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Okay, this is really a bit more like ramen, but it doesn’t sound as fun that way.. 🙂 While I don’t often crave pasta on a low-carb diet, I definitely miss ramen and pho, so I threw this together and it really scratches the itch. Bonus points for it being really, really easy to make and pretty fast to throw together. It’s VERY filling, and while this recipe comes in at 11g net carbs as-is, you will be stuffed afterwards.
A Note on the Noodles
We’ll be using shirataki noodles, which I’ve mentioned before. Shirataki are traditional Japanese noodles made from the konjac yam. Largely composed of water and glucomannan, a water-soluble dietary fiber, they are very low in digestible carbohydrates and calories, and have little flavor of their own, which makes them great to use in flavorful dishes to bulk them up and stretch them further.
There are several brands that make them, and they’re all kinda the same. I’ve used Miracle Noodle and Nooodle brand, and I’m sure I couldn’t tell the difference between them. While you can certainly use whatever noodle format you like, I’ve found that angel hair works best for this dish.
One VERY important thing about shirataki noodles though – you MUST rinse them well.
When they come out of the package, they have what can only be described as a kind of fishy smell. As gross as that sounds, as long as you rinse them well, you will absolutely not taste it. All of the bad reviews you might see on Amazon are because folks didn’t rinse them well.
The noodles themselves don’t have the exact texture of ramen noodles – they’re a little chewier – but you can dry-fry them in a pan for 10 minutes or so after rinsing them and letting the water drain, and I’ve found it improves the texture.
A Note on the Meat
I’ve used leftover tri-tip once and Canadian bacon another time, but any number of meats could work here. Use whatever is leftover in your fridge, or cook up a steak or some pork just for this, whatever works for you. Or don’t use any meat at all! You’re the boss.
A Note on… Boiling Water?
Okay, so this one might be obvious to normal people, but I boned this once and made a mess. In this recipe, we use the leftover mushroom water as part of the water for the soup. I tried to be very clever, of course, and measured the mushroom water, and added the rest of the amount of the water needed to make the soup – and I put it in my electric kettle to save me time from having to boil it on a stove. Welp. It foamed over and I lost about half of the contents of the kettle all over the counter. Don’t be me. You can use an electric kettle, but mix the mushroom water in AFTER.
Low-Carb Faux Pho
Prep the salty eggs
- Medium or soft-boil 4 eggs and peel them
- Mix about 4 tablespoons of salt with water in a small bowl, and submerge the eggs. Put them in the fridge while you work on the other steps
Prep the mushrooms
- Follow the instructions on the packaging to start to re-hydrate the mushrooms. Do not throw away the water when you're done though – you'll be using that to make the soup!
Prep the noodles
- Heat a large frying pan with NO oil in it on medium-high heat. (This step is optional)
- In a colander or strainer, drain the noodles and run them under water to rinse thoroughly.
- Dry-cook the noodles for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once the noodles are "cooked", add a few tablespoons of sesame oil to the pan and stir to well-coat the noodles
- Boil the water for the soup according to the directions, mixing in the mushroom water. (This should be 2 2/3 cups of water combined)
- Slice the eggs in half
- Roughly tear the basil (if desired)
- Slice the (optional) jalapeño if you're going to be using it
- Add 2 soup packets to each large bowl, and mix with the boiling mushroom water and mix well
- Add the noodles
- Carefully arrange the basil, bean sprouts, jalapeño, eggs, mushrooms and whatever protein you're using in separate sections on top of the noodles
Always remember that these recipes should be a starting point. Experiment, and if there’s anything in the recipe you don’t like, don’t use it.
You could easily add some chili flakes or Mongolian fire oil if you want it hotter, leave out the jalapeño if you don’t want it hot at all, and so on. Add a little fish sauce if you like it funkier. Experiment with different meats (if you’re using meat).