3/4 to 1 pound pork liver or pork heart
- Boil the pork liver/pork heart in water with 2 tablespoon of vinegar until cooked and then put in ice water to harden before slicing.
1/3 cup Crispy Fried Onions and Garlic
3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1/2 pound ground pork, roughly chopped to loosen
- Ground pork is fried on stove with a little oil and garlic.
1 1/2 to 2 pounds dried flat rice noodles (b?nh pho) or skinny yellow egg noodles, cooked in boiling water (3 to 4 minutes for the rice noodles), drained, and flushed with cold water
16 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 Chinese chives, cut into 1 1/2-inch-long pieces
1 small bunch Chinese celery, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch-long pieces
2 cups bean sprouts (about 1/3 pound), picked over, washed, and drained well
2 or 3 hot chili peppers, thinly sliced
Make the broth
1. In a stockpot over high heat, bring the bones and water to a boil. Empty the first batch of boiling water to rid of the excess scum. Refill pot and bring to a boil and use a strainer to skim any scum that rises to the top. Add the remaining ingredients. Once the broth returns to a boil, lower the heat to simmer for 1 hour.
At this point, the boneless pork meat should be slightly chewy but not tough. Press it and it should feel like the flesh at the base of your thumb. When it?s cooked to your liking, use tongs to transfer it to a bowl of cold water. Let the meat soak for 10 minutes to prevent it from drying up and turning dark. Drain the meat and let it cool before refrigerating. Throughout this time, the broth should have continued to simmer. In total, the broth should simmer for 2 hours before it?s done.
2. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer (or a coarse mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth) positioned over a large saucepan.
3. Use a ladle to skim as much fat from the top of the broth as you like. (Cool it and then refrigerate overnight to make this task easier; reheat before continuing.) Taste and adjust the flavor with additional salt and/or fish sauce.
Prepare the toppings
4. While the broth simmers, poach the pork liver/pork heart. Fill a saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the liver/heart and lower the heat to gently simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the liver/heart feels firm. Remove from the water and put in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes to prevent it from drying up. Drain the liver/heart and cut in thinly slices and store with the cooked meat.
5. Prepare the crispy garlic if you haven?t already, reserving the cooking oil in the skillet. Add extra oil so that there?s about 3 tablespoons total. Heat over medium-low heat and add the garlic. Gently saut?, stirring frequently, until golden. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the garlic to a small bowl. Set aside to cool.
6. There should be a good 2 tablespoons of oil in the skillet. If not, add a little extra. Heat over medium heat and add the pork, garlic, salt and pepper, stirring to break the pork up into small pieces. Cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through. Transfer to a small bowl. Set aside to cool. All of these toppings may be prepared in advance and refrigerated. Return to room temperature before assembling the bowls.
Assemble the bowls
7. Place the thinly sliced (1/16 thick) pork liver and pork heart and place on bowl with noodles on the bottom. For the best results, make sure they are cold. Have ready the shallot, garlic, ground pork, noodles, and shrimp for assembling the bowls. Arrange the garnishes on a plate or put them in small dishes and put on the table.
8. To ensure good timing, bring the broth to a simmer over medium heat while you are assembling the bowls. Add the shrimp and poach them for about 2 minutes, or until they have curled and turned orange. Remove from the broth and set aside.
9. At the same time, fill a large pot with water and bring to a rolling boil. For each bowl, place a portion of the noodles on a vertical-handle strainer (or mesh sieve) and dunk the noodles in the boiling water. As soon as they have collapsed and lost their stiffness (10 to 20 seconds), pull the strainer from the water, letting the water drain back into the pot. Empty the noodles into a bowl.
10. Top each bowl with sliced pork, liver/heart and 2 shrimp, 2 quail eggs. In the center add some cooked ground pork, fried garlic, and crispy onions.
11. Raise the heat and bring the broth to a boil. Do a final tasting and make any last-minute flavor adjustments. Ladle about 2 cups broth into each bowl, distributing the hot liquid evenly to warm all the ingredients. Serve immediately with the garnishes.
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