Thanksgiving Leftovers: Turkey Pho
Well, I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving! Today I am sharing my final Thanksgiving leftovers recipe for the year. After gorging ourselves yesterday (I’ll speak for our household at least), I wanted to share this today because it’s the lightest of all my Thanksgiving leftover ideas.
You’ve heard me mention on multiple occasions how lucky we are to live in an area of the country with such a bounty of all things food and drink-related. This includes beautiful produce, tons of wineries/distilleries/breweries and great diversity in cuisines. We are fortunate enough to have a large Asian population here in the Pacific Northwest, which means a plethora of Asian cuisines- everything from sushi to ramen to pho. Have you had this amazing Vietnamese noodle soup? I should first mention it’s pronounced “fuh”, as in fun. It’s served in a big bowl with all kinds of things to garnish it, but the best part about it is the broth. It’s meaty without being heavy, has a slight sweetness and is flavored with spices. I love eating Pho this time of year as the temperature starts to dip, it’s also the perfect food when you’re sick. If you’ve never had Pho, this recipe will get you hooked! I will admit that at an actual Vietnamese restaurant, it probably takes hour and hours to make the broth. However, if you use homemade broth you will be able to get pretty close.
Let’s get our Pho on!
You’ll start by toasting the spices, which will bring out their flavors. I did this in the pan I was going to make the soup in, to save some effort. Put the cinnamon stick, coriander seeds, star anise and cloves in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Toast until they are fragrant, about 3 minutes. Now take them out of the pan and set them aside. Toasting spices is a great way to amp up the flavor in dishes. You’ll find this method used a lot in cuisines that focus on spices, like Indian.
Coat the pan with cooking spray and put it back on medium heat. Add the onion slices and sauté until they are cooked through but not too brown.
Now move those to a bowl and add your turkey stock, toasted spices, fish sauce, brown sugar and ginger root. I’m sure some of you are fretting about the fish sauce, but don’t. It doesn’t add a fishy flavor to the broth, but instead just adds a needed salty element and a depth of flavor you can’t get anywhere else. Bring the stock up to a simmer then turn down to low. Cook on low for about 15 minutes. You’re just infusing the stock with the spices.
In the meantime, cook your noodles according to the package directions. Depending on the brand or type of noodles you use, the cooking instructions may vary so just follow the instructions on the package. You should be able to find these noodles in the Asian section of your grocery store. Glass noodles are white and flat, I actually used bean thread noodles which are thinner, either will work.
Now scoop out the spices and ginger root. When I made this I added the onions too early, so I was trying to fish out my spices while avoiding onions- learn from my mistakes and don’t do that! :/ Now add your turkey, cooked onions, and noodles and let them cook in the broth a few minutes or until hot.
Ladle the soup into two bowls and top with your favorite garnishes.
Typical garnishes are lime wedge, bean sprouts, red basil, hoisin and sriracha sauces, green onion, and fresh cilantro, but choose whatever you like. I use lime, basil, green onions and a few squirts of hoisin sauce for mine.
Now slurp away!
Have you had Pho before? What are your favorite toppings?
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 4 star anise
- 4 cloves
- 1/2 onion, sliced into half moons
- 1 quart turkey stock
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1" piece of fresh ginger root
- 1/2 pound leftover turkey, shredded
- 2 bunches of bean thread or glass noodles
- lime wedges, basil, hoisin sauce, sriracha sauce, green onion, fresh cilantro and bean sprouts for garnish
- Toast the cinnamon stick, coriander seeds, star anise and cloves in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat until they are fragrant, about 3 minutes. Set them aside.
- Coat the pan with cooking spray and put it back on medium heat.
- Add the onion slices and sauté until they are cooked through but not too brown.
- Set aside the onions and add your turkey stock, spices, fish sauce, brown sugar and ginger root. Bring the stock up to a simmer then turn down to low. Cook on low for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, cook your noodles according to the package directions.
- Scoop out the spices and ginger root. Add the turkey, cooked onions, and noodles and let them cook in the broth a few minutes or until hot.
- Ladle the soup into two bowls and top with garnishes.