I recently saw one of those recipe videos on Facebook for pho in a jar and thought it would be the perfect take-along for lunch. The options for this recipe are nearly limitless, but they all carry along a similar theme: fresh vegetables, noodles, and broth (meat and tofu are optional but lovely additions, too). Extra seasonings like salt, pepper, lemon or lime juice, hot sauce, sriracha, and soy sauce are great in these soups as well.
To give this dish a try, here’s how I recommend getting started:
INGREDIENTS (makes 2 pint-size mason jars):
2 oz. dry Asian rice noodles (the really thin ones)
About 2 cups fresh vegetables (leafy greens are great in this, anything diced)
2 cloves minced garlic
2 Tablespoons chopped spring onions/scallions/chives
About 8 basil leaves, torn into pieces
About 4 cups broth (some may be left over), seasoned to your liking with salt and pepper
Divide the above ingredients into two pint-size mason jars, in the following order. Start by putting your rice noodles into a mason jar. Follow up with garlic, spring onions, and basil at the bottom of the jar. Place about 1 cup of vegetables into the jar. Squirt in some lime juice and a dash or two of hot sauce, then fill each jar to the brim with broth. The trick here is for the broth to carry plenty of flavor, so make sure its a good one and that its seasoned to your liking. Then screw on the lids and throw the jars into your lunch bags. The noodles will soak up broth during the day to become par-cooked, and you’ll just need to put your jar (without the metal lid!!) into the microwave at work for a minute or two to warm it all up. Let it steep for a few minutes, give it a stir, and enjoy!
You can also add in diced cooked chicken, shrimp, or tofu, although you may need to use less veggies to leave room for the broth.
Microwave-free Version: This recipe can be altered by using bouillon in place of the broth – either dried or paste varieties – and simply adding boiling water from the water cooler at work (and skipping the microwave). Follow the directions to use enough bouillon for 4 cups of broth (2 cups each for 2 mason jars). In this case, the noodles will also need to be cooked ahead of time. Boil them in water until tender, then drain and add to your mason jar on top of all the other ingredients. Let it steep for a few minutes, give it a stir, and enjoy!