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Phunky Barbecue Pho with Pork

Serves 4

Asian flavors abound in this wonderful soup with slow-cooked braised pork, bean sprouts, ginger, garlic and freshly torn herbs contrasted with hot and plum sauces and zested lime.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus additional for drizzling
  • 1 1/2 pounds pork shoulder (boneless loin chops may also be used)
  • 2 quarts chicken broth, divided
  • 1 1/2-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, sliced
  • Salt
  • 1/2 pound angel hair pasta
  • 1 small red onion, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 lime
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, torn
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, torn
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Sriracha hot sauce, for stirring in
  • Plum or hoisin sauce, for stirring in


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Pre-heat oven to 325°F.
  2. For the braised pork: In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, about one turn of the pan. Sear the pork shoulder on all sides until brown, about 4-5 minutes on each side.
  3. Remove to a plate.
  4. Pour a quart of chicken broth into the Dutch oven and scrape up all the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Place the pork shoulder back in the pot, put the lid on and put in the oven for 2 hours, until it’s tender and falls apart when poked with a fork. Remove from the oven, take the pork out of the pot and set it aside until cool enough to handle. Once cool, shred the pork with two forks and strain the liquid into a soup pot.
  5. Add the remaining quart of stock and 2 cups of water to the soup pot. Then add the ginger and garlic and reduce the heat to simmer.
  6. Cook the pasta for a couple of minutes in salted boiling water to al dente, then drain, cool and dress with a drizzle of oil to keep noodles from sticking together.
  7. Place the red onions in small bowl. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zest off the lime in a long curl or two, then very thinly slice it into small, thin strips. Cut the lime into wedges.
  8. Turn a small bundle of noodles on a fork and place a bundle in each of four deep soup bowls. Top the noodles with the smoky pork strips and douse with a squirt of lime. Remove the ginger and garlic from the broth with a spider or slotted spoon. Ladle lots of hot, fragrant broth over the pork and noodles. Add in the onions, lime zest, sprouts, herbs and sauces as you like – I take mine with the works!