Whenever I come down with a cold, or wake up with a nasty hangover, all I want is a big bowl of soup. Sometimes, I check the pantry only to find that I'm all out of Campbell's and Chunky (hey, a girl's gotta eat). Luckily, living in an Asian home, I always have some type of dry noodle and broth at hand, so for my under $5 budget recipe, I'd like to share with you all the magic of pho.

Pho is a Vietnamese dish, and although I'm Chinese-American I grew up going to a local Vietnamese restaurant and began my love affair with the dish. Pronounced like "fuh," Pho is a noodle soup, with long, flat noodles in a broth, usually with some kind of topping. The recipe is incredibly easy, quick, and gives you room to add whatever you'd like at the end.


INGREDIENTS
-1 Can of Chicken broth (about 14 oz)
-1 Package of Pho noodles (Check Asian grocery stores)

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS
-Eggs
-Cilantro
-Beef balls
-Sriacha Hot Sauce
-Hoisin sauce
-Bean sprouts
-Anything you want

DIRECTIONS
1. Pour the chicken broth into a small pot. Bring to a boil.
2. If you've been to a Vietnamese restaurant, you've probably seen the Sriacha Hot Sauce (hot sauce with a green cap and a rooster on the label) and Hoisin sauce (kind of like Chinese barbeque sauce)on the table. If you're feeling daring, mix in both sauces into your chicken broth until you like the taste, otherwise stick with the chicken broth to be safe. You can always mix these in after as well.
3. Once the broth is boiling, put in your pho noodles. Pho noodles, when you buy them at the grocery store, usually come in bundles within a larger pack. If you're just cooking for yourself, use one bundle. It should be enough and you can always add more.
4. Keep the broth boiling, and occasionally stir the noodles. Once they are al dente, turn the heat off. Have a big bowl ready and pour the noodles and broth out. Now, enjoy your pho!

Once the noodles are about halfway done or almost done, this is when you can add toppings that you might like. Occasionally, I crack an egg in the broth and add cilantro as a garnish. It's your pho, so put whatever you want in it! Try and use up ingredients you have left over from past meals, such as celery, carrots or even small pieces of meat.

Not only is the dish incredibly filling, it's quite cheap to make as well.
-14 oz. can of chicken broth $1.65
-Pack of Pho noodles $2.75
GRAND TOTAL $4.40

So next time you need a heartwarming dish and don't want to break the bank, cozy up to a nice steaming bowl of pho!

--Samantha Chin, NYCRD Contributor

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