Fusion Cabbage and Mushroom Pho

Decided some Asian soup would be good on a cold Winter night so made a fusion pho.  Funny since Vietnam’s not really a cold place.  Rather than boil beef bones all day I make a shortcut pho broth from supermarket beef broth that’s quick, easy, and tasty. I call it fusion because it includes some Chinese ingredients, Penzey’s five spice powder, oyster sauce, and hoisin.


  • 32 oz. carton of beef broth
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 tablespoons diced ginger
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small head of cabbage
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • Fish sauce
  • Hoisin sauce or brown sugar
  • Five Spice Powder
  • Oyster sauce
  • 3 large of 5 medium sized mushrooms
  • 2 green onions sliced
  • 1/2 pound rare steak

Here’s how I  make it:

  1. Pour a 32 oz. container of beef broth into a soup pot and warm to a simmer.
  2. Dice a small onion and wrap the pieces in foil along with a tablespoon of ginger. Put the foil package in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes
  3. Cut up a small head of cabbage and sauté in 3 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside
  4. Put the baked onion and ginger from the foil packet into the soup pot. Turn the heat up to boil the broth for a few seconds then back down to a simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the juice from half a lime, several squirts of fish sauce, two shakes of the five spice powder, and a couple of squirts of hoisin. If you don’t have hoisin, use a tablespoon of brown sugar.
  6. Cut up three large or five medium size mushrooms and sauté in the frying pan in an additional tablespoon of vegetable oil. When mushrooms soften, add a couple of glops (the scientific term for a tablespoon) of oyster sauce and stir until all the mushrooms are coated.
  7. Remove the onion and ginger pieces from the broth with a strainer and discard
  8. Divide the cabbage and mushrooms evenly in the bowls and ladle the broth over them.
  9. Add the steak and green onion pieces to the bowls and serve immediately with Siracha and hoisin sauce.  Accompany with a glass of beer.

About Jim Cooper

Longtime Virginian originally from the West with an interest in food and drink from both places as well as vintage cocktails.
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