This recipe skips the MSG often found in restaurant pho and uses a traditional and punchy dipping bowl of kaffir lime, salt, and pepper instead. You can dip pieces of chicken before slurping mouthfuls of noodles followed by spoonfuls of warming broth, so that the tail end of lemony, salty chicken flavour seasons each mouthful.
Remove chicken giblets. In large pot, cover whole chicken with 18 cups (4.5 L) water. Bring to just below a boil. Skim scum that rises to top. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes, or until a chopstick inserted in the underside of the thigh goes in easily or meat thermometer inserted in chicken thigh reads 165 F (74 C).
Remove chicken from pot to large bowl and, when cool enough to handle, separate chicken into large pieces. Discard skin and remove meat from breast and thighs. Return bones to pot.
Place oven rack in centre of oven and preheat broiler. In baking dish, blacken unpeeled shallots and ginger under broiler. Rotate every 5 minutes (set a timer) to blacken evenly, about 20 minutes total. Theyu2019re done when softened and shallots start releasing sweet juices.
Remove from oven and rinse shallots to remove outer skins. Tear shallots into pieces. When cool enough to handle, whack unpeeled ginger with blunt side of large knife on cutting board. Slice in half lengthwise, then into 1/4 in (6 mm) slices widthwise, like thick quarters.
Remove cilantro leaves from stems. Snip cilantro leaves in half with scissors and set aside for garnish. Add stems only, along with ginger and shallots, directly to large broth pot with the chicken bones, or combine in cheesecloth for easier removal.
Add sugar and fish sauce or soy sauce to pot and simmer, partially covered, for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 1/2 hours. Longer simmering results in more flavourful broth.
Meanwhile, finely chop dark green parts of green onions and add to soup. Finely chop the white and pale green parts and set aside.
In another large pot, bring at least 8 cups (2 L) water
to a boil. Add noodles and simmer until soft, about
4 minutes. Drain noodles and divide among 8 bowls. Place shredded chicken on top, followed by finely chopped green onion.
Roll kaffir lime leaves into tight cigar. Slice thinly (chiffonade) with knife or scissors. Reserve a little chiffonaded kaffir lime for later and divide the remainder among 8 bowls. Top with some cilantro leaves.
Taste broth and adjust with fish sauce or sugar, as desired. Remove cheesecloth, if using. With fine-mesh strainer, ideally lined with cheesecloth, strain broth into large bowl or another pot. Ladle strained broth over bowls of noodles. Garnish with cilantro.
To serve, place remaining chiffonaded kaffir lime and a sprinkle of pepper and salt into individual dipping bowls or ramekins and squeeze juice of a quarter lime over each. Prepare side plates of fresh basil leaves and bean sprouts for each person to add, as desired.
Enjoy, and feel better.
These Asian-inspired salmon burgers won’t leave you missing the beef < or > the bun. And keep this fruity and fiery salsa in mind the next time you want to jazz up grilled chicken or taco night. Serrano pepper or chile de arbol would be good swaps for bird’s eye pepper in the salsa. You can even mix some Sriracha sauce into the burgers to further punch up the meal. Skin deep Skinless fish is the only way to go for burgers. A helpful fishmonger will kindly skin fillets for you before purchase. As an alternative to salmon, you can also blend up skinless fillets of arctic char or rainbow trout.
These whimsical weeknight quesadillas offer a great excuse to break out the long-forgotten waffle iron. The smoky, tangy pepper sauce is the perfect sidekick for this dish, but it’s also wonderful when tossed with pasta, stuffed into sandwiches, and slathered on burgers. TIP : When assembling quesadillas, keep fillings centred 1/2 in (1.25 cm) from the edge of the tortilla so they don’t spill over. TIP : Chipotle chiles are dried, smoked jalapenos. Adobo is a slightly sweet red sauce. Put them together in a can and they become a versatile pantry staple to add deep smoky heat to sauces, dips, marinades, and soups. No waffle iron? Then make these quesadillas using this skillet method. Place 1 tortilla in skillet, preferably cast iron, and cook over medium heat until dark spots appear and bottom is crispy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn over and cook until crispy and darkened on the other side. Remove tortilla from skillet and replace with another tortilla. Cook until darkened and crispy on one side, flip, and top with stuffing ingredients. Place crispy tortilla on top, press down gently, cover pan, and cook for 1 minute, or until cheese has melted.
This Mexican-Mediterranean hybrid dish gleans its tempered kick from parched ancho chilies, the dried form of poblano peppers known for their smoky quality and sweet to moderate heat. It’s a fantastic saucy, and comforting, appetizer or meal on its own. Serve with crusty bread to sop up every last bit of the red sauce, or spoon over cooked grain. Chili choices Experiment with different dried Mexican chili peppers in your dishes. Instead of ancho, other options, each with different heat levels and flavour nuances, include pasilla, guajillo, or morita. Look for them in Latin markets and some supermarkets. For leftover lovers Because the flavours in this dish only deepen with resting time, it’s a definite candidate for serving as leftovers; simply reheat in the oven or microwave. Cheezy choices If possible, compare labels and look for lower-sodium feta options. A ball of fresh mozzarella or bocconcini are great alternatives, or try a block of medium-firm tofu and substitute agave syrup in place of the honey for a vegan-friendly dish.
A good option for both backyard barbecues and healthy snacking, this creamy dip benefits from a little spicy crunch, courtesy of quick-pickled peppers. If you want your dip to have a smoky edge, blend in a chipotle-flavoured salsa. Or forgo the salsa and, instead, blend in a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and a single canned chipotle chili pepper. Extras of the pickled peppers are an exciting topping for burgers, sandwiches, and tacos. TIP : When using prepared chili pepper products such as bottled salsas, examine the ingredient list for items you really don’t want or need, namely sugar and high amounts of sodium.