the taste space

Wild Mushroom and Minted Brussels Faux Pho

Posted in Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian), Soups by janet @ the taste space on September 28, 2013

Wild Mushroom and Minted Brussels Faux Pho

Apparently, the worst is behind me.

While my homies in Canada relish in local winter squashes, apples and other fall delights, Houston is experiencing its autumn as well. Last weekend as Rob and I went out for our weekly cronut ride, wherein we no longer buy cronuts, almost overnight, after the torrential rains had abated, there was a bit of a nip in the morning air. Of course, this is still Houston. It is all relative. Translation: It was only 20C (68F) that morning but I was cold in my sleeveless shirt and shorts. My parents are battling frost warnings at night, and their highs are still our lows. A few days later and a few degrees more, we are back in summer mode. As I write this, at 6am on the last Saturday in September, it is 25C, feels like 36C (77F and 97F respectively). Five degrees short of the day’s high. Woe is me. I am really looking forward to this “winter”. Perhaps this could entice more people to come visit me?? :)

While I have not yet been craving kabocha squashes, I spotted a stalk of Brussels sprouts at the grocer. With a cute tag that exclaimed “We’re back!”. In Ontario, I’ve associated Brussels sprouts as fall/winter vegetables and ate my weight in them last year. I broke down and carried the huge stalk home with me, almost cradling like a baby since I did not want to damage them.

Wild Mushroom and Minted Brussels Faux Pho

I ended up combining a ton of Asian goodies (thank you Viet Hoa) with the Brussels sprouts to create this very nice rendition of Vietnamese pho. The ingredient list is daunting, but it is a fairly simple soup to whip up. The abundance of vegetables creates a flavourful soup without too much of a soup base. The broth is nicely flavoured with ginger, star anise, tart lime juice, salty tamari and aromatic toasted sesame oil. Fresh mint adds a beautiful brightness. For the vegetables, seared Brussels sprouts, baby bok choy and meaty mushrooms make up the bulk of the soup. In addition, I added sliced water chestnuts, julienned bamboo shoots and baby corn (the latter all canned).  I haven’t cooked with them before, but the bamboo shoots were akin to short noodles and the water chestnuts added a neat crunch. Definitely recommended. I used a mix of Asian mushrooms (shiitake, Portobello and enoki) but feel free to use just one.

The soup made a ton and filled me up all week long. Leftovers were just as good, if not better. While this may not seem like a fall-inspired recipe, this seems like a Texan fall-inspired meal. A light veggie-filled soup perfect during the hot weather. Hannah told me she may stop to read my blog during the winter, as she lives in Toronto, missing her warm Aussie winters. Please don’t hate me for the abundant heat! :)

Have you fallen for fall veggies yet?

Brussels sprouts done before:

Simple Ayurvedic Brussels Sprout, Mushroom and Leek Mixed Grain Skillet

Chinese Five Spice Vegetable and Noodle Stir Fry

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Creamy Balsamic Miso Dressing

Roasted Orange and Brussels Sprout Veggie Noodle Bowl

Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Chickpeas

Roasted Balsamic Curry Fall Vegetables and Cranberries with Kamut

Warm Lentil Salad with Caramelized Onions and Brussels Sprouts

Wild Mushroom and Minted Brussels Faux Pho

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays.

Wild Mushroom and Minted Brussels Faux Pho
Adapted from Crazy Sexy Kitchen

2 tsp coconut oil
1 small onion, diced
300g Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved if large
5 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp grated ginger
5 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked, stemmed and sliced
200g enoki mushrooms, trimmed and coarsely chopped
2 large portobello mushrooms, stemmed and coarsely chopped (165g)
3 heads baby bok choy, chopped, leaves and stems separated (375g)
400 ml can of baby corn, drained
8 fl oz can of sliced water chestnuts
8 fl oz can of julienned bamboo shoots
1.5 tbsp low-sodium tamari
1 star anise
3 limes, juiced (3/4 cup)
2 tbsp finely chopped mint
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

1. Heat coconut oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat. Once hot, add in the onions and Brussels sprouts and sear for 1 minute. Add in a small amount of broth to steam.

2. Stir in the ginger and all the mushrooms and cook for 1-2 minutes.

3. Add remaining vegetable broth and cook until the mushrooms are cooked through, around 10 minutes.

4. Stir in the bok choy stems, baby corn, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, and tamari. If you have a tea ball, place the star anise inside it for easier removal. If not you’ll just have to fish it out later. Bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes. Add water if necessary.

