Last Night’s Dinner: Pho

Wednesday 27 April

Pho, if you don’t know, is a traditional Vietnamese broth. We make various versions of this, adding vegetables, noodles and herbs and fresh chilli to our liking.

The basis is a good stock. To make the stock, soften an onion, a celery stack, two carrots, some cloves of garlic, a good bit of fresh ginger root, half a lime and some chillis with a tiny bit of oil in a deep pan. In this instance I also added a little bit of butternut squash that was lurking in the fridge – cauliflower, sweet potato, parsnip or other rot veg could also be used, Then add water and simmer for 20-30 minutes. To ‘season’ the stock as it cooks we add a splash of Chinese rice vinegar, a smidgeon of sesame oil, soy sauce, the stalks of some fresh coriander, basil and parsley, a star anise, two cloves, a teaspoon of coriander seeds and some peppercorns. You can also add a teaspoon of tomato puree and tamarind paste if you like. We like.

When the veg is soft, strain it through a sieve to remove the vegetables and return it to a clean pan. Taste and add a little more soy if necessary. Really you can then add what you like – you’re almost done. In this instance we added some rice noodles, shitaake mushrooms and deep fried tofu. To serve, garnish with some coriander leaf, a little chopped chilli and a squeeze of lime. The soup should be hot and fragrant with a good deep flavour coming from the broth.

One of Ella’s favourites here at ETP Towers.

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