When someone mentions Vietnamese cuisine I immediately think of the famous Vietnamese noodle dish called Pho.
Pho (pronounced ‘fur’ but without the hard r) is a modern take on more traditional dishes but the Vietnamese people rapidly took to this healthy “fast food” and then spread it around the globe.
I imagine everyone has their own favourite style of Pho. Mine is a sweet and sour broth with some lightly poached chicken, lots of vegetables and tons of rice noodles. Simply multiply the ingredients below for each person you are serving.
I go light on the chili factor (even none at all for my family) and then I use Sriracha hot sauce in my bowl to add some heat.
Tip: Make the fried shallots ahead of time using my method here. They are an optional garnish but I feel they really “upgrade” this dish.
You will be:
- Building the broth
- Poaching the chicken
You will need:
- Broth for one:
- Bowl for one:
- 250g chicken tenderloins, sliced
- 250g rice noodles, pre-softened in boiling water
- a handful of torn coriander leaves
- a handful of mung bean sprouts
- a few sprigs of vietnamese coriander
- 2 spring onions, white parts, sliced on an angle
- jalepenos , sliced, to taste
- 1/2 a lime (for people to adjust the fish sauce/lime juice balance)
- fried shallots and garlic slices
- A handful of chopped mushrooms like shitake or enoki
- a long sharp knife
- a chopping board
- a grater
- a large saucepan
- a serving bowl
Building the broth
I use my home-made chicken stock because it starts you off with a broth that has been built up with chicken bones, vegetables and garlic.
Making a starter broth this way allows you to subsequently build dish specific flavours on top of it and this is what we will do now.
- Add the 3 cups of chicken stock to the saucepan.
- Peel a chunk of galangal and a chunk of ginger and throw them into the pan whole.
- Add the:
- splash of fresh lime juice
- 1.5 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- 1 tsp raw sugar
- ground black peppercorns
- 1 coriander root
- Let everything sit for 5 minutes, to infuse, if you have time.
- Put the saucepan on low heat and then gently simmer for about 10 minutes.
Poaching the chicken
- Add the 250g of sliced chicken tenderloins to the gently simmering pan of broth.
- Allow the chicken to cook for 5 minutes and then remove the pan from the heat (by this stage everything is cooked and you don’t want the chicken to overcook as it will go leathery).
Serve the broth over the rice noodles and vegetables. Garnish with slices of chili, fried shallots and even omelette and peanuts.
Have in easy reach extra fish sauce, lime wedges and of course Sriracha sauce so you and your guests can adjust the taste to suit.