The Emerald City is living up to its reputation this week. Cold. Rainy. Dark. Ugh.
Yesterday, I was craving a light and lean salmon lunch but I couldn’t bear to make a salad so I decided to shift gears and focus on using some king salmon in soup. Chowder was too heavy so I started to explore pho as a reasonable option.
The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea and began to wonder if I could devise a simple technique that would cook the salmon but simultaneously safeguard the fish’s buttery texture and telltale flavor.
Working quickly, I loaded my InstantPot with some chicken and vegetables, set it to high pressure for 25 minutes and headed to the Asian market in my neighborhood for some cilantro, Thai basil, fresh rice noodles, and Napa cabbage.
At home shortly thereafter, my soup came together in mere minutes. The hot simmering InstantPot broth was a ladled into a Le Creuset saucepan with finely shredded cabbage, a few slices of ginger, and about an ounce of rice noodles. That simmered for about two minutes and was poured into a pho bowl. I then added about two ounces of finely sliced skinless salmon into the steamy broth and let the salmon cook gently in the residual heat of the broth. I then added a final garnish of herbs and sliced jalapenos and my light and lean Gingery Salmon Pho was ready for slurping!
So, here is the basic and easily adaptable method for making a quick pho at home:
Put about two cups of chicken broth into a small saucepan. Bring to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat.
Add about a half cup of finely sliced Napa cabbage , a few slices of fresh ginger, and about one ounce of rice noodles. Simmer for about two minutes, stirring once or twice.
Pour the steaming broth carefully into a deep bowl, top with about two ounces of thinly sliced and skinned fresh salmon. Using chopsticks, gently poke the salmon into the hot broth to submerge it and to help it cook in the hot broth.
Garnish with finely chopped fresh cilantro, Thai basil if available, and thinly sliced jalapenos. Serve!