Lunch is never a bore or a hassle with my incredible and simple NO COOK Instant Pho to Go! The ingredients are never boring, always delicious and never-ending! Create vegetarian, vegan and meat lover options with my super simple formula!!!
Prepare for your lunch game to be forever changed.
I saw this soup on one of those quick videos on Facebook and decided that it should be worth a try. Being that I was the pickiest eater in the family, I decided to test drive it on me first. Because if it tasted good to me…everyone else would be a win.
Once I was ready to eat I just popped open my container, poured in the boiling hot water and just let it hang out for 10 minutes. Lunch. Served.
It was beyond incredible. I am not going to carry on and say that it was the best soup I ever had…but it sure as hell beat the take out place across the street from me that boasted that it had homemade Pho.
Shall we do a little Pho lesson? Let’s.
Pho…is a Vietnamese noodle soup. And unbeknownst to many, it is pronounced PHAAAAAAAA not PHO. But for this post it just happens to sound cuter if we say Instant PHO to Go no?
The bare bones of a classic pho is a really rich broth, noodles, meat, assorted veggies, herbs and spices. It’s very versatile and beyond tasty. The only draw back is that it does take awhile to create that uber flavorful broth.
Enter my simple Instant Pho to Go 🙂
While my pho does not cook for hours it does have a killer flavor! How you ask? Well it’s quite simple. There is a major flavor base that tackles oodles of flavor. Our flavor base consists of these few things:
- Soy sauce: To give us that uber umami flavor that all Asian food has.
- Sesame Oil: It gives us a bit of fat and also an incredible toasty sesame flavor.
- Chicken Soup Base: This is your superstar guys! This is what gives it that deep broth flavor. This happens to be my favorite brand. I always have the chicken and the brand new vegetarian soup base on hand because they always make the fastest soup base and are super to add into roasts and stews to boost flavors. When I make the Pho for myself I use the vegetarian version and I swear it is still just as delicious!
- Siracha: This gives us the necessary garlicky kick as well as a much needed spice factor.
- Lemongrass: Lemongrass is an incredibly earthy and vibrantly lemony stalk. It is typical in Asian cuisine, particularly Thai and Vietnamese so it fits into this flavor profile perfectly. I like to keep a stalk in the fridge always and just slice it as I need it into rounds. Make sure you are working with a sharp knife because it is fiberous and sometimes a bit tough to slice. Another tip DO NOT buy the already minced stuff in the tube. I bought it in an attempt to alleviate my time slicing (a total of 30 seconds) and it was a huge mistake. It was practically flavorless and rather gross. Just buy the dress stalk.
- Ginger: This may be a no brainer but ginger provides the necessary…well…ginger flavor. And do yourself a favor, same as the lemongrass do not buy the pre chopped kind in the tube. It just does not do the ginger justice 🙂
- Chillies: This time around I used Serrano chillies but you can use any kind you like. They add a ton of flavor. But they also add heat. So if you are not crazy about the heat then just do a few slices for the flavor and remove them before eating so you do not actually ingest the chillies.
- Cilantro: This is a major DUH moment. I am totally obsessed with cilantro over here. And it is sooooo the quintessential herb for Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. If you do not like cilantro just leave it out. In this case there really is so substitute.
The following day I made this for my hubs. I handed the container of goodness to him and he shook it and said,
“Ahhh what the hell is this?”
“It’s my Pho… To Go,” I said snickering at my own little joke. He was not amused…he was also not a morning person. So, I kissed him goodbye and sent him on his way with his Pho…to Go.
I got a text in the middle of the day that read:
“Babe this is amazing! All my co-workers want one!!!” I win. And the only problem now was buying all those containers for the next day.
Speaking of containers these really are the best ones because they are silicone lined so nothing spills out and the heat does not get out. You can also use simple mason jars. In fact that’s what I did for all his co-workers.
So here is how you create your very own Pho to Go:
- Place all of the ingredients of your flavor base (see above) except the cilantro into the container so it lays on the bottom.
- Add in your rice noodles. Hint: if you need to break them in half so they fit into the container, do so over the sink because they will go EVERYWHERE.
- Add in some greens and veggies. Chopped spinach, chopped baby bok choy, bean sprouts are always a winner. I happened to have chopped brussels sprouts.
- Choose your protein. I usually have some roast chicken or rotisserie chicken on hand and that goes perfectly with this. However, I bought extremely rare roast beef at my deli counter and that seemed to get standing ovations! I also love a really beautiful boiled egg in here too. IF you want to keep this meat free just add extra veggies and you are all golden.
- Top off with cilantro and the lime.
6. Place in the fridge at work and let it hang out until lunch time. Once lunch rolls around remove the lime, pour in boiling water and give it a really good mix. I actually do like chop sticks for this 🙂 Make sure you break up your flavor base and get everything nicely incorporated. Let it hang out for about 8 minutes or until noodles are tender.
And then…magic. So much magic. Delicious noodles. Tender veggies. This guys…this is your lunch.
I am really excited about my new lunch creation. The possibilities are endless!!!! Here are just a few things I am thinking of doing that you should give a try!
- Thai Basil
- Sliced Mushrooms
- Slices shallots or onions
- Classic Basil
- 5 Spice
- Star anise
- Bean Sprouts
- Zoodles instead of noodles.
- And on and on and on 🙂
Oh and by the way…this is great for kids…the munchkin could not wait to get her hands on this! She sat there trying to slurp up as I photographed!
Instant Pho to Go
- 2 tbsp soy sauce low sodium
- 1 heaping tbsp of Better than Bouillon
- 1/4 tsp of sesame oil
- 1 chili thinly sliced optional
- a few squirts of siracha depending on how spicy you like it
- 1 tsp sliced lemon grass
- 1 tsp sliced ginger
- 2 scallions thinly sliced
- 1 good handful of fresh cilantro
- 4 oz of cooked chicken breast or cooked turkey or rare roast beef deli meat
- 1/4 cup of green veggies
- 2 oz dry rice noodles
- 1 boiled egg
- lime sliced into wedges
Place all of the ingredients of your flavor base (see above) except the cilantro into the container so it lays on the bottom.
Add in your rice noodles. Hint: if you need to break them in half so they fit into the container, do so over the sink because they will go EVERYWHERE.
Add in some greens and veggies. Chopped spinach, chopped baby bok choy, bean sprouts are always a winner. I happened to have chopped brussels sprouts.
Add protein of choice, including the boiled egg.
Top off with cilantro and the lime.
Place in the fridge at work and let it hang out until lunch time.
Once lunch rolls around remove the lime, pour in boiling water and give it a really good mix. I actually do like chop sticks for this 🙂 Make sure you break up your flavor base and get everything nicely incorporated. Let it hang out for about 8 minutes or until noodles are tender.
Enjoy and slurp
- IF you want to keep this meat free just add extra veggies and you are all golden. Also you can use the vegetarian chicken soup base from Better than Bouillon.
- The nutritional values are based off of using chicken breast.
- The nutritional information is to be used for information purposes only.