I went to Le Cheval the other day and didn't get pho. It was the first occurrence of this phenomenon ever, and while I thoroughly enjoyed everything else that I ate there, I was left with a pretty big pho jones.
Browsing through the freezer contents the other day, I realized that I had a veggie bag ready to turn into stock (I save onion peels and random veggie trimmings in a freezer bag). I also had a bag of shrimp and prawn shells, and a few frozen squid.
I always wanted to make seafood pho...
...so I did, and it was awesome.
Basically, the process is the same as it always is when I make pho, regardless of the type of stock I start from.
First, thaw out the frozen veggie cuttings.
Meanwhile, halve some onions, ginger, and garlic. Brush them with olive oil and roast them for 30-40 minutes at 450. Set them aside when finished.
Add the shrimp and prawn shells and the squid to the veggie cuttings and simmer for about an hour and a half over medium-low heat.
Strain all of this stuff out and return the stock to the pot.
Add the roasted onions, garlic, and ginger, some shiitake mushrooms, as well as the spice blend, 1/3 cup of fish sauce, a bit of oyster sauce, and a pinch of palm sugar.
The spices I use (clockwise from top): black cardamom pods, green cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, star anise, coriander seeds, sea salt, fennel seeds, cloves.
Serve over rice noodles with fresh basil, cilantro, mint, and lime. (A squirt of Sriracha optional but recommended).
This time around I used a pound of cod, and a half pound each of sea scallops and octopus. It was awesome and I had leftovers enough for like 6 more servings later on.
So now I've done vegetable, beef, lamb, and seafood pho. What's next?