My casual research of Pho has lead me to understand that “pho” actually refers to the noodles, and not the broth/seasonings. My Sloppy Pho gives a nod to the broth flavors, the typical garnishes, and utilizes vegi-noodles (rather than traditional rice noodles) in an unconventional manner.
There are many gizmos out there for transforming vegetables into “noodles”. Some of them are quite spendy and sturdy, for the serious rawtarians and veg-oodling fanatics. There are also inexpensive “As-Scene-on-TV” devices that do a passable job for the casual vegi-noodle maker. I think it would be really fun to have one of the psycho-serious models, but I am able to make-do with a cheezy hand-held tool I picked up for $8 at a discount retail store.
Without further ado, I give you:
the “Slop” Ingredients
1 cup water
2 star anise pods
4 cardamom pods
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cloves
4 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 Tbs ginger (minced)
1 1/2 cups shiitake mushrooms (chopped)
2 cups portabella mushrooms (chopped)
1/2 cup Thai Basil (packed)
3 jalapeños (seeded and diced)
3 cups red cabbage (chopped)
2 cups Mung bean sprouts
1Tbs psyllium husks
1/4 cup pumpkinseed flour
1/3 cup chia meal
1 ½ cups water
2Tbs lime juice
If you have a tea strainer or a cheesecloth sack, place the star anise, cardamom, and cloves inside. If not, just leave them loose (but you will have to fish them out later.) Put these ingredients and 1 cup water in a saucepan and simmer for 10-5 minutes.
Remove the spices.
Transfer this liquid to a large skillet and add 1 Tbs Quoc Viet Vegetarian Soup base, minced garlic, minced ginger, and mushrooms.
In a separate container, combine chia meal, 1 ½ cups water, 1 Tbs Quoc Viet Vegetarian Soup base and lime juice. Let sit for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to keep chia from clumping. It should thicken into gelatinous sauce.
During this time cook the mushrooms uncovered on medium heat, until liquid has been absorbed, mushrooms have reduced and are starting to brown.
Add all remaining ingredients to the skillet and gently stir to evenly combine. Cook very briefly, until cabbage and bean sprouts are slightly softened and colors have brightened.
Remove from heat.
The “Noodles” Ingredients:
2 sweet potatoes
1 Tbs Chili Garlic Oil (or regular, boring Olive Oil)
Peel the sweet potatoes and use your preferred vegi-noodle-making-method. Toss “noodles” and oil in a skillet on medium-high heat until sweet potatoes are an al dente texture and bright orange (6-8 minutes.) Remove from heat.
Serve the Sloppy Pho with fresh cilantro, radish pickles and sriracha mayo.
*you can buy pre-fab sriracha mayo or make your own vegan version by blending vegan mayo and sriracha in a 2:1 ratio
My friend Chervyn is so much tech-savvier than me, and she has coached me somewhat through making a spreadsheet of the nutritional value of these components!
You COULD wrap it up in a butter lettuce leaf for a ridiculously flavorful and hearty vegan, low carb treat.
OR serve it on a multi grain bun and make everyone jealous of your Oompa Loompa Lunch!
OR transform your Sweet Potato Noodles into a BUN!!! (recipe below)
Sweet Potato Noodle Bun
I found this recipe for a healthier “ramen bun” and it was like the clouds parted and I heard choirs of preadolescent cherubs singing… it is FanF*ckingTastic. I don’t own what the author is selling (as previously mentioned), but the recipe is so good that I was almost tempted to splurge 😉
I was a little shocked when I tallied up the carbs and calories, so I thought “we can do better than this!”
I made a couple of modifications and I am also providing a vegan option. The flax meal and psyllium not only increase the fiber content, but they allow me to stretch this recipe to make 3 whole buns (6 pieces).
1 large sweet potato
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbs flax meal soaked in 4 Tbs water (OR 1 egg + 1 Tbs flax meal + 2 Tbs water)
1 Tbs psyllium husk
2 tsp preferred cooking oil
Peel your sweet potato and use your preferred method of turning it into long, fettuccini-like noodles.
Heat a medium skillet with a teensy bit of oil and toss in the “noodles”. Keep them moving. You are essentially just trying to heat them enough for them to turn bright orange and soften to al dente texture (6-8 minutes). Transfer the “noodles” to a large mixing bowl and remove the skillet from the heat.
Sprinkle the psyllium over the “noodles” and toss to evenly distribute. Pour the gooey flax mixture (or eggy flax mixture) over the “noodles” and gently toss (try not to mush or mangle the sweet potato).
Divide the mixture evenly between 6 ramekins (or equivalent) and gently press down into a flat patty. Place a piece of wax paper or parchment paper over the opening of the ramekin and set a jar or can on top to apply pressure to the sweet-potato-noodle-disc.
Place ramekins in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes to cool and to “set up.”
After 15-20 minutes, gently turn ramekins onto lightly oiled skillet and remove ramekins (leaving the perfectly formed discs on the skillet). DO NOT CROWD. You need to have room to get a spatula flat beneath them periodically to check their progress. Set burner on medium-low heat.
Once the discs are nicely toasted on one side, carefully flip them over and toast the other side. They need to be a little seared to hold together.
Place them on a cooling rack or on a clean, dry towel to cool.
*If using egg recipe rather than the vegan version, cover the skillet once you are cooking the second side of the discs to ensure the egg gets all the way cooked (this is less crucial in the vegan version).
**these “buns” are a little mushy. They hold together great for the Sloppy Pho sandwich, but once you take a bite, everything is kind of the same texture. If you want them to be more “bread like”, place in the food dehydrator on 130 degrees for a couple of hours, or closely monitor them on the lowest setting in your oven.
*** make sure “buns” are totally cool before storing them in an air-tight container in the fridge.
I have created a handy-dandy chart to compare the different presentations for the Sloppy Pho.
But if you still aren’t satisfied, throw that sh*t in a jar and eat it as a salad! 😉