Spicy Shrimp Pho with Udon Noodles

by Emily Kemme
Spicy Shrimp Pho with Udon Noodles

Pho — the clear soup broth which holds the secret to eternal health, at least in my book, is the guiding light for this spicy shrimp soup. Pho, pronounced fuh, is a Vietnamese beef or chicken-based broth that cooks for hours. This version doesn’t require the time investment, but you’ll end up with an equally satisfying bowlful of spicy broth, noodles and shrimp. Add veggies and micro-greens for flavor and texture. It’s kind of an underhanded method of boosting the health factor. Slurp up and enjoy. To your health!

Spicy Shrimp Pho Recipe

One package frozen udon noodles, prepared according to package directions, reserved

1 tsp coriander seeds

2 whole cloves

1/2 tsp black peppercorns

1 T sesame oil

2 T fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1 T Gochujang paste

Note: Gochujang is a savory, fermented Korean condiment that adds a sweet spiciness to soups and stews. It’s available at larger grocery stores and Asian markets. Primary ingredients are red chili powder, glutinous rice powder and powdered fermented soy beans.

4 cups low salt chicken broth

4 cups vegetable broth

1 jalapeño, stem end removed, thinly sliced

1/2 T chili garlic sauce (like Sambal Oelek)

2 strips lemon peel

2 T low-sodium soy sauce

2 T fish sauce

2 T prepared hoisin sauce

3 baby bok choy, rinsed, trimmed and leaves thinly sliced

1 lb medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

1 small clamshell micro greens (spicy Daikon radish blend if available)

lime wedges


Toast coriander seeds, cloves and black pepper in small dry skillet over high heat for about 3 minutes or until their essence releases.

Remove from heat and crush in mortar and pestle until finely ground. Set aside.

Spicy Shrimp Pho with Udon

Toasting whole spices may seem like an unnecessary step but it’s an essential one for developing the intense flavor of pho.

Warm sesame oil in large pot until shimmering. Add ginger and Gochujang paste, stirring continually for 30 seconds.

Add chicken and vegetable broth to pot, stirring to incorporate Gochujang paste and ginger mixture. Add jalapeño, chili garlic sauce, lemon peel, soy sauce, fish sauce, hoisin sauce and ground spices. Bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes over low heat. Strain broth with fine mesh sieve to remove solids. It may require several strainings.

Return broth to boil and add shrimp and bok choy. Lower heat to medium simmer and cook until shrimp are pink and bok choy is slightly tender but still firm. Add soy sauce to taste.

Divide udon noodles among four bowls. Top with shrimp and bok choy. Ladle broth into bowls. Top with micro greens and serve. Garnish with lime wedges.

If you’ve got extra broth, freeze or reserve for a remake!

Spicy Shrimp Pho with Udon Noodles

Spicy broth, yet so slurpably satisfying.

The Last Word CocktailStephanie Davis not only knows wine, she also knows how to have Phun! Steph thinks pho is fun to say and fun to eat. So why not mix a playful cocktail to compliment all your sensory inputs? A friend recently gave her a bottle of Luxardo Maraschino Cherry liqueur and she didn’t know what to do with it until she unearthed the recipe for The Last Word. The cocktail is easy to make and easier to drink.

Shake with ice equal parts Chartreuse (green or yellow), Gin, Luxardo liqueur and fresh lime juice.

Strain and serve up in a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lime.

It’s as pretty as the pho, so at least they’ve got that in common.

Note: the drink also tastes great if you substitute vodka for gin.

Steph and I are curious why this cocktail is named, “The Last Word.” Witty ideas and comments are welcome.

Did you enjoy reading this? If so, please share! And thank you!

Award-winning author Emily Kemme writes about human nature, illuminating the everyday in a way that highlights its brilliance. Follow her on her blog, Feeding the Famished,  https://www.facebook.com/EmilyKemme, or on Twitter @EmFeedsYou . Life inspired. Vodka tempered.

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