This fish soup with rice noodles came together easily resulting in a wonderfully complex broth. I’m a fan of Vietnamese Phở and this had the spirit of it but was different in a good way. I will be making this again in the future.
For the broth
2 white onions , chopped
1 lb tilapia or catfish fillet (I used tilapia)
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger , chopped
5 cloves garlic , minced
8 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons paprika
8 tablespoons rice flour (or chickpea flour)
3 stalks lemongrass
2 teaspoons dashi powder
8 tablespoons fish sauce (I used Red Boat)
1 lb rice noodles
1 bunch cilantro , coarsely chopped
3 hard-boiled eggs , halved
2 limes , quartered
Crushed red pepper
1. Cut about 2 inches from the base of each lemongrass stalks and thinly slice those pieces.
2. Vigorously pound the remaining piece of each lemongrass stalk and cut each stalk into 3 inch sections.
3. The thinly sliced lemongrass rings will be fried and the long sections will be used for the broth.
4. Prepare the broth by bringing 10 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan with the dashi powder and 2 tablespoons of fish sauce.
5. Add the pounded lemongrass sections, and the fish fillets. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the fish is cooked through.
6. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium/high heat. When the oil is hot enough, add the chopped onion, garlic, ginger and thinly sliced lemongrass. Sauté for 3-4 minutes.
7. Reduce heat to medium. Add turmeric, paprika, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
8. Meanwhile, remove the filets from the pot. Using two forks, coarsely chop the fish as thinly as possible.
9. Add the fish to the mixture in the pan. Increase heat to medium/high, and cook the fish with the sauce for about 10 minutes, stirring vigorously and fairly regularly.
10. Place fish mixture into the broth and bring to a boil again.
11. Add the other 4 tablespoons of fish sauce. Add the rice flour and stir. Bring to a boil and let the broth simmer for about 15 minutes or until the broth has considerably thickened.
12. In each individual bowl, add noodles and cover with broth. Put half a boiled egg on top, and sprinkle cilantro and crushed pepper. Serve with a wedge of lime.