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Sunday: April 27, 2008

Faux Pho: Surprisingly Tasty

Filed under: — site admin @ 5:07 PM GMT-0500

This Chicago Boyz post on “Eatin’ Cheap” reminded me of something I’ve been meaning to post. I recently discovered how to make ramen noodles not just acceptable but downright tasty. Add a handful of bean sprouts, some fresh basil and cilantro leaves, and a dash or two each of lime juice and tabasco. In other words, add all the easily-procured ingredients of pho (Vietnamese beef noodle soup) except the beef. The result is only half as good as the pho at a Vietnamese soup kitchen like Pho Cali in Raleigh, but that’s still approximately four times as tasty as plain ramen, and it takes roughly three minutes to put together. It’s still quite cheap, especially if you buy the cilantro, basil, and bean sprouts at an Asian grocery store, and the added vegetables make it healthier, too. Other additions I’ve tried haven’t been half so tasty: an egg or some bits of green onion help a bit, but in my experience white onion, carrots, spinach, and mushroom (all uncooked) do nothing for ramen, singly or in combination, except make it more nourishing.


  1. How about adding some Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce? That stuff makes anything taste better, except maybe ice cream.

    Comment by Jonathan — Sunday: April 27, 2008 @ 5:16 PM GMT-0500

  2. Holy crap, that sounds good. I am going to try this right now. Will report back.

    Comment by Citizen Grim — Sunday: April 27, 2008 @ 9:59 PM GMT-0500

  3. Very tasty. Not authentic Thai, but enough to impress people when you whip it together in the space of a commercial break. It’s like a modern spin on the old “Stone Soup” story. Sort of.

    1 pkg Beef Ramen
    1/3 cup Bean Sprouts
    1 Egg
    1 tsp fresh Cilantro, chopped
    1 tsp fresh Basil, chopped
    1 tsp Lemon juice
    1 tsp Fish sauce
    Tabasco sauce, to taste

    1. Boil ramen noodles. Add bean sprouts earlier if you like them softer, later if you like them crisper.
    2. When noodles are soft, add egg to boiling water and stir quickly. Add cilantro & basil. Drain water immediately.
    3. Add HALF of ramen flavor packet, lemon juice, fish sauce, and tabasco sauce.

    Comment by Citizen Grim — Sunday: April 27, 2008 @ 10:23 PM GMT-0500

  4. I like green onion, and bits of chopped up leftover chicken. Especially fried chicken; since chicken breasts are the least interesting part of a chicken, they’re great to save up for the soup.

    Comment by Sigivald — Monday: April 28, 2008 @ 12:57 PM GMT-0500

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