This morning I spent a good five minutes staring blankly at the spice rack at Albertson’s. Nowadays they stack that sucker with an abundance of spices from all over the world in alphabetical order to make it fast and efficient for confused folks like me to find their weapon of choice. Despite alphabetization, this was the third store I visited to try to find STAR ANISE. So there I am, staring at the “S” section, like I’ve done two times prior, where saffron threads hang out, and I can’t find STAR ANISE for the life of me. Does it not exist? Must I venture outside the country? Right when I’m about to throw my hands up and give up, I glance at the top of the rack only to find ANISE STAR. Lesson learned for next time I’m on a mad hunt for STAR ANISE/ANISE STAR. This turned out to be the most crucial spice for homemade chicken phở, as insisted in this Smitten Kitchen recipe (<— click that link for the recipe!), originally adapted from chef Charles Phan.
Why the heck would I make homemade phở when you can get it for $5 a bowl? Well, because for starters it yields more than you would get for less money. And in case you aren’t caught up, I’m on a quest to get Chris to move closer and closer to marrying me. Now, I can make homemade pho! Whaaaaaat!?! #wifeloreealready. If you follow this recipe and manage to find ANISE STAR/STAR ANISE, you gotta set aside a few hours and try it one day because it is soul-warming and mighty delish.
While I was standing over the table trying to take pictures of this soup I slaved over all morning, Chris stood on the sidelines licking his lips, asking me how much longer I was going to take. Hence, these pictures are rushed and taken on my phone. I gave him the very bowl of soup pictured here, and told him it was worth it to marry me one day.