Mmmm, let the aroma of this warming soup fill up your kitchen at dinnertime. Traditionally the base for Vietnamese Pho is homemade stock – so we decided to opt for a simpler version by using store bought quality beef stock instead of making our own stock. This spicy soup has all the Asian flavours you desire and is also a meal in itself.
- 1 onion, halved, skin on
- 4 garlic cloves, skin on
- 5 cm piece ginger, unpeeled
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 4 cloves
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 2 star anise
- 1 dried red chilli
- 1 black cardamom pod (optional)
- 2 litres quality beef stock
- 500 g beef eye fillet, tail piece
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 20 g rock sugar or 1 tbsp sugar
- 375 g dried rice noodles
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- 2 bird’s-eye chillies, seeded and julienned
- 1 cup coriander sprigs
- 1 cup Vietnamese mint sprigs
- 2 limes cut into wedges
- Asian chilli sauce (sriracha) and hoisin sauce, to serve (optional)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Level of heat mild
Freezing time 20 minutes
Place the onion, garlic and ginger in a dry frying pan over a medium heat and cook for 7–10 minutes on each side until charred. Peel the onion garlic and ginger to remove the charred skin, roughly chop and place into a stockpot.
Place the spices into the same dry pan and toss for 2–3 minutes to roast the spices. Gently crush the spices in the pan with a pestle while cooking to release the flavours, add to the stockpot.
Cover the charred ingredients and spices with the beef stock and simmer for 10–15 minutes to infuse the stock.
Place beef fillet into the freezer and allow to partially freeze for 20 minutes, once firm, slice very finely across the grain of the fillet and lay onto a tray until ready to use.
Strain the stock and return to the pot, bring to the boil. Season with the fish sauce and sugar.
Prepare the rice noodles as per the instruction on the packet. Drain well.
Place half of the beef evenly between 4 deep soup bowls and top with noodles. Divide the remaining beef slices between the bowls on top of the noodles.
Ladle over the boiling broth and serve alongside a platter of bean sprouts, chillies, herbs, lime wedges and sauces.
• We have used black cardamom seeds to infuse the stock with a delicious smoky flavour. They are very different to green cardamom and if you can’t get them at your Asian grocer just leave them out, don’t substitute the green ones.
Photography by Petrina Tinslay, styling by David Morgan and art direction by Anne Marie Cummins.