. I use the fine sieve to skim the scum , and of course I inevitably capture some of the aromatics. To save them, I dump them in a coarse sieve and rise them off, then dump them back into the pot:

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There are two ways to avoid this. One is to put a metal colander or steamer rack over the top of the bones and push down with a heavy weight (I use a small cast iron pot filled with water). This won't work for particularly fine spices but it will get most of what you want. The second way is to get a special spice infuser. It's a ball with lots of little holes in it which you can seperate into two halves. You dump the spices in there an the flavour goes into the broth without lots of floaty bits.
PS: I am a guy.

#50 Chris Amirault

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 01:47 PM

I'm not even sure what exactly to call this meat. The shank cross cut? I had about 7 pounds, and after breaking it down by cubing the meat and trimming the fat --


I would call it osso bucco.

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I thought of that, too, but osso bucco is really the name of a dish and not a cut of meat. It's also veal, not beef.

My house is filled with a heavenly aroma....
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#51 mrbigjas

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 02:24 PM

I'm not even sure what exactly to call this meat. The shank cross cut? I had about 7 pounds, and after breaking it down by cubing the meat and trimming the fat --


I would call it osso bucco.

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I thought of that, too, but osso bucco is really the name of a dish and not a cut of meat. It's also veal, not beef.



those are called beef shins. or at least that's what i've seen it called at local butchers.

Edited by mrbigjas, 23 January 2006 - 04:43 PM.


#52 Grub

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 04:48 PM

...I thought of that, too, but osso bucco is really the name of a dish and not a cut of meat. It's also veal, not beef.
...

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London Broil is also a dish, rather than a cut. But supermarkets (at least here in California) sell cuts labelled London Broil. I've not seen cuts sold as Osso Bucco in regular stores, but I have seen it in slightly more upscale markets, and with some pretty hefty price tags.

#53 mrbigjas

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 06:44 PM

Here's my illustrated step-by-step for the kuksu.

(...)

Crunch, crunch, slurp, slurp. Enjoy!




i've never participated in a cook-off before, but marco_polo, you inspired me to make a completely bastardized and wrongheaded version of this soup tonight. lacking beef ribs or really any meat at all, i fried garlic and ginger in sesame oil, then added sugar and soy, and cooked it some more to caramelize the sugar some, then added some beef stock i had on hand, and let it simmer for a while.

i made similar condiments for it--the omelet, the pickled cucumbers, some carrots in ginger/soy/sesame, some watercress instead of spinach. and of course kimchi.

(oh and a haemul pajun, but without the seafood. it always surprises me how long these take to brown.)

i'm going to make the real thing next time, because i know it'll be significantly better. but thank you for the inspiration anyway.

#54 Jason Perlow

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 07:21 PM

A Hu Tieu Rachel made tonight:

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Stuff at the bottom of the bowl before plating with soup and noodles

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Soup in the pot

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Finished soup
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#55 snowangel

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 07:30 PM

Beautiful, Jason! Tell me more about the broth. Were the noodles cooked in broth?
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#56 Jason Perlow

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 07:32 PM

Beautiful, Jason!  Tell me more about the broth.  Were the noodles cooked in broth?

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The noodles are the same kind of noodles used for Pho, and they were briefly boiled in water. The broth is a chicken broth, from Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet.
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#57 aznsailorboi

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 08:08 PM

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clockwise from top: onions, cinnamon stick, cloves and star anise
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I rinsed these soupbones first in hot water a couple of times, then with just enough water to cover the bones in the pot bring it to a boil for about 15-20 minutes just enough to get most of the scum and blood to come out and coagulate.
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While waiting for the soupbones to boil. I charred the onions and the ginger till the outside skin is burnt and the inside is soft. Don't worry about the char outside the skin, you will have to rinse this in cold water to remove the excess burnt stuff.
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Meanwhile...this is after 20 minutes of boiling, got most of the scum floating by now.
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This is the soupbones that have been parboiled and rinsed in hot water until all the scum are gone. Then now with a stockpot full of water, begin to bring the bones to a boil again.
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These are the aromatics, onions and ginger have been rinsed in cold water and most of the burnt skin removed, got the cloves stuck on the onions as well and the ginger smashed. add the cinnamon and star anise in the cloth and tie it up.
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all tied up and ready to put in the pot.
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....been boiling for about 2 hrs.. and I'm constantly skimming the thick grease on top as well, but not all, I leave just enough grease for flavor.
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...this ones been boiling for 12 hrs now....nice deep color, but no seasonings yet.
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Beefballs with tendons.
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Limes, Cilantro and scallions chopped, I leave some of the white part cut pretty big, and basil.
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and the noodles and slices of beef.
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and the finished creation by yourse truly :cool: .........end scene.

oh and btw this is my first posting of photos.... so i hope i did well.
...a little bit of this, and a little bit of that....*slurp......^_^.....ehh I think more fish sauce.

#58 aznsailorboi

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 08:20 PM

oops i forgot the seasonings......


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clockwise from top: Beef concentrate(optional) this just intesifies the beef flavor about 3 TBSP., MSG....yeah yeah i know its not good for you but i put it in anyways...about half a tablespoon, SALT about half a handful or less, depends on your taste, and coconut sugar, about 2 round disks...they're about 2 inches in across (not exactly but kinda gauge it from how big my spoons are lol....), I started seasoning after 12 hrs of boiling which would be pic # 9.

Then of course you also add more seasonings to it after its been ladled. The usual Hoisin Sauce, Sriracha chili sauce, chili garlic oil, fried garlic, more chilies (can't you guys tell I like my Pho fiery....it's called "Liquid A** Fire" in the morning lol )

**You guys probably wonder why there is no mention of FISHSAUCE. I add some in my bowl if the salt isn't enough, but I do not add it to the stock itself, coz I kinda notice that the fishy smell lingers in the broth... makes me think that the fishsauce smell doesnt meld to well with the beef broth.**
...a little bit of this, and a little bit of that....*slurp......^_^.....ehh I think more fish sauce.

#59 Pan

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 09:08 PM

Some good-looking soups here!

aznsailorboi, this is a little nitpicky, but by "coconut sugar," do you mean normal palm sugar, or is it really from coconut palms?

Edited by Pan, 23 January 2006 - 09:08 PM.


#60 aznsailorboi

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 10:17 PM

Some good-looking soups here!

aznsailorboi, this is a little nitpicky, but by "coconut sugar," do you mean normal palm sugar, or is it really from coconut palms?

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I think they're just regular palm sugar.....hehe I just copied off the label on the packaging. but they do taste just like the regular palm sugar, i just didnt know what they're generically called in english.
...a little bit of this, and a little bit of that....*slurp......^_^.....ehh I think more fish sauce.





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