Japanese sweet potatoes add Asian flair to this easy take on pho, a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup; their pale, creamy color makes them look more authentic. If you can't find Japanese sweet potatoes, substitute Jersey yellow sweet potato or regular white potatoes. This is a vegetarian version, but if you're a meat-eater, use beef broth and add seared tenderloin before serving.
2 large Japanese sweet potatoes
1 Tbs. peanut, olive, or coconut oil
4 cups vegetable broth
4 whole garlic cloves, crushed
8¼-inch slices fresh ginger root
2 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 cups shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 Tbs. fish sauce, plus more for serving
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup Thai basil or sweet basil leaves
1 serrano chili, thinly sliced
Sriracha chili sauce for serving
- Scrub potatoes, cut off ends and spiralize into long, thin noodles. Set aside.
- In a medium pot, heat oil and sauté onion until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add broth, garlic, ginger, star anise, cinnamon, and pepper. Cover and simmer, covered, for at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour. Strain and discard solids. Return broth to pot and add mushrooms, fish sauce, and sweet potato noodles. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, until mushrooms and potatoes are tender.
- To serve, ladle servings into each bowl. Top with green onions, bean sprouts, basil, Serrano chili slices, fish sauce, and Sriracha. Serve immediately.