4-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and halved lengthwise
4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable stock or broth
4 cups water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
6 ounces (one large handful) rice noodles
1 tablespoon your neutral-flavored oil of choice
5 ounces thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
mung bean sprouts
sprigs of fresh Thai basil
Sprigs of fresh mint
thinly sliced green onions (mostly green parts)
very thinly sliced fresh jalapeño (omit if sensitive to spice)
small wedges of lime
Warm a medium soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the cinnamon sticks, cloves, and star anise and toast until fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the onion, ginger, water, broth, and soy sauce and raise the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer for 30 minutes to give the flavors to meld.
In the meantime, prepare your rice noodles by cooking them according to package directions. Set them aside.
To prepare the shiitake mushrooms, I added it to the broth and cooked the mushrooms until they were tender. But feel free to cook this separately.
Once the broth is done cooking, strain out the onions, ginger, and spices. The easy way is to use a small metal sieve, but you can also strain the mixture through a colander into another large bowl. Don’t forget to leave the mushrooms in the broth.
Season it to taste with salt and then add the cooked noodles. I love eating pho with tons of vegetables so feel free to add steamed broccoli or steamed bok choy.