As many of you know, in just over a month I am jetting off to sunnier climes. One of my closest friends and I are spending 6 exciting weeks exploring Vietnam and Cambodia, and quite frankly I cannot wait. For me, unsurprisingly, one of the most exciting things will be the food. We have a couple of cookery courses planned and I cannot wait to spend days perusing markets full of colourful things I have never heard of.
The other day, in the midst of my travelling research, I whipped up a quick pho, one of the signature dishes of Vietnam. It is considered to be the 'chicken noodle soup' of Vietnam, a cold curing, soul southing broth filled with noodles, herbs and meat. I definitely think it is something I will be eating a lot of out there... I promise that when I am back I will update you with a completely authentic version of pho, but for now this is my simple, but still delicious go at it.
To make big bowls for two you will need:
for the pho stock:
1l good quality beef stock
2tbsp soy sauce
3tbsp fish sauce
two slices of ginger
1 chilli, thinly sliced
a small handful of thinly sliced coriander stalks
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
a pinch of brown sugar
for the meatballs:
200g good quality lean pork mince
a small handful of chopped coriander leaves
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 egg white
1tbsp sunflower oil
200g cooked flat rice noodles
coriander leaves, basil and mint
thinly sliced chilli
Add all of the stock ingredients to a pan and bring to the boil for 5 minutes. Take it off the heat and leave to infuse.
To make the meatballs, pop the crackers in a plastic bag and give them a good bash with a rolling pin or other heavy object...take out all your stress, you want them to look like dust. Mix all of the other meatball ingredients together (excluding the oil) along with the cracker dust and shape into small balls, you should get roughly 8. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the meatballs for a couple of minutes, until they are golden on the outside and cooked through in the middle.
Reheat the stock, and in the meantime divide the meatballs, noodles and beansprouts between your two bowls. Pour over the hot stock and top with all of your garnishes.