Monday, September 1, 2014

Pho Fixin's

Have you enjoyed a fresh, steamy bowl of pho? This Thai soup has become a favorite of ours recently as we tend to enjoy "pajama days" on Sundays, or in this case, Labor Day Monday. Delivery meals are perfect for pajama days, but pizza doesn't cross our threshold very much anymore, and Asian restaurants tend to come and go around here for some reason. We have been enjoying a particular local restaurant's pho because the flyer boasts, "We deliver!" Well, as it turns out, not so much. I think the delivery guys don't show up on a regular basis. After a few weekends spent in the car driving to pick up our meal instead of in pajamas, I began to realize I always have some version of the ingredients for this treat here anyway, at least during garden season. Indeed, even the restaurant varies the ingredients based upon what's on hand.  Yes, there's a little prep work, but when you consider the time it takes to shower, dress and drive to and from the restaurant, I believe my pajama-version is more expedient, not to mention more economical and fresh!

In the pantry, I already had rice noodles and organic broth, which I brightened with some fresh lemon and a little tamari. From the crisper I pulled more lemons, spring and white onions and garlic (I toasted the garlic in a little coconut oil). From the garden I got my herbs (no shame in gardening in p.j.'s): purple basil, Italian Parsley and dill. I also found a nice jalapeno pepper in my garden today! Homegrown jalapano bonus: while just as flavorful and spicy as storebought, my homegrowns are slightly milder and are less painful and blinding when I inevitably put my finger in my eye sometime after prepping them. I'm always surprised at how the capzacin of the peppers lasts through several hand-washings. Still -- the homegrown is better!

We each choose our toppings/ingredients. I like a little of everything, topped with a squirt of sriracha. I always have plenty of leftovers which I store separately to retain freshness, but they don't last long.

Since my homegrown vegetables were sunk costs long ago, I'm not even going to count their cost, this late in the season. The rest of my cost today to feed 3 of us breaks down as follows, to the best of my recollection:

  • Noodles: $2.50
  • Organic Broth: $3.00
  • Organic Lemons: $1.50 (I buy them in bulk)
  • White onion: $.20 (I only used half an onion)
  • Spring onions $.50
  • Garlic: $.20
-- for a roughly out-of-pocket $8.00 cost vs. $30.00 at the restaurant. We all enjoyed the homegrown takeout!


  1. Looks just as good or better, than any restaurant pho I've seen!