5. Remove from heat. Stir in the baby bok choy leaves and allow to wilt. Remove the star anise. Stir in the lime juice, mint and toasted sesame oil. Season to taste. Serve with your favourite noodle, if desired.

Serves 4.

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27 Responses

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  1. sprint2thetable said, on September 28, 2013 at 8:44 AM

    I’ve never thought to do Asian brussels! I’m headed to the international market today… they have so many kind of mushrooms I don’t even know where to start. This could be dangerous.

    Have a great weekend!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on September 29, 2013 at 2:39 PM

      Yes! I love Asian mushrooms! Sadly, they are not as cheap here as the Asian markets in Canada…. so I won’t be eating them as much, methinks. Lots of other things to eat while I am here, though.

  2. coconutandberries said, on September 28, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    I love bamboo shoots and water chestnuts and all kinds of Asian mushroom…oh and Brussels sprouts of course! Yum! I had my first Brussels of the season just the other day.
    Crazy that it’s still so hot with you. Not sure how I feel about 25C in September…I hate the cold but that temperature somehow seems wrong for Autumn.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on September 29, 2013 at 2:40 PM

      I am ok with a balmy fall but I don’t know how I will feel without any snow for winter. That will be uber weird. Totally stoked for year-round cycling weather, though. ;)

  3. Eileen said, on September 28, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    Fall in Texas sounds an awful lot like fall in California! It is a bit cooler here, but not by much. This soup sounds wonderful for a grey day! Also an excellent reason for me to go out and find some star anise… :)

    • janet @ the taste space said, on September 29, 2013 at 2:41 PM

      Eileen, yes, I imagine California would be comparible.. although perhaps the ocean cools things down a bit. Although you guys have more local veg, making California more desirable imho. ;)

  4. Joanne said, on September 28, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    I’m just now realizing that I don’t think I’ve ever made an Asian flavored soup before. CRAZY. The brussels sprout cravings haven’t really started for me yet, but I bought my first kabocha today!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on September 29, 2013 at 2:41 PM

      Yay for kabocha! I think you’d love this soup, Joanne. I hope you do your 12 weeks of winter squash again this year. :)

  5. Gaby said, on September 28, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    Oh no, don’t worry, it’s not fall yet! Yes it is a welcome relief from the 105 we’ve had but it will continue getting better- promise! It will make for even better bike rides!
    I think I was inspired today, plus I”ve wanted to go to the Asian market since I got back, I headed to H Mart after getting cleaned up. I’d only been only years ago and usually go to 99 ranch so I decided to switch it up. I think I”m going back to 99 ranch or Viet Hoa next time, more variety and cheaper. But I still got a bunch of fun stuff! A giant kabocha, some steamed rice balls, king oyster muchrooms, and big bags of grains. I got a korean 7 grain, purple sticky rice, and buckwheat- not asian but I love it. And I got chinese 5 spice since I’ve been seeing recipes with it. I used it to bake some tofu tonight. I like it but it seems almost middle eastern?
    Yummy dinner paired with the korean 7 grain nonetheless :)

    • janet @ the taste space said, on September 29, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      Yes! A winter filled with real road cycling is the best idea for Houston. :) Glad you liked the ride. I have a few recipes with C5S – I like it in stir fries but using it on tofu or roasted squash sounds like a great idea. After going to H-Mart, Viet Hoa and 99 Ranch, I can’t decide on a favourite. They are all good for different things. It also depends on what you buy, etc. However these are my thoughts:
      1. 99 Ranch does not carry our favourite kimchi (H-Mart and Viet Hoa do)
      2. 99 Ranch had more surprise specials on their produce, but I’d say the prices were similar for all
      3. H-Mart felt the cleanest with the freshest produce, followed by 99 Ranch
      4. H-Mart & 99 Ranch have our favourite brown rice (Viet Hoa does not)
      5. Viet Hoa has all the fun fresh tofu curd shapes (99 Ranch does not, but they have dried bean curd sticks)
      6. 99 Ranch is more international but I don’t know what their turnover is for the Indian, etc. Viet Hoa is also more broad. H-Mart is definitely the place for all things Korean. I want to try the new veggies form them

      For the cheapest produce, the best is the $1 guy at Canino’s (quality not as good but dude, it is cheap).. followed by Welcome in Chinatown (not as cheap but better quality).

