Phở Gà (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup) using my homegrown Bean Sprouts

Pho Ga

The best part of growing your own sprouts is the day you harvest.  There are a number of family favorite recipes where I can use my bean sprout harvest but I decided to make hubby’s favorite comfort soup, Chicken Phở.

HarvestsBean Sprouts

Since we used our own harvested bean sprouts (grown in my Le Creuset Stock pot) and fresh basil from my garden, our children craved and dug into the pile of their choice toppings to fill their chicken noodle soup bowls.  Phở is one of the most vibrant, comforting and delicate flavors I’ve ever tasted.  I got hooked with this soup because of the many fresh ingredients mixed all together.  I learned my recipe from reading Vietnamese cook books, asking around Vietnamese friends and following Helen and learning her easy Phở recipe online.  Here it is:

Pho Ga

 

Wash a whole chicken (I only use organic chicken when making soup) very well.  Rub it with salt to remove the smell then rinse completely.  Add chicken into a big pot and fill it with water until water is covering chicken itself.  Add 1 tbsp. of salt and 1 medium whole peeled onion.  Bring to boil and carefully and consistently skim off the foam.  When all the foam are gone, continue simmering until chicken is tender, around 30-45 minutes depending on the size of your chicken.

I purchase a Phở packet from our local Vietnamese market and I added it to the stock 10 minutes before the soup is done.  This gives the soup the authentic Phở aroma.

When chicken is cooked, remove from stock, wash and cool down.  Slice the chicken meat depending on the size you like or shred it into chunks.

On a large serving bowl,  place a handful of blanched Vietnamese Phở Noodles (I buy the “802 Brand Rice Sticks at 99 Ranch Market).  Top with chicken, sliced lime leaves, chopped green onions, thinly sliced onions (soaked in cold water), basil and bean sprouts.  Serve the hot stock onto the bowl then serve the Phở with these optional ingredients:  cilantro leaves, fish sauce, hoisin sauce, and/or chili sauce.

Enjoy!!

Sprouting Jar harvest day

It’s the day of the week!  Always excited to harvest and see how much sprouts we can eat.  Yummy!

Watch and see how easy it is to collect the sprouts from the jar.  We made so much from only 3 tablespoons of mixed salad sprouting seeds.  It took only 7 days to grow and now my family can enjoy this for supper tonight.

I am very happy and will continue to share ideas about sprouting.

Right now, I am trying to find a better place in my kitchen to store my sprouting jars while they are growing.  I will share my ideas in my next posts…

Kids Photo Shoot

mei

Green is her favorite color.  That’s the reason why I am using green fonts for this post.

In a few days, our younger daughter is turning 4.  I’ve been asking around OC Mom groups about finding a good photographer who can do a mini-session with my daughter so that I can have a photo memory of her turning 4 years old. Money is an important consideration so after contemplating on it, I realized that I was the one who took all the pictures of my eldest daughter years ago, so why not grab my cameras, bring some toys, extra cute clothes and put them in my mommy bag and start heading for the nearest park.

We spent almost 2 hours playing, running, talking, and laughing and I ended up taking 60+ shots of her and I will be keeping around 15 compositions that truly captured great memories of her.

Next plan… another photo shoot – this time with her big sister. 

kids photo shoot

DIY Sprouting Jars

Recently, we’ve been sprouting a lot and my sprouting tray is not enough so I decided to make my own sprouting jars using my old jars from my kitchen.  We love it and it’s fun to grow more microgreens for my family.

   

             

Cholesterol-lowing Muffins

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It’s another one of those days… Days when we realize we need to eat healthy.  I miss making these.  Aside from being so easy to make, it’s super filling and tasty.  Here’s my Oat Bran muffins made with egg whites and soy milk, mixed with pine nuts and medjool dates (both my favorite muffin add-ins).  

Cravin’ for Ramen ラーメン

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When I went to Japan, my Japanese friend asked me what I wanted to eat.  She recommended Sushi but I said I wanted ramen (Japanese noodle soup dish).  She was surprised that I “only” wanted ramen.  My reason was that, I can eat high grade sushi in California but I have never found an authentic Japanese ramen restaurant in the USA that makes their ramen like they do in Japan (cooking the stock for hours).



My favorite ramen flavor is Tonkotsu (pork bone broth) but ramen comes in many varieties depending on where you are eating it in Japan.

When I crave for ramen, I go to our local Mitsuwa Marketplace or Marukai and I buy fresh ingredients and make it at home.  Today I made ramen using pork tenderloin meat from my freezer.  Ramen is usually eaten with thin slices of pork roast with a little fat for richer flavor but my pork tenderloin version garnered thumbs-up from my family.  

Cravin’ for ramen?  It’s really easy to make.



Throwback Thursday 02-26-2015

I don’t usually throwback my photos but today I am.  I just realized, instead of putting photos on Facebook, I want to save this photo here.

What are they doing on the photo?  My husband and our youngest daughter used to hang a piece of string (named “Wormy”, yes it has a name) on a pushpin pegged on our wall. This started when hubby was tasked to bathe our little one.  She was about two years old at that time.  We tried to find something that will make the bathing routine fun and easy.  The key was to find something or someone that will make us look forward to bath time everyday.

We purposely took a picture one night to record this moment and show it to our daughter when she gets older.  

Fun memories – parenting makes life colorful.



Growing Sprouts with my Kids

Growing my own sprouts was an idea I learned from my brother.  I researched about it and how beneficial and healthful it will be for me and my family.

I invested on a Victorio 4-Tray Seed Sprouter, I read the manual, watched YouTube tutorials and with my daughters, we enjoyed germinating and growing our sprouts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our first harvest proved really effective.  The best discovery I had was that our girls love to eat them.  Growing sprouts being easy and money-saving plus fun simply makes it a worthwhile experience we will be doing from now on.

The next challenge was how do I make my children eat these.  We are not vegetarians but our children adapts well to new tastes and textures.  How do I make them eat it?  First I let them try a little piece of what they planted on their own.  That makes it more meaningful for them.  Then I prepare, cook or mix the sprouts with their favorite recipes like plain micro-greens mixed with their favorite soy dressing (see Mei’s cute YouTube video on top of this page),  add it to my daughter’s sandwich for school lunch or make our children’s favorite:  Vegetable Pancake made of sprouts and a lot of other simple dishes I am sure they will love.

I can’t wait to learn to grow sprouts from a Jar.  That will come next on my blog.