restaurant: Quang’s

Quang’s was the natural next choice for the Best Pho Quest - it’s been recommended many times and the awards throughout the years fill the entry way of the restaurant. Like many good ethnic restaurants, it’s located on Eat Street and so far, the Pho I’ve found on Eat Street has proven itself.

It’s a good thing that Pho is quite inexpensive, because now that winter is officially here, warm, spicy soup sounds all the better and I’m hoping this means my visits are more frequent. In fact, the night we visited Quang’s, my parents were in town and we were also hit with the first official snow of the season. The pho is so warming, that not even the coldest of toes are left unwarmed.

Quang’s was pretty busy, especially considering the snowy day and when we arrived, almost all of the tables were filled – always a good sign.  The service was great, our waitress was adorable and when our spring rolls arrived, she told us it would be about 6 minutes until the meals arrived. Talk about quick service!

I often waffle between getting the meatballs and sliced beef or just sticking with the beef, and I think I’ll be skipping the meatballs from now on. No matter the restaurant, they always seem a bit off to me, Quang’s included. They had an odd sort of bounce to them, that was not really a desirable quality. The sliced beef was great and I think I’ll stick with that from now on.

Overall, the pho was great, but I really wasn’t wowed. The broth was a tad bland on it’s own, and wonderful once the lime juice and sriracha were added, but I know that I can’t call this the best out there. (This also means my search continues :) )

It should also be noted that they do not sell any alcohol, and I usually like a little wine with my meal. Tea was fine this time, but only because it was so cold! ;)

The taster is also  joining this Best Of Vietnamese quest, but sticking with the vermicelli salads. The grilled meat on this particular one was delicious and sweet and I must say that while I certainly prefer pho, I must say that I am also enjoying all of these salads.

Quang Restaurant

2719 Nicollet Ave. S.
Mpls., MN 55408
(612) 870-4739

Monday: 11am – 9pm
Tuesday: Closed
Wed-Fri: 11am – 9pm
Saturday: 10am – 9pm
Sunday: 10am – 8:30pm

miso soup

My favorite part of going out for sushi is the miso soup. Sure, I love Rainbow Rolls and my favorite Spicy Tuna Roll, but I really love starting my meal with miso soup. The warm, salty broth meets your lips with the cool, smooth porcelain spoon.  Slurp away, you don’t even need the sushi!

Miso Soup - 2 servings

  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp miso + more to taste
  • 1/2 cup green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 block tofu, diced into cubes
  • dried wakame

Soak wakame in hot water for at least 20 minutes. Drain water, cut into bite sized pieces and set aside. (Be sure to cut around the stem)

Heat broth and water in sauce pan. Add miso and whisk until miso is dissolved.

Add wakame, green onions and tofu to broth mixture and bring to a simmer.

Taste and add more miso if needed. (I added about 1 more Tbsp)

chinese hot & sour soup

When Justin from Marx Foods contacted me about participating in “A Chile & A Spoon” Blogger Recipe Challenge, I accepted immediately – I love a good challenge and I love anything with some spice. As I considered what to make Asian foods kept coming to mind. I am after all, still obsessed with all flavors Asian. So I turned to the Internet and determined the essential flavors and ingredients of a classic hot & sour soup.

This Chinese classic had phenomenal flavor. It is spicy from the chilies, sour from the vinegar and savory from the chicken broth and Asian sauces. The pork and meaty mushrooms take this soup from starter to meal, and it is definitely substantial enough for a meal.

Chinese Hot & Sour Soup - 4 servings

  • dried chilies (I used Japones Chilies, a medium heat Asian Chile)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 lb pork loin, thinly sliced into bite size pieces
  • 8 oz exotic mushrooms (mix of baby bella, oyster and shitake), sliced
  • 3 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 can bamboo sprouts
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 eggs, whisked together
  • green onions, thinly sliced

Soak chilies in boiling water for at least 30 minutes. Drain from water.

Heat oil in wok and when hot add pork, stirring frequently for about 3-4 minutes.

Prepare sauce: combine vinegars, fish and soy sauce and sesame oil.

Add mushrooms, ginger, bamboo sprouts and sauce to wok. Cook for another 4-5 minutes. Add chicken broth and chilies. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Prepare cornstarch: mix 1 tsp cornstarch with 2 tsp water. Add to soup mixture and  stir well.

Taste soup – at this point I added a touch of salt, pepper and 1 tsp of sriracha.

While stirring soup, pour eggs into wok. Divide into soup bowls.

Garnish with green onions and a chile pepper.

thanksgiving 2010: turkey noodle soup

The big question after Thanksgiving is always what to make with the leftovers. Growing up, we always spent Thanksgiving in Milwaukee and the Friday after, we always had turkey sandwiches on little potato buns with crunchy lettuce and a bit of mayo. While sandwiches are fine and often appreciated, this year I wanted to do something a little different and I finally wanted to tackle something I’ve been putting off for the last year: noodles from scratch.

My noodles need some work, these were more like dumplings, but I did what I could without a rolling pin and I promise you next time they’ll look more like noodles. :) If you don’t feel like making your own noodles, you could always just add 2-3 cups cooked whole grain noodles right before serving.

The best thing about soup is that it easily freezes – meaning I can wait to eat it until I feel like turkey again – in March.

Turkey Noodle Soup - about 6 servings

  • entire leftover turkey (I removed most of the meat – you’ll be surprised by how much falls off when making the broth)
  • 2 white onions
  • 4 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 5 large carrots, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt, pepper, 1/2 tsp sage, 1/2 tsp parsley and 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups shredded turkey
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg + 1/2 egg yolk
  • 2-3 Tbsp water

    Prepare the Broth: Cover turkey carcass in large pan. Chop one onion into large pieces and add them to water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for about 3 hours. When cool, strain all the liquid out and separate meat and bones. Set aside meat and discard bones.

    Prepare the Soup: Mince remaining onion. Heat olive oil in large pan and when hot, add onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Season with salt & pepper and remaining spices.  Stir occasionally for about 5 minutes.

    Add 12 cups of broth and the shredded turkey to the pot. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for about an hour.

    Prepare the noodles: Combine flour and salt in bowl. Form a well in the center. Add egg, yolk and water (start with 2 Tbsp, add more if need-be) and mix together with fork. Knead for about 5 minutes on a floured surface. Set aside. Roll into thin pieces and cut into desired shapes. Boil in salted water for about 8-10 minutes.

    Add noodles to soup and taste. Add more salt and/or seasonings if necessary, remember the broth doesn’t have any!