Faux Pho Gha (Slow-Cooker)
While this soup (pronounced Fuh Gaw) may not be totally RV-friendly, I made the Vietnamese soup three times in my motorhome kitchen before publishing. Stewing the spices in a crockpot all day really brings out the intense flavors. To serve, it just takes a moment to boil the rice noodles and prep the toppings. You may have a difficult time finding Banh Pho or rice stick noodles in your community. If so, omit the noodles or substitute spaghetti. I won't tell.
2-inch piece ginger, peeled and coarse chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 shallots, peeled and sliced thin
1 serrano (or jalapeno) pepper, sliced thin
2 pieces star anise
1 Tablespoon coriander seeds
Handful fresh cilantro leaves
1 stem fresh basil
1 quart chicken stock, low-sodium if possible
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or four boneless skinless chicken thighs)
4 ounces Banh Pho or rice stick noodles, cooked to package directions
Fresh Mung bean sprouts
Torn basil leaves
Sliced green onion
Place the ginger, garlic, shallots, chili, star anise, coriander seed, cilantro, basil, and chicken stock in the bowl of your slow cooker/crockpot. Stir. Nestle the chicken into the liquid. Cook on low 6-8 hours (all day).
Use tongs to remove the chicken pieces to a plate. Place a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl and pour the stock through the strainer. Discard the solids and return the stock to the slow cooker.
Use two forks to shred the chicken. Return shredded chicken to the slow cooker. Turn slow cooker to the WARM setting. Taste and add salt, if needed, to taste.
Cook noodles according to package directions. While noodles are cooking, assemble garnishes on a plate.
Place a few noodles in bottom of soup bowl. Ladle chicken and stock over. Serve, allowing diners to add their own toppings. Serves 4 easily.