I travelled to Vietnam around this time last year with a couple of girlfriends and absolutely loved it. Beautiful landscapes, lovely people, rich history and deliciously simple food. In truth, it's the food I missed most, and more specifically the traditional dish Pho (pronounced half-way between 'fuh' and 'fur'). This rice noodle and vegetable broth is commonly a breakfast food, but eaten at any time throughout the day. Made with beef, chicken or tofu, it is delicious any way and you definitely cannot serve it without bean sprouts! Don't be put off by the large number of ingredients, this is a very simple dish, warming (which is great coming into the cooler months) and filling too!
400g sliced chicken breast
1L reduced salt chicken stock
2 ½ C water
3 tsp reduced salt soy sauce
1 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp lime juice (equivalent to ½ a lime)
3 tsp minced ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
1 carrot, sliced thinly
½ C green beans, cut into 3cm long pieces
½ C mushrooms, sliced
½ bunch broccolini, sliced into 3cm long pieces (or broccoli)
2 C baby spinach
200g packet flat stick rice noodles
1 C bean sprouts
1 spring onion, chopped
¼ C mint leaves
Hoisin sauce (roughly 1 tsp per person)
Fresh or minced chilli (amount as per liking)
1. Add stock, water, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, ginger and garlic to a large saucepan and bring to the boil.
2. Add chicken and cook, covered, for 10 minutes or until cooked. Remove chicken and keep hot.
3. Place carrot, beans, mushrooms, broccolini and rice noodles into the boiling stock mixture. Cook for 5 minutes or until just cooked. Reduce heat, add baby spinach and return chicken to saucepan, stirring until spinach is wilted and chicken is heated through again.
4. Divide amongst 4-5 bowls and top each with bean sprouts, spring onion and mint.
5. Allow everyone to add their own hoisin sauce, chilli and lime juice to their liking.