Saturday, October 3, 2009

Warming bowl of pho

There is something really comforting about enjoying a good bowl of pho, especially a homemade one. You will always have people saying to you "dont bother!! you're better off having it in a restaurant ! " , But i can assure you there is nothing more satisfying than enjoying it in the comfort of your own home . ( nothing wrong with the decor in good pho places in Melbourne :p ). We normally would start with some spring rolls as well.
Its not hard work but it does take a few hours. Here is my recipe adapted from Pleasure from the Vietnamese table by Mai Pham.

for the broth;
1 free range chock
1.5 kg chicken bones
2 onions , charred and peeled
1 large knob of ginger, charred and peeled
3 star anise , toasted
6 cloves , toasted
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 tbs rock sugar
3 l water
salt to taste

you also need;
thin rice noodle ( we like Gong Seng brand )
bean sprouts , blanched
vietnamese mint
thai basil
spring onion, chopped
onion , sliced
bird chilis , sliced
lemon wedges

let's start cooking;
to start with the stock, put everything in a pot with water except the chicken.
bring it to a boil and add the chicken in.
when the water returns to the boil, turn off the heat, lid on and leave it for 2 hours
after 2 hours, remove the chicken from the pot. Let it cool down a bit and tear into bite size pieces
return the bones minus the skin to the pot and simmer for 2 1/2 hours, skimming from time to time to remove impurities. Strain stock after final seasoning.
when the stock is ready, blanch bean sprouts for 5 seconds
blanch noodle for 30 seconds

to assemble;
place noodle, bean sprouts in a warm bowl.
pour hot stocks over, top with herbs and all other goodies.

p/s : we have enough leftover for the next day and tasted even better!


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melbourne, victoria, Australia