Pho Bo Kho
by Rhys Ford
Hi! I am Rhys Ford and I would like to welcome you to this stop on the Ramen Assassin Blog Tour!
I am looking forward to introducing you a new series as well as two very fun characters I enjoyed writing, Kuro Jenkins and Trey Bishop. The first book, Ramen Assassin, came to me as a nebulous idea but then really pushed into the forefront of my brain while I was beginning to write Hellion, the third book in the 415 Ink series. Unfortunately, I scared TA Moore with a very bad habit of mine called staring into space while thinking. I was contemplating the ins and outs of a series called Ramen Assassin and she took my crazed, unfocused look as the possibility of a spider of the wall behind her.
There was no spider. But what did come out of it was a murder mystery about a former government operative turned ramen chef and the recovering drug addict, former child star he saves from certain death and eventually falls in love with.
This book allowed me to combine two things I love — killing people and cooking. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. On this blog tour, I’m going to be sharing a few of my favorite dishes as well as a how to throw together ramen with what you have in your pantry and refrigerator. Please be sure to hit up every single stop on the blog tour for a different recipe at each stop as well as that blog’s giveaway!
Be sure to enter to win a twenty dollar gift certificate from Dreamspinnerpress.com! One for every stop!
And now, onto the food…
Pho Bo Kho
For the Beef:
3-3.5 pounds boneless beef chuck or brisket cut into 1½-inch chunks
5 cloves minced garlic
3 T minced ginger
2½ teaspoons five-spice powder
1½ T brown sugar
1 t of chili oil or chili-garlic sauce (this is your heat element, adjust as needed)
For the First of Stew:
3 stalks of lemongrass, remove outer woody bits (mince fine)
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, sliced thinly
I can tomato paste
2 teaspoons of kosher salt
1 T ground black pepper
2 T chili powder
3 T sweet paprika
1/8 c of soy sauce
3 T of chili oil or chili-garlic sauce (this is your heat element, adjust as needed)
Second Part of Stew
32 ounces of beef broth
2 cups of pure coconut water/juice (can sub small can of coconut milk mixed in with 1 can of water) OR you can just use water.
2-3 whole star anise
8 large carrots, peeled and cut on the bias into 1½ -inch chunks
Rice or mung bean noodles (blanched)
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Thai or sweet basil leaves
Thinly sliced raw onion
T = tablespoons
t = teaspoons
c = cups
Put meat and all ingredients listed under meat in Ziploc bag to marinate for at least 30 minutes. Overnight is best but make sure all air is out of bag.
When ready to cook stew:
Next, heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a skillet on high heat. Add 2/3rds of lemongrass and allow it to infuse the oil for 1 minute. Next, add the minced onions and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes.
Then add all of the beef to the pot, and brown evenly on all sides. After meat is browned, add rest of ingredients under “First of Stew”. Mix well. Let simmer for a bit.
Now… depending on what you’re using, you’ll toss the Meat, First Part of Stew, Rest of Lemongrass AND Second Part of Stew into either…
A stock pot and let simmer for 2-3 hours on low
A crock pot and let cook for 6 hours on low OR 2-3 hours on high
An instant pot and manually set the for 45 minutes of high pressure. After cooker time it is done, allow to naturally cool and release pressure. Once the pressure has released, open the steam valve then carefully open the lid.
To serve, remove the large lemongrass stalks and any star anise pods you can fish out. Cook your noodles per package instructions, transfer to bowls, and ladle the soup over the top. Garnish with cilantro, Thai basil and serve with some lime wedges on the side.