Coconut Lemongrass Pho with Ground Turkey
Make Ahead & Freezer Friendly
Is soup a meal?
Well, if you'd like to see a great example of this debate, Seinfeld has got you covered.
But if you just want an easy, impressive, filling, and healthy meal that could be categorized as soup, well...I've got ya covered!
This isn't just a cold weather meal. I love this during the summer because its filling, yet light. The coconut milk gives it a tropical flare that is absolutely crave-able. Its so easy to make, but best of all you can make it ahead of time by a few days, or months if you choose to freeze it. There are simple instructions below!
Option 1) You can make the broth, cool and freeze it alone, then make the rest when you pull it out of the freezer.
Option 2) You can freeze the soup after the meat and bok choy are added. If you do it this way, wait to add the noodles until you are going to eat the soup. When you freeze them they can get a little mushy.
Option 3) My fave option!
Usually I make the broth and ground turkey then freeze them together without the noodles and bok choy. Then when I need a meal, I pull out the frozen broth/turkey combo, and add in freshly cooked bok choy and noodles.
Coconut Lemongrass Pho with Ground Turkey
6 cups chicken broth
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 large or 2 small stalks lemongrass split lengthwise
3 cloves garlic
2 tsps minced ginger- I love Ginger People Minced Ginger
Salt to taste* (see note)
Bok Choy & Turkey-
2 tsp coconut oil, divided
4 baby boy choy** (see note)
1 tsp soy sauce (or Braggs, or coconut amino)
1 lb ground chicken or turkey (dark meat is best, higher fat)
3 tbsp thinly sliced (about 2 small-med stalks) lemongrass, just the tender part
1 tbsp minced ginger
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2-3 bags shirataki or 2 bundles soba noodles or a combo of each, which is what I do.
* Broth note: After your pho broth simmers, salt it to taste. I say this because all chicken broths are different. With the Better than bouillon, I use 1/2 tsp sea salt, but others may require more or less.
** Bok choy note: Cut the bok choy into 1-1.5" pieces. Put them into a large bowl and cover with cold water. Using your hand or a fork, swish the bok choy well. This will help to shake all the sand and bugs from in between the leaves. Lift the leaves out to a bowl to a colander over your sink and dump the water from the bowl. Put them back on the bowl and repeat once more. Drain well. (See video below!)
Freezing/make ahead note:
You can cool the broth and freeze it alone, then make the rest when you pull it out of the freezer. Or you can freeze the soup after the meat and bok choy are added. (Don't freeze the noodles, they get mushy.) Its up to you!
Trim about a 1/4" off the ends of the lemongrass for the broth. Then, beginning about 1/4 inch in so that the stalk stays in tact, split the lemongrass. Roll in over and repeat that so the stalk is connected at the tip but splintered in 1/4s the rest of the way up. (See pics below)
Smash the garlic cloves with the side of your knife so they're cracked I open but still intact.
Combine all the broth ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat low and simmer 20 minutes. Remove the lemongrass and discard. (You can cool and freeze now if option to do so.)
(See note above about cleaning the bok choy.) Heat pan to med heat. Melt 1 tsp coconut oil and add in bok choy. Sautee about a min, then add in the soy sauce. Continue to cook, stirring often, until the leaves are wilted and the stem pieces are tender, 4-5 minutes. Move to a plate.
In the same pan, increase heat to medium/high and melt the last 1 tsp of coconut oil. Add in the ground turkey, thinly sliced lemongrass, ginger, and salt & pepper. Sauté, stirring constantly. Cook, until no pink remains. (You can cool and freeze now if option to do so.)
Noodles: Cook soba according to directions. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside. If using Shirataki Noodles, no need to cook them, but be sure to rinse them REALLLLLLLLLLY well. Trust me, it'll get rid of any weird smell they may have and they'll be just perfect!
Divide the noodles, bok choy and turkey mixture among 4 larges serving bowls. Pour 1/4 of the coconut broth (re-warmed if neccesary) into each bowl.