Pho is a hot topic for us. So much so that I blogged about it once already, promising that I would detail our adventure in making it at home. Then I dropped the ball (oops). To be honest, our from scratch adventure was laborious and writing about it seems equally so. It was good, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t a mouthgasm worth documenting. We’ve continued to research the topic, rest assured. We even found a take-out place that serves decent stuff, even if it is tepid by the time it gets to our front door. Yet there is something to be had for making food at home. With this in mind, Jeff randomly invented a quick, weeknight/too tired recipe that we affectionately call “faux.” It’s a little hodge-podge, a little hoity-toity, but infinitely easier than the bones-to-bowl process and better than take-out.

Get thee:

good beef bouillon – Jeff found one aptly titled “Better Than Bouillon” and it is. I could eat it out of the jar with a spoon.
rice noodles – We’ve also used udon or soba, which is where faux departs from pho.
1 lb of meat – Pater familias is keen on veal scallopini. Again, departing from pho.
1 inch of ginger, chopped
garlic, chopped
fresh basil, leaves only
fish sauce
bean sprouts
wheatgrass or chives – chopped

Pulling this all together is as easy as browning meat and boiling noodles in broth. Once you accomplish that, just add a dash of fish sauce to each bowl. Place the meat on top of the broth and noodles. Add ginger, garlic, basil, lime juice, bean sprouts and wheatgrass/chives as you prefer. A dash of chili flakes never hurts either, especially if you’re under the weather.

You may be wondering about the wheatgrass thing. I certainly was the first time Jeff brought all this home. He claimed to like wheatgrass, which was just slightly out of character for him. I kept asking “Wheatgrass? You know this is the stuff hippies juice and drink, right? Cats eat it?” He remained unflappable during my interrogation, as if wheatgrass was exactly what he meant to purchase and place in our bowls. I’m inclined to believe him and enjoy that my partner in crime continues to surprise me. Plus, it turns out wheatgrass is delicious in faux.