FOOD FOR THOUGHT - January
'Pho is one of the most heart warming soups! Full of flavour, this iconic Vietnamese dish is loved all over the world. I had always enjoyed Vietnamese food but after experiencing authentic dishes during a trip in 2019, it has become a firm favourite in our household.'
V E G E T A R I A N P H O
Total Time: 50 minutes | Serving Size: 4
I N G R E D I E N T S
• 2 cinnamon sticks
T O G A R N I S H
• Springs of mint
M E T H O D
1. Warm a medium size pan or stoneware pot over a medium heat. Add the cinnamon sticks, cloves, and star anise and toast until fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Add the onion, ginger, vegetable stock, water and tamari/soy sauce. Raise the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes to give the flavours time to meld.
3. In the meantime, prepare your rice noodles by cooking them according to package directions. Set them aside.
4. To prepare the mushrooms, warm the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the mushrooms and a few dashes of salt. Cook until the mushrooms are tender and lightly browned, about 4 to 6 minutes, then set them aside.
5. Once the broth is done, strain out the onions, ginger and spices (this is easiest with a small metal sieve, but you can also strain the mixture through a colander into another large bowl). Season it to taste with extra tamari/soy sauce and/or salt until the flavours of the spices really shine.
7. Ladle the broth into bowls, add cooked noodles and mushrooms, and fresh garnishes to your heart’s content (don’t forget the lime!). Serve immediately, with chopsticks and soup spoons.
You can add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the broth as it cooks, and/or add extra sliced jalapeño to your bowls.