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.
While sablefish’s texture and fat content stand up admirably to the heat of the grill, this firm fish is also delicious poached. For this recipe, sablefish’s luxurious taste is combined with a light fragrant broth of lemongrass and ginger punctuated with the heat of Thai chili. Sustainability status Sablefish, also known as butterfish or black cod, is a rich and satisfying fish, plentiful in omega-3s and sourced sustainably from the Pacific Northwest. Skin and bones Sablefish has large pin bones. Ideally, your fishmonger will remove them, but if not, before you begin, locate them along the fish’s centreline and, using a pair of needle nose pliers, grasp them firmly to remove. You can leave the skin on for this recipe, which may help the fish hold together a little better while cooking, but it can be tricky to peel the skin away from the cooked fish and discard before plating. I opted to remove the skin first and simply keep a close eye on the cooking time, being careful to remove the fish from the poaching liquid before it flakes apart.
These mildly spiced salmon tacos served with sweet and spicy pumpkin seeds will bring a party together. Make a small quantity of salmon go further when you pair it with a fresh red cabbage slaw featuring citrus and cilantro. Drizzled with some bright lime yogurt, the flavours come together perfectly. Sustainability status Wild salmon from the Pacific Northwest and Alaska are considered among the most sustainable, as the fishery is subject to limited harvests. With salmon stocks in decline, supporting managed fisheries such as these can help maintain populations into the future. That may also mean eating salmon less often than we do now. Salmon is a favourite Salmon is the most popular variety of fish in Canada and the second most popular in the US.
B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds. Sustainability status Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment. Mussel prep Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately. Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag. Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.
The delicate flavour of shrimp is highlighted with just a touch of lemon and a hint of mustard, while radish and celery give some fresh crunch to this dish. Eat it in lettuce cups, on top of greens, or served on whole grain bread for a filling snack. Sustainability status Both wild and farmed shrimp can be sustainable depending on where they’re caught and how they’re raised. See our article “Sea Change” for more information about choosing ethical shrimp.