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Category: Bowls

Oyakodon

Oyakodon

In the realm of Japanese cuisine, few dishes evoke the same sense of warmth and nostalgia as Oyakodon. Even its name, where the literal translation is parent and child rice bowl, conjures comfort. The parent and child actually refers to the juicy morsels of chicken read more

Vegetarian Bibimbap

Vegetarian Bibimbap

Looking for delicious ways to incorporate more veggies into your meals? Make this Vegetarian Bibimbap! At its most basic, bibimbap means “mixed rice”. But there’s nothing basic about this beloved Korean dish of warm rice topped with seasonal vegetables, a tongue tingling gochujang sauce, and read more

Chicken Pho

Chicken Pho

Pho is a labor of love. It can take hours, sometimes even a couple of days to create the famously flavorful broth. But this Chicken Pho can be on the table in under 2 hours! I have a couple tricks to coax maximum flavor with minimal effort; in fact the hands-on time of my Chicken Pho is just 20 minutes. You can make the components ahead of time and reheat it when you’re ready.

Why would we post a noodle soup in the middle of summer? Although it may sound crazy, many Asian cultures believe that sweating out toxins is not only good for you but should be actively encouraged to naturally cool down the body. If you see people slurping down bowls of ramen in Tokyo or spicy hand cut noodles in Shanghai, all without central AC in the blazing heat, you’ll understand what I mean. Plus the fresh herbs, sprouts, and lime garnish in Pho are incredibly refreshing. Whether you decide to go the natural route or sit down in an air conditioned space, noodle soups are not just cold weather food. So let’s get into it!

Chicken Pho Broth

The first trick to creating a richly flavored broth is to toast the spices. Use a clean skillet and moderate heat-spices can burn quickly if you use high heat. In just a couple minutes, the lovely fragrance will let you know you’re done.

toast spices chicken pho

The next trick is to deeply char the onion and some ginger. That adds loads of complex, smoky flavor. DO NOT skip the charring. It’s critical to a good broth. And don’t worry, the broth gets strained so you won’t be serving any burnt bits. If you prefer to do this step under a broiler, put the onion and ginger as close to the elements as possible.

charred onions chicken pho

Now it’s time to get out the soup pot! Put the chicken in and cover with the water.

fish sauce chicken pho

 

After that 90 minutes the chicken will be fall apart tender. Carefully remove it to cool while you strain the broth.

strain chicken pho broth

shred chicken pho

Once the broth is strained, I use a fine mesh skimmer to degrease the broth. You can also use a paper towel to blot the broth or even refrigerate it overnight and let the fat congeal before removing.

Both the broth and chicken can be stored separately in the fridge for a couple days if you don’t plan on serving Chicken Pho that day. I’ve also frozen both the broth and the chicken with good results. You will have quite a bit of chicken, more than you can use for the servings of broth. Use your leftover chicken for fried rices, salads, quesadillas, omelettes…you get the drift.

Chicken Pho Noodles and Garnishes

While the broth is cooking, I get together a platter of garnishes. Part of the fun is that everyone gets to customize their own bowls so I like to have a nice variety of garnishes as well as some favorite condiments, like sriracha, hoisin sauce, and fish sauce. One of the trademarks of pho is a bounty of fresh herbs. Thai basil is worth seeking out for its faint licorice flavor that echoes the star anise in the broth, but regular basil will work too.

Bean sprouts are important but highly perishable. Only buy them when you know you will be serving Pho within a day. If you find your bean sprouts not looking their best, one trick is to blanch them really quickly in boiling water (for literally 2 seconds). Then plunge them into ice water and drain them. You will be able to save your bean sprouts from the trash bin.

And of course our Chicken Pho would not be complete without noodles! I prefer using fresh pho noodles because they have a great chewy texture, but you can use dried rice noodles if you prefer. Generally, if you don’t live in an area with a lot of Vietnamese people, the “fresh” pho noodles are kept frozen. Let them defrost in the fridge overnight. Do not try and cook frozen noodles. They will be tangled in a giant frozen ball and the exterior will be a mush before the center even begins to defrost.

