Pho Recipe – Serves Two
*AH = Albert Hein, a purveyor of poor quality ingredients.
1 x Jar good quality beef stock (no AH!) + 1 and a half times the water
1 × 4 inch piece ginger unpeeled and halved
5 x Star anise
1 x Medium to large Onion halved or several shallots halved
1 x Cinnamon stick
3-4 Tablespoons Squid brand fish sauce
2 x Thai flat rice noodle bunches (add more for more noodles in your soup!)
1 x Large red chilli finely chopped
1 x Bunch fresh mint unchopped
1 x Bunch fresh coriander unchopped
1 x Bunch of fresh spring onions
1 x Box of bean sprouts (tauge) fresher and tastier the better (again no AH!)
2 x Fresh Limes
1 x Very nice piece of steak, sirloin etc (no AH!)
Your choice of chilli / hoisin dipping sauce
Some large and quite deep soup bowls
Boil the noodles for 2-3 minutes, drain and rinse with cold water. Put to one side. Slightly undercooked is good as they will cook further when in the broth.
Place a large saucepan on the hob and add the Beef stock and water, bring to boil and simmer. Add the unpeeled ginger, star anise, onion(s) and cinnamon. Simmer for at least 20 minutes. After 20 minutes add the fish sauce, simmer for a further 5 minutes. Taste and correct slightly if need be with further fish sauce or salt/pepper.
While the broth is simmering, wash and prepare the herbs, bean sprouts and finely chop the chilli and spring onions, put on the table in a nice arrangement, little bowls/plates etc. Slice the Limes into quarters.
Warm the large soup bowls at a low heat in the oven, this is important to avoid your broth losing temperature, you want it to be piping hot!
Flash fry or slightly blacken the steak, you want it black on the outside and very pink/rare in the middle. Thinly slice with a sharp knife.
Remove the ginger, onions, star anise and cinnamon stick from the broth.
Add the noodles and thinly sliced steak to the warmed bowls and pour a liberal amount of the broth into each bowl until they are completely covered.
Self medicate the bowl with the chopped chilli, spring onions, bean sprouts, large leaves of fresh mint and coriander and a squeeze of lime juice.
Let your troubles disappear.