The beauty about South East Asian food is that they always serve their meals with an insane amount of condiments so that you can adapt your food to your palate, in Vietnam they raise the bar on its neighbouring countries by serving a huge bowl full of fresh herbs to add into your Pho, making it taste like a really good noodle soup on steroids. I know that not everybody has the time to make the beef broth as it is a long drawn out process so I have come up with a way simplify the Pho without compromising on flavour, it is addictive I assure you.
You will need:
1000ml of water
2 beef stock cubes (know stock pots)
200g of steak (flat iron or denver works well)
1 large cassia stick
4 whole star anise
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp of dark soy
3 tbsp of sugar
5 crushed white peppercorns
2 tsp of maldon salt
1 clove of sliced garlic
125g of pho noodles white are rice stick noodles
a small handful of bean sprouts per bowl of soup
fresh herbs such as coriander, mint, dill and Thai sweet basil
Finely sliced white onion
dried crushed birds eye chillies
a small amount of sugar on the side as a condiment
fresh birds eye chillies steeped in fish sauce
Firstly place the noodles in a bowl and cover them with boiling water, set aside to soften.
Bring the water and stock cubes to the boil, add the cassia, star anise, cloves, sesame oil, soy, sugar, garlic, salt and peppercorns.
Turn down to a slow simmer for at least fifteen minutes so that the flavours can infuse.
Finely slice your steak. Drain the noodles and divide the noodles between four bowls, place a few slices of the steak on top because the hot stock will cook it. Ladle over the hot stock so that the meat is submerged, top with the onion, bean sprouts and fresh herbs and chili if you wish. Be warned the broth is very hot!!