Star Anise Foods
I tried making homemade, authentic(ish) pho once... you can ask my college apartment mates how that went... I love pho, but I can never get it from restraunts because of my allergies. So I just resigned myself to a pho-less life. But no one should live that life.
Behind the Product
Star Anise Foods was started by two women who decided that a great Pho noodle could easily make a great business.
Why we like these products:
Non GMO certified
Whole grain brown rice that maintains it's nutrition
Healthy, intentionally nutritious ingredients
The box is made of 100% recycled paperboard and is recyclable.
The founders care about encouraging sustainable farming in Vietnam, creating work opportunities for other women and sharing traditional Vietnamese food.
The box is an education, they used the space to educate on the origins of Vietnamese pho.
I honestly don't have any complaints. In the future I will ask the company how and where they manufacture their product. If it's ethically manufactured, I'd say we have a real winner.
Thanks for Reading
Have you tried a Star Anise Foods product? tell us about it!
Comment, question, suggest below:
Star Anise Foods works to make traditional Vietnamese foods widely available to those people struggling with food allergies, lack of time and/or general naïveté. So even someone like me, allergic to wheat, soy, yeast, black pepper and various other ingredients often found in Asian cuisine, can enjoy a great bowl of Pho.
My mother picked up these soup packs in our local grocery store. I cooked up the Shiitake Mushroom flavor; I’ll save the Garlic Goodness for later.
Admittedly, I didn’t follow the directions precisely. I put a random amount of water in the saucepan with a frozen chicken breast and some salt and brought it to a boil. Then I added onions, kale and the spice pack. Honestly, I just used whatever was in the fridge. I was on the bare minimum supplies so I didn’t add what I normally would have: cilantro and lime (as suggested on the box), onions, mushrooms, cabbage and green pepper.
Also, since I used water instead of broth, I added some salt and garlic to the mix to work up the flavor.
Spice packet ingredients: organic star anise, organic Saigon cinnamon, Shiitake mushrooms, spring onion, black cardamom, ginger.
The flavors introduced by the included spice pack were wonderful. I would never have thought to use cinnamon or star anise in my own recipe (showcasing my naiveté in regards to traditional eastern flavors). The taste was unique and dynamic, thanks to the mix of sweet and subtle savory. The sweet flavor was certainly dominant, but I appreciated it as a break from the usual flavor profile of my foods. If you were to make this dish with broth and more meat, the sweetness of the spices would have balanced out with the meat.
Noodle ingredients: brown rice, water, organic green tea, salt.
The noodles had a great, chewy, almost gooey consistency. If you are a rice pasta consumer, these are not like the noodles you normally buy in the store to use for spaghetti or casserole. I basically live off of rice pasta and I am so excited to have found something that is different from the pasta I eat on a regular basis.
It says "two servings inside", and it meant it. This would definitely feed two hungry people, even without added ingredients. I could only eat about a third of the total amount I made. I put the rest in the fridge and had a second serving the next day. The noodles were slightly soggy, but they were still good. They still stayed together and had a gooey texture.
It would definitely be best to eat it all fresh the day you made it instead of refridgerating it for later.
Don't skip the broth, the hearty flavor will definitely enhance the dish overall.
Load on the added ingredients. If you're not allergice to eggs (like I am), try cracking one on top while the soup is still hot. There are lots of easy, fast ways to make the most out of this soup kit.
The kale seemed like a weird idea at first, but it worked great!
I will definitely buy this again. I will also try some of their other products as well.
The product packaging with a bowl of the cooked soup in the background. Photo by Melissa
The cooked soup, with my added ingredients. Photo by Melissa.