October 6, 2010

{Product Review} Happy Pho Vietnamese Brown Rice Noodle Soup

 I've been feeling under the weather, so when a package of Happy Pho Shiitake Mushroom arrived at my doorstep, I was grateful for the means to a quick, nourishing dinner.  The noodles were sent to me from Thao and Karen - the 2 woman team behind Star Anise Foods.  Thao was inspired by her grandparents' 80 year-old recipe developed in their small kitchen near Hanoi.  And lucky for me, there's nothing like a grandmother's touch to help me feel better!
What I liked about the product was the list of simple, natural ingredients.  The spice packet contained organic star anise, organic Saigon cinnamon, Shiitake mushrooms, spring onions, black cardamom, and ginger.  The brown rice noodles, which are also gluten free, was made out of 100% brown rice flour, water, organic green tea, and salt.
The package only contains gluten-free pho noodles and the spice packet.  The spice packet was derived from Thao's grandparents' pho broth.  And the box itself (100% recycled paperboard, soy-based ink) reflects the duo's commitment to the environment. 
And they also encourage you to cook, as opposed to just heating up these noodles.  So I followed the recipe on the box and boiled 4 cups of Organic Vegetable broth, and later adding cubed firm organic tofu.
I added the noodles to the broth and tofu, along with sliced Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced Oyster Mushrooms, Cilantro, Spring Onion, Spinach, and ground Black Pepper.
Overall, my husband and I both enjoyed the fragrant broth (the cinnamon is noticeable, but we like that spice) as well as the soft noodles.  The Happy Pho Shiitake Mushroom is a good base for an easy weekday dinner.  The other flavors Star Anise Foods makes are Garlic Goodness and Zesty Ginger.  They also sell just the brown noodles.

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