  6. Johanna GGG said, on September 29, 2013 at 8:49 AM

    sounds delicious – I love pho and now I want to make one like this just because I am amused by the name ‘faux pho’

    and I understand your weather angst – we have soaring hot temperatures while the northern hemisphere freezes and it is always odd to read about others elsewhere having such different weather – good fresh fruit and veg make it feel better (am loving asparagus at the moment!)

    • janet @ the taste space said, on September 29, 2013 at 2:43 PM

      I think you will really like this, Johanna. It is funny how I am still in tune with seasons even though it doesn’t feel like a big change here yet. At least I know those down under may appreciate some non-seasonal meal ideas. :) Yay for asparagus!

  7. veganmiam.com said, on September 29, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    Wow, here in Buenos Aires, it is 7C (44F) and it is pouring rain as I am writing. I read that the weather will be warming up to 70F by next week and it is the springtime here. I wish we can trade spots. I have to visit Houston one day, one of my best friends moved to Dallas few weeks ago. This soup looks simply amazing with these brussel sprouts – and I love loads of Asian goodies in my soup or stew including leftovers! Speaking of Asian dishes, I will be posting vegan food from the Phuket Vegetarian Festival this week!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on September 29, 2013 at 2:46 PM

      We have been heavy into Asian (Chinese/Indian/etc) cooking recently, so I look forward to your wrap-up. I am envious of your travels although it looks like we are both heading to Mexico City this year. :)

  8. Deb in Hawaii said, on September 29, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    This looks better than any vegan pho I have ever seen–so full of good stuff! Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week. ;-)

  9. Ellen Lederman said, on September 30, 2013 at 7:25 AM

    Yum! I love faux pho and I love brussel sprouts, so yup, this one is a winner! The mint is interesting in it—just have put cilantro in my phos. Can see basil in it as well. But will try the mint, unless it’s unavailable/too expensive.

    So you thought the b sprouts were done enough after just 1 minute of searing and then the simmering? I’m used to roasting them for a lot longer…

    • janet @ the taste space said, on September 30, 2013 at 8:09 PM

      Hey Ellen, Basil sounds like a great idea, too… and probably more authentic. One can never have too many herbs, imho. I actually thought the sprouts were well cooked…. you end up simmering then quite some time afterwards (~20 minutes). It probably depends on their size, too, but I didn’t have any problems. Just simmer until soft/al dente. ;) Please let me know how you like it :)

      • Ellen Lederman said, on October 7, 2013 at 3:23 PM

        Loved it, but had to add some hoisin and Siracha to ramp it up. Used basil since I’m trying to use up our basil plant before it dies. Started to cook the b sprouts as you suggested—but then realized I wouldn’t be happy unless they were roasted, so I roasted them first. Please don’t revoke my brussel sprouts fan club membership because I only seem to like them roasted!

      • janet @ the taste space said, on October 9, 2013 at 3:34 PM

        Roasting is great, too. I know! I am just doing more low-key, simple recipes…. although I have started to use my oven. In the summer, that wouldn’t have happened. haha. It must be cooling down in Atlanta, too? Our recent cold front meant it was 58F this morning… but it will still warm up later.

  10. […] out that while writing my round-up of my favourite Brussels sprout recipes, I was reminded of my Ayurvedic kick last winter.  I am currently on a dill-kick and decided to […]

  11. […] (via Wild Mushroom and Minted Brussels Faux Pho | the taste space) […]

  12. […] The Taste Space shared Wild Mushroom and Minted Brussels Sprouts Faux Pho […]

  13. […] Get used to the heat, quickly. Stay indoors. Use the air conditioner. Do not go outside between 9am and […]

  14. kimthevegan www.rockmyvegansocks.vaskor.ca said, on October 5, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Oooh this sounds super tasty =) I love brussels sprouts – this sounds awesome.
    I’m in a similar boat as you (moved from near Toronto ON to Northern Cali), I do not miss the weather at all! I do miss good-tasting apples sometimes though ;p

    • janet @ the taste space said, on October 6, 2013 at 7:52 PM

      Yes, apples are lacking.. well, the diversity of Ontario apples.. and the el cheapo prices… BUT, Honeycrisp can be found so much cheaper here. I found some for $1.25/lb over the summer… now with the new crop, things have increased but perhaps I will find more Honeycrisp here than I did in Toronto ;)

  15. […] that time when I thought fall had arrived in Houston? The morning had a bit of a chill, despite daytime highs that were reminiscent of a typical Toronto […]

  16. […] Brussels sprouts roasted, I also like them slipped into scrambles, skillets, stir fries, pastas, soups and salads. The last on my bucket list (I think) was to try them raw, shredded into a […]


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