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Vietnamese chicken noodle soup (Pho Ga)
- Preparation and cooking time
- Serves 6
Pho, pronounced “Fuh” – not ‘Fo’ – is probably Vietnam’s most famous dish. The locals have this light, fragrant noodle soup (usually with chicken (“Ga”) or beef (“Bo”) for breakfast.
- oil 1 tablespoon
- shallots 3, sliced
- garlic 3 cloves, sliced
- lemongrass 1 stalk, chopped
- ginger 1 inch, sliced
- Spice mix (3 whole star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, ¼ teaspoon Chinese five-spice, ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns)
- sugar 1 teaspoon
- fish sauce 1 tablespoon
- good quality fresh chicken stock 1.25 - 1.5 litres (5-6 cups)
- free range boneless skinless chicken breasts 500g
- carrot 1, shredded or peeled into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
- mung bean sprouts 2 large handfuls
- fresh coriander, chopped Large handful
- mint leaves Handful of, chopped
- red chilli 1, thinly sliced (optional)
- crispy fried shallots* 2 tablespoons (optional)
- kaffir lime leaf 1, tough central stalk removed, very finely sliced (optional)
- lime 1, cut into wedges
- fish sauce and chilli sauce more to taste
- STEP 1Heat oil in a small fry pan on medium heat and gently cook shallots and garlic until caramelised and golden brown (about 4-5 minutes).
- STEP 2In a large-size pot combine caramelised shallots and garlic, lemongrass, ginger, Chinese five-spice, sugar, fish sauce, chicken stock and chicken breasts. Cover with a lid and bring to a very gentle simmer. Simmer very gently for about 15 m
- STEP 3Meanwhile, prep the vegetables and cook the noodles according to packet instructions until just cooked through (do not over-cook). Rinse under cold water to prevent them sticking together. Drain and divide between serving bowls.
- STEP 4Strain the soup through a sieve. Return soup to the pot and bring to a boil. Season to taste with more fish sauce if needed.
- STEP 5To serve, ladle piping hot soup into bowls of noodles and chicken, and top with carrot, spring onion, bean sprouts, herbs, crispy shallots and kaffir lime leaf. Serve with a lime wedge to squeeze over, and more fish sauce and chilli to add to taste.