Vietnamese Pho Ga

Atlanta has some of the best little pho cafes in the Asian quarter. I’m crazy about this simple Vietnamese street food! The soup, pronounced “fuh,” warms my belly and nourishes my body. So I just had to make it myself! Our version is super easy! You can find the basics for the stock at the Asian markets, or online. Just add chicken stock, rice noodles and your choice of protein. The herb garnish toppings give it that nice crunch. You can round it out with as much heat your palate can tolerate!  This soup is “pho”nominal!

Use these toppings for an extra crunch and some heat!


You can find these products at your local Asian market.



5.0 from 1 reviews
Vietnamese Pho Ga
Serves: 4
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 6 pints cold water
  • 2 cubes of PHO packet
  • 4 small onions quartered, skin on
  • 5 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 inch fresh ginger root
  • Handful fresh cilantro
  • ½ lemon w/ rind on
  • Chinese Spice Blend packet – 2 cinnamon sticks, 3 star anise, cloves, peppercorns, fennel seeds)
  • 3 skinless/boneless chicken breasts sliced very thinly
  • 8 oz. rice noodles
  • Green onions, chopped
  • Torn sweet Thai basil leaves or regular basil leaves
  • Mung bean sprouts
  • Lime wedges
  • 2 jalapeños, thinly sliced
  • Chopped peanuts
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sriracha hot sauce
  1. In large heavy pot, add chicken broth, water, PHO cubes, onions, garlic cloves, ginger root, and lemon. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer, partially covered for 2 hours. Meanwhile, put spices in a cheesecloth and tie with string. Add spice packet for last 20 minutes. Discard spices and strain the broth. Return broth to the pot and keep at low simmer.
  2. During last 30 minutes of cooking, soak the rice noodles in water for 20 minutes and strain. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and add rice noodles. Cook noodles until just done, about 5 minutes (firm but not mushy). Remove soup from stove. Add in sliced chicken just before serving (chicken will cook very quickly in the hot broth).
  3. To assemble soup: Place some noodles at the bottom of the bowl. Ladle soup over noodles, including sliced chicken. Serve with veggie toppings and sauces.
The PHO packet and spice packet can be found at Asian markets and online. You can substitute the chicken for beef using beef broth and skirt steak.

Healthy Shrimp Fried Rice

Main, Seafood, Sides | January 7, 2016 | By

Whoa! Healthy fried rice, you ask? Yes! This healthier version of fried rice will keep you wondering why you were indulging on the “other” fried rice, which looks healthy but really isn’t! This is a cinch to make and will fill you up, as a side or main dish. You can add whatever protein you have on hand, like chicken or tofu. This version includes shrimp because it cooks so quickly. Prepare it with a variety of veggies from your fridge or freezer. I’ve made this fried rice with edamame, shaved brussels sprouts, whatever! Nothing traditional about this dish!

Healthy Shrimp Fried Rice
Serves: 4
  • ¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 onion, small diced
  • ½ head of broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 16 oz. package frozen mixed vegetables (corn, peas, carrots)
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice (preferably one-day old rice)
  • 3 green onions (scallions), sliced
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger powder, and red pepper flakes and set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add the egg and stir gently until the egg is just set. Remove to a plate and finely chop. Add shrimp to wok and cook until pink, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
  2. Add garlic and onion to the skillet and cook until onions have become translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add broccoli florets and cook until crisp tender. Stir in frozen veggies and half of the green onions and cook until veggies are tender, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Stir in cooked rice, green onions and soy sauce mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in egg and shrimp. Toss in the remainder of the green onions and combine thoroughly. Serve immediately.

Walnut Crusted Halibut

Main, Seafood | January 6, 2016 | By

Halibut is one of my all time favorite fish, and not because you can say that corny joke every time you cook with it! Halibut has a wonderful flaky texture that works with about any preparation. This Asian inspired recipe has won the hearts (and tummies) of my family and friends. Coating the fish with walnuts and Panko bread crumbs gives it a great crunch. Of course, I like to add more healthy ingredients, so I lay it on a bed of fresh baby spinach. It’s a complete dish with rice on the side. You will not be disappointed with this yummy halibut dish! Bon appetit, “just for the halibut!” 🙂

Walnut Crusted Halibut
Serves: 4
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek (red chili paste) or 1 Thai chili pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup light coconut milk
  • 4 6 oz. pieces of fresh halibut fillet, no skin
  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped finely in food processor
  • ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 3 egg whites
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 bag of baby spinach
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice or white sticky rice, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a shallow sauce pan over medium heat. Sauté shallots and garlic until translucent, about 3 to 5 min. Add curry paste and sambal oelek, and cook until fragrant. Add chicken broth and coconut milk and simmer until reduced, about 5 min. Add salt to taste. Set aside on slightly warm burner.
  3. Heat other tablespoon of oil on medium high in large, oven-proof sauté pan.
  4. Combine chopped walnuts and Panko bread crumbs with generous amount of salt and pepper in shallow dish for dredging. In separate shallow dish add egg whites. Dip halibut fillets one by one into egg whites first, and then dredge in walnut mixture, shaking off excess. Sear all fish fillets just until crust is browned on both sides, about 1 to 2 minutes. Keep in sauté pan and put pan in oven for another 10 minutes until fish flakes easily with a fork.
  5. To serve, arrange sauce at bottom of deep dish or bowl. Pile a handful of baby spinach on top of sauce. Top spinach with halibut fillet. Put scoop of rice on other side. Top with more sauce, chopped cilantro and squeeze of lime.
Sambal Oelek can be found at specialty Asian markets and select grocery stores.

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