Back in the 90’s Robson Street was Vancouver’s outdoor shopping mall with great restaurants and cafes as well as all kinds of high end stores to tickle your fancy in. It was a seen and be seen place to be. In fact it still is. Walking up and down Robson every time I go to Vancouver to visit brings back vivid memories of the time spent living there. At one point I lived in the West End so merely a hop skip and jump over to Robson Street to take it all in.
I was a part time Gapper back in those days, and my time working at The Gap on Robson was extremely adventurous, it was an experience. I ate out a lot (single in the city) and one of my favourite little stops was a little hole in the wall cafe on Robson Street. This eclectic little place served up the best soup I’d ever had and I would visit whenever a cold struck. This soup was Pho, pronounced Fuh. Pho is not the same as Ramen, which is darker and richer cooked entirely from pork bones, but rather traditionally made from beef and scented with star anise, cinnamon and ginger.
Pho is an anytime soup but most comforting in the Fall and Winter on those days you need a bowl that hugs you back and some comfort food. The most important component to a Pho is the broth. Enjoyed in a restaurant, Pho broth is typically simmered for hours on end resulting in a delicious tasting broth with many levels of flavour. For this Roasted Turkey Pho Broth I can honestly say my turkey stock simmered for 4- 5 hours. Was left to sit for several hours while it cooled and then further cooled in the fridge with all it’s aromatics and turkey bones for up to two days. The result, the best tasting turkey stock I’ve ever made.
There was only one thing to do at this point, try to make a pho soup in stead of your basic turkey noodle soup to use up the last of the 15lb roast turkey. While shopping for ingredients for my turkey pho, I discovered Campbell’s offers a new product, Pho Broth. So I did what any virgin pho maker would do and bought a pack, you know just in case the turkey broth was lacking in flavour. After straining the turkey broth and getting 6 cups of intensely flavoured broth, I decided to add in the package of pho broth to make approximately 8 cups. I just knew it was going to be good.
This quick version of pho is layered with each ingredient giving you the full restaurant experience.
Create your Pho Bowl
When you make this recipe you must get your soup bowl ready and start with the cooked noodles, gingerly placing on the bottom of the bowl. Ladle in your hot broth gently moving around the noodles with chopsticks to ensure they are not sticking together. The next layer is the turkey breast, add a good heaping spoonful. At this point you add whatever toppings you prefer that are available. We eat family style here so it makes sense for each person to customize their pho.
Looking for other ways to use up leftover turkey? This soup is very popular and quite tasty: Turkey, Bacon & Corn Chowder.
- 8 cups chicken stock pho stock or home made turkey stock
- 2 small cinnamon sticks
- 1 piece of ginger approximately 1 inch and peeled
- 4 cloves
- 2 star anise
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 package flat rice noodles
- 2 cups cooked cold turkey sliced paper thin
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- 1/2 cup green onion thinly sliced
- 2 limes 1 juiced - the other cut into wedges
- 1 jalapeno pepper thinly sliced
- 1 cup fresh herbs: mint basil, cilantro rolled and thinly chopped
- sriracha sauce
- In a large pot add all the stock, cinnamon sticks, ginger, cloves and star anise. To keep things easy to fish out I put my cloves and star anise in a tea pincher/infuser for easy removal later on. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 30 minutes. Remove spices from broth and stir in fish sauce, salt and sugar. Keep on low heat.
- Cook rice noodles according to instructions.
- Add prepared bean sprouts, turkey, green onion, lime wedges, jalapeno peppers and fresh herbs into individual bowls and place on table.
- Scoop about 1/2 - 1 cup of noodles into each bowl. Ladle 1 1/3 cups of hot broth over noodles and gently swirl noodles with chopsticks or a skewer to ensure they are not sticking. Top with a heaping spoonful of turkey.
- Serve each person their bowl with chopsticks and a fork/spoon and let them add their favourite toppings.