This is not an authentic Vietnamese pho soup nor is it a traditional Chinese soup. What is it then? It’s my interpretation of the two meeting in a tasty bowl.
Like those old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercials where the two ingredients collide and it taste great. But instead of chocolate and peanut butter, it’s a delicious blend of Vietnamese seasonings/garnishes and Chinese ingredients.
I use fresh flat rice noodles (ho fun) usually seen in Chinese stir-fry dishes. Made from rice flour, wheat starch and water, they’re actually great in soups and feels more substantial than the thinner types of rice noodles. If you can’t find them fresh, dried rice noodles can also be used.
Rice Noodle Soup
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 serrano chile pepper, thinly sliced crosswise
3-4 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1/2 ” piece of ginger, sliced
1 clove garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
4 cups water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 pound fresh thick rice noodles
10 small tofu puffs, can be substituted with baked tofu
1/2 pound Bloomsdale spinach or 2 cups sliced baby bok choy
1 lime, cut into wedges
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
If the rice noodles were refrigerated, they may be stuck together in a large block. Gently separate the noodles pieces into smaller pieces. It doesn’t have to be down to each individual piece as they’ll separate more when they cook.
Heat a wok until hot, add the oil and swirl to coat. Add the chile pepper and stir for a few seconds. Add the mushrooms, ginger and garlic, stir-fry for about a minute. Add the water, soy sauce and salt to taste, bring to a boil.
Add the rice noodles, when it comes to a boil, add the tofu puffs and spinach. Cook until the noodles are soft about 1-2 minutes more. Divide between two bowls and garnish with the cilantro, basil, and mint as desired. Serve immediately with the lime wedges to be squeezed into the soup to taste.