Bring the broth back to a simmer while you prepare the noodles. The noodles take seconds to cook so that broth better be hot! And by cook, it’s really more like a quick swish. I like to keep a strainer in the pot and swish the noodles in the strainer once the water is at a furious boil. Strain them out and shake out the excess water. I do one portion at a time, but you could also cook the noodles at once and strain them in a colander in the sink.

noodles chicken pho

Serving Chicken Pho

scallions chicken pho

Now is when everyone gets to make their Chicken Pho exactly how they want it. I like mine with tons of herbs, someone always like theirs extra spicy with sliced chiles, some want extra funk and salt and they liberally add the fish sauce… I put out little dishes so folks can mix and match condiments to their heart’s desire.

Two of the main condiment bottles you always see on the table at Pho places are hoisin and sriracha. These sauces are used to season the meat-not the broth. Squirting the sauces directly into the bowl is considered poor manners, particularly since the broth is where so much time has been spent preparing it. Instead use some small sauce dishes. Put a little of each condiment into the dish and dab your chicken into the sauces.

Make Chicken Pho this weekend and let me know how you like yours! Love the fresh flavors of Vietnamese cuisine as much as we do? Check out some of our most popular Vietnamese recipes, like these Mussels, this Noodle Salad, or this Eggplant Salad.

 

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Chicken Pho

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: soup
  • Cuisine: vietnamese

Ingredients

Scale

For the stock:

  • 1 2-inch piece of ginger, washed and slightly smashed with the side of a knife
  • 2 large yellow onions washed and halved (you can leave the skin on)
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole cloves 
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 whole chicken (about 45 pounds)

For the Noodles:

  • 1 lb frozen/fresh pho noodles defrosted if frozen (you can also use dried)
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 2 shallots or ¼ yellow onion, thinly sliced 

Garnishes:

  • 1 large handful fresh bean sprouts
  • ½ bunch of thai/holy basil
  • ½ bunch cilantro or culantro leaves
  • 1 jalapeno or Serrano chile, thinly sliced
  • 2 limes quartered

Condiments: 

  • Hoisin sauce
  • sriracha chile sauce 
  • extra fish sauce for the table

Instructions

  1. Place the spices (star anise, cinnamon stick, cloves, fennel seeds, and coriander seeds) in a small pan over medium heat and toast them for several minutes, shaking the pan regularly. The spices should be aromatic once toasted. Set the spices aside. 
  2. Place the pan back on the stove and heat on medium high heat for several minutes. Add the oil and place the onion halves and ginger in the pan. Sear for 3-5 minutes until charred and flip and sear the other side for another couple minutes. Set aside. 
  3. Place the chicken in a large pot, breast side up, and add 12 cups of water to the pot. Add the toasted spices, the charred onions and ginger, fish sauce, salt, and sugar.
  4. Bring the pot to a brisk simmer over high heat, cover with a lid leaving a small crack, and then reduce heat to medium low heat. Simmer for 1 and a half hours, skimming the surface of impurities occasionally. 
  5. Remove the chicken gently by using a wide spatula and a pair of tongs (it will break apart easily) and put on a plate to cool. Pour the soup through a colander into a clean pot/container and skim any surface fat with a skimmer or paper towels. You can also refrigerate the broth overnight to congeal the fat. Scrape and discard the fat.
  6. The broth can be cooled and refrigerated until ready to use. You should have about 12 cups of broth. Add a little water if you’re short. 
  7. Taste the broth. It should be more salty than you would normally drink since the noodles and vegetables will dilute the broth. Adjust with some salt if needed.
  8. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, peel the skin off and pull the meat from the bones. It should be soft enough that you should be able to easily debone it. Cut the meat into bite sized pieces (I like to leave my chicken on the larger side so it’s easy to find in the bowl). Either refrigerate the chicken if you are serving another day or proceed with the noodles.
  9. Wash the bean sprouts, culantro, cilantro, and basil and mound onto a large platter. Add the other garnishes to the plate and refrigerate until ready to serve the noodles.
  10. Bring the stock to a simmer before preparing the noodles. If you need to reheat the refrigerated chicken, take a little of the stock and put it into the pan with the chicken. Heat it covered with a lid over medium heat for several minutes.
  11. Bring 2 quarts of water to boil and add the noodles to the pot. Stir the noodles with chopsticks and immediately drain into a colander. Using tongs or chopsticks to separate and portion the noodles. (You can also leave a strainer in the boiling pot and put the noodles directly into the strainer. Swish the noodles with chopsticks, then take the strainer out, shake out the excess water, and place the noodles into a bowl. This works well if you’re only doing 1-2 servings at a time.)
  12. Divide the noodles into 4 deep soup bowls and top with some of the chicken, some sliced shallot/onion, and a sprinkling of scallions.
  13. Then ladle about 2-3 cups of the hot broth over the noodles.
  14. Serve the pho with the garnishes.
  15. Everyone can add their favorite garnishes and adjust the flavor of the pho with the condiments at the table. 

