HEALTHY & FAST MEAL IDEA: Vietnamese Beef Pho

It's the cold season. Warm up with this deliciously simple and nutritious dinner idea for those chilly winter nights. 

I tried Pho (pronounced "fuh")  for the very first time when I worked in London a few years ago. It was at the Pho chain in St Pauls and my colleague insisted that we go there to eat for a hearty lunch. I was excited of course! - I love Asian flavours, the food is my kind of heaven. It was whilst slurping on that very first HUGE bowl of Pho (Very generous, I must say) that I realised I simply had to find a way to import the dish back home and recreate it as often as possible. Fast forward a few years. and I've finally managed to whip up a pretty good version in the comfort of my own kitchen. #WINNING!

I'll have to admit - I had to consult various recipes online to gather the depth of ingredients and knowledge needed to get this dish just right! In the more traditional Vietnamese recipes that I found online, the broth is usually left to simmer at much longer intervals (up to 24 hrs), but since this is a quick and easy recipe, you can get away with half an hour; it still tastes really spicy and aromatic. Also, I'm using beef tenderloin in this recipe! I really enjoyed the tender slices of meat in my bowl back at the restaurant - I think it just brought the whole spicy salty broth together. Beef is the most traditional meat used in this Vietnamese dish, although you could use chicken, fish and pork, if you prefer. Vegetarian is also a great option - just add tofu or quorn if you want to create a fuller dish! 


Serves 1/2

For the Broth:
2 whole cloves
2 star anise
2 cardamon pods
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 onion, chopped
3-4 cups of vegetable broth/stock
100g rice noodles 

2 spring onions(chopped)
1 handful of beansprouts
1 clove of garlic
1 lime


Hot sauce

METHOD (really easy!): 
  1. Heat the spices in a big post until they become really fragrant, but not burnt!
  2. After a few minutes, add stock, garlic and the onions. 
  3. Boil and then leave to simmer for at least 30 minutes. 
  4. Strain the broth.
  5. Next, cook the rice noodles. 
  6. Select your bowls (I'd suggest using soup/shallow bowls - you can see every element of the dish, and the broth will cover everything correctly) 
  7. Place the noodles in the middle and then add the beansprouts, coriander, garlic and spring onions.  
  8. Cover with the broth (when ready to eat) 
  9. Garnish with mint, hot sauce etc as much or as little as you like!

If you try this quick Pho recipe out, let me know.


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