Soups are life! Its amazing how many soups are out there with weird and wonderful ingredients. One of my faves though, is Pho. I love the richness of the broth and the crunchy veg and the slurp of the noodles.....I'm such a big kid!
Its a Vietnamese noodle soup and the secret to this soup is the broth. Bar anything else, the most important thing is the broth. The effort and spices that go into the broth make it everything. Please don't be tempted to use a bouillon or plain boiled chicken soup.
Another thing I love about this soup; its kid friendly. I've never met a child that said no to Pho (see what I did there LOL)
100 grams rice noodles
4 pieces chicken breast or thigh, cleaned
*400 grams beef brisket very thinly sliced
1 whole fresh coriander, chopped
100 grams Bean shoots
4 pieces spring onion, cut into diagonal strips
Red Chili finely chopped (optional)
1 lime cut into quarters
For the Broth
1kg Chicken bones or chicken carcass
* 1kg mixed beef bones (marrow and meaty)
3 litres of water
3 pieces star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tbs coriander seeds
1 tbs cardamon pods
2 large thumbs ginger, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, smashed
Salt to taste
We start with the broth. Wash your bones thoroughly and place them in a large pot. To this add the star anise, coriander seeds, cardamon pods, cinnamon, ginger, garlic and salt. Pour in 2 litres of the water and bring to a boil.
As it boils you will notice some scum on the top of the broth. Skim this off using a spoon or sieve (it makes for a clearer broth)
Once you remove the scum, turn down the heat to a medium/low heat and leave the broth to simmer for a couple of hours. Make sure to keep checking on it and topping up with the other 1 litre of water.
After a couple of hours, place your chicken pieces into the broth and allow to poach for about 20 minutes. If and scum forms, clear it as before. Once the chicken is cooked, take it out of the broth and slice it up for plating
*If using beef, do not put the meat into the broth unless you want your meat well done.
In a separate pot, prepare your rice noodles as per packet instructions.
Once the noodles are ready, portion into the 4 bowls. Layer the chicken or raw beef slices over the noodles, add hot broth to this and then garnish the top with the fresh vegetables, chili and a wedge of lime.
*The broth should slightly cook the meat to a medium rare giving it a pinkish color