Notes

*I prefer fresh pho noodles which have a chewier texture and fresher flavor than dried. You can find the noodles in the freezer or refrigerator section of most Asian grocery stores. If you’re using dried rice noodles, purchase the medium width noodles and follow the package instructions for preparation.

*You can freeze both the prepared broth and chicken. Defrost both before reheating.

Keywords: pho, chicken, noodles, vietnamese, rice noodles, noodles

Beef Udon

Beef Udon

So after a couple weeks of traveling through chilly Central Europe, I’m home again and what do you think I’m craving? Asian Noodle Soups! But more specifically- Beef Udon! This Beef Udon is everything good in a bowl. Flavorful, simple, fast, and oh so comforting. read more

Okra Natto

Okra Natto

Today we’re really going to put the funky in Funky Asian Kitchen. Okra Natto is a mashup I made from two beloved Japanese dishes. It’s an acquired taste for sure, but we wouldn’t be living up to our name if we didn’t challenge you on read more

Jackfruit Bowls

Jackfruit Bowls

What shreds like pork, absorbs flavor like tofu, and packs more nutrients per serving than both? Jackfruit! Jackfruit is an incredibly versatile tropical fruit that is grown throughout Southeast Asia. When ripe, it gets sweet, sticky, and yellow-orange and is used in a variety of sweets. For those of us growing up in the eighties, I would liken it to a stick of juicy fruit gum. Unripe, or green,  jackfruit is most often used in savory dishes. I find the flavor is most similar in taste and texture to artichokes or hearts of palm. The fruit can grow up to 50 pounds, and can be quite a mission to prep.

Luckily for us, it’s pretty easy these days to find green jackfruit in convenient cans, all prepped and ready to go. Maybe you’ve seen these cans at Whole Foods or Trader Joes but weren’t sure what to do with it. Let these Jackfruit Bowls be your introduction to this nutritional powerhouse. And don’t be scared by the lengthy list of steps; the components can all be made ahead of time. Whip up the sauce, pickle the veggies, and cook the jackfruit over the weekend, and then you have a meal ready to go in minutes during the week. (Calling all meal preppers!)

jackfruit bowls ingredients

Make the Jackfruit Bowl Components

I love making grain bowls because it’s a chance to load them up with all kind of flavors and textures for an exciting meal. These pickled veggies add a nice tang. And you can make them a couple days before you make the jackfruit bowls. Just let them sit in the fridge, marinating away. They will still have a nice crisp crunch.

salt jackfruit bowl

Let it sit for 15 minutes, and drain it, squeezing to get out all the liquid. Then add the seasoned rice vinegar, sesame oil, and minced garlic.

Jackfruit Bowl Sauce

jackfruit bowls sauce

This sauce is a thick, well balanced blend of flavors. A little Sambal Olek chili sauce for heat, hoisin for umami depth, a blend of red and  rice vinegar for a mild tanginess…some ketchup, Worcestershire sugar, and garlic round out this Asian take on a BBQ sauce. Just mix everything up and keep refrigerated until you’re ready to make the jackfruit bowls.

 

Cook the Jackfruit

I start by draining the brine from the jackfruit. Then I simmer it in a pot of water until tender, about 5 minutes. Check with a fork and make sure you can easily pierce the jackfruit. Depending on the brand you are using, you may need to simmer the jackfruit a little longer to get it fork tender. Then I drain it and set it aside while I sauté the aromatics.

