Originating in the early 20th century from northern Vietnam, Pho was popularized throughout the rest of world by refugees after the Vietnam War. It is now a popular street food in Vietnam, and can be found served in a variety of ways with different noodles, broths and herbs. Traditionally served with beef or chicken, this version substitutes meaty shiitake mushrooms as a healthy replacement. Prepare for a fresh and fragrant kick with this nourishing bowl!

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes

Yield: 2 people

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 x 3-inch cinnamon sticks
  • 3 x whole cloves
  • 2 x star anise
  • 1 x large white onion, peeled and quartered
  • 4-inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 1.5 L vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 150 g rice noodles
  • 140 g shiitake mushrooms
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Bok choy (garnish)
  • Sping onions (garnish)
  • Bean sprouts (garnish)
  • Mint (garnish)
  • Coriander (garnish)
  • Lime (garnish)

METHOD

  1. Warm a medium soup pot over medium heat and add the cinnamon sticks, cloves, and star anise.  Toast until fragrant - about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the onion, ginger, vegetable stock and soy sauce. Raise the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let it cook for 30 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, prepare your rice noodles by cooking them according to package directions. Set them aside.
  3. To prepare the shiitake mushrooms, slice and fry them over a medium heat with 1 tsp soy sauce and a few twists of cracked black pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are tender and lightly browned, about 4 to 6 minutes, then set them aside.
  4. Once the broth is done, strain out the the onions, ginger and spices. Season to taste with extra soy sauce and/or salt until you reach your desired flavor.
  5. Divide the noodles in to bowls and ladle over the hot broth. Garnish with bok choy, spring onions, beansprouts, mint, coriander and a squeeze of lime, if you so desire. 

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