How to Make It
Wearing gloves, crumble Thai chiles into a medium-size heatproof bowl. Add 1 cup hot water; let stand 15 minutes. Drain chiles; discard liquid. Process chiles, oil, and garlic in a mini food processor until chiles are very finely chopped, about 30 seconds, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
Heat a large skillet over medium. Add chile mixture; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add pork; cook, stirring occasionally to break pork into small pieces, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, soybean paste, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, sugar, and paprika. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes break down, 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has reduced and pork is coated with sauce, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, separate cilantro stems from leaves; tie stems together with kitchen twine. Chop leaves to yield about 1/2 cup; set aside for garnish. Stir together chicken broth, cilantro stems, and remaining 1 tablespoon fish sauce in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium. Uncover; remove and discard cilantro stems. Cover broth; keep warm over medium-low.
Prepare rice noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles, and divide evenly among 8 serving bowls (about 2/3 cup each). If using, add zucchini ribbons and cabbage to hot broth; cook over medium-low until just tender, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Using tongs or a spider, remove vegetables from broth, and divide evenly among serving bowls (about 1/2 cup each). Top each bowl with about 1/4 cup pork mixture and 1 cup hot broth. Sprinkle bowls evenly with mint and reserved chopped cilantro. Garnish with black pepper, and serve with lime wedges.
Shop for Thai chiles, soybean paste, and banh pho noodles at your local Asian market.