What you end up with looks very much like shredded pork. Many years ago, before green jackfruit was even a thing, we were asked to use it to make some appetizers for a wedding. We ended up using it as a filling for Chinese style steamed buns, but a couple of the wedding guests were imagining the jackfruit as a filling inside of soft rolls, like a shredded BBQ pork sandwich. That too would be fantastic!  If you are making this ahead, keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Assemble Jackfruit Bowls

Depending on my mood, I will make this with rice as the base, or quinoa, just follow the package directions. Cauliflower rice is a great option too, if you want to add even more veggies to your bowl.

I also like to add cucumber and avocado, for color and texture, and then garnish with chopped herbs and scallions.  Line up all your toppings to make assembling the bowls a breeze.

I let everyone add their own sauce at the table. Any left over is wonderful with a simple grilled chicken or maybe scoop some into a soft roll and call it a day! I hope these Jackfruit Bowls become your gateway to all the deliciousness that jackfruit has to offer. Try them and let me know what you think. Rate and leave a comment on the recipe down below, and show off your bowls by tagging us @funkyasiankitchen, we love seeing your creations!

Love the bowls vibe? Check out the Soboro Beef, Salmon Poké, and Lemongrass Chicken Noodle Bowls.

 

 

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recipe card jackfruit bowl

Jackfruit Bowls

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: bowls
  • Cuisine: Pan-Asian

Ingredients

Scale

Jackfruit mixture:

  • 1 can young green jackfruit
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons neutral oil
  • 1 Tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • ½ large yellow onion, diced

 

Pickled vegetables:

  • ¼ head green cabbage
  • 1 small carrot
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Sauce to serve on the side:

  • ¼ cup hoisin
  • ½ Tablespoon sambal olek (or any garlic chili sauce)
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (use coconut aminos if vegetarian)
  • 2 Tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon granulated garlic

To serve:

  • 6 cups cooked rice, quinoa, mixed grains or cauliflower rice
  • 1 avocado, diced 
  • european cucumber, sliced thin
  • Chopped cilantro
  • 1 stalk of scallion, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons crispy shallots (optional, purchase at an Asian market)

Instructions

Make the pickled vegetables: 

  1. Peel and then cut the carrot into three logs. Slice the carrot very thin, stack the slices, and then cut across the slices to yield thin matchsticks (julienne). Put the carrots into a large bowl.
  2. Peel off any discolored or tough outer leaves from the cabbage. Shred the cabbage as you would for coleslaw, very thinly with a knife or with a food processor. Then put it into the bowl with the carrots and toss with the salt. Let the cabbage mixture sit for 15 mins., tossing occasionally.
  3. Drain the cabbage in a colander, squeezing the cabbage tightly to remove excess liquid. 
  4. Place the cabbage back in the bowl and add the seasoned rice vinegar, garlic, and sesame oil. Stir to combine. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use. The cabbage will keep for several days.

Make the sauce:

  1. Combine the hoisin, sambal olek, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, seasoned rice vinegar, ketchup, and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Stir to combine.
  3. Set aside or refrigerate until jackfruit bowls are ready to serve.

Make the jackfruit:

  • Open the can of jackfruit and drain the brine. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil on high heat. Add the jackfruit, lower the heat to medium high, and simmer for 5-7 minutes. It should be easy to pierce with a fork when done. (Continue to simmer for a couple more minutes if needed.) Drain the jackfruit and set it aside.
  • Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil and the chopped onion. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until the onions have softened and are starting to lightly brown. Add the garlic and ginger and stir to combine. 
  • Next add the jackfruit and break it up with a masher or a fork. Add the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, salt, and sugar. Stir to combine. Bring the contents to a simmer and cook for a couple of minutes. Turn off the heat and remove from the stove.
  • Cool the jack fruit and refrigerate if not using right away. The jackfruit can be kept refrigerated for 3 days. 

Assemble the bowls:

  1. When ready to serve, divide the rice, grains, or cauliflower rice into 4 large bowls.
  2. Top evenly with jackfruit, avocado, cucumbers, and pickled cabbage. 
  3. Garnish with some chopped scallion, cilantro, and fried shallots. Serve jackfruit bowls with the sauce on the side. 

Keywords: meal prep, jackfruit, avocado, pickled vegetables, vegan, plant based, grain bowl, rice