Wednesday, 27 May 2009

The make-do Phở (Vietnamese noodle soup)

The make do Phở (by Christ tell)
I was talking to @lovingpho's and looking a his great website the other day, as was already thinking of the trip to Vietnam I am planning for the end of the year. I sent lovingpho's address to my friend Marjolaine (see previous posts there, there and there) who in turn sent me her recipe and encouraged me to make my first Phở. Impatient, and missing some of the ingredients, I decided to proceed nevertheless.

So my Phở is definitely not authentic, but was surely tasty. And it took no time to prepare.

Here are Marjolaine's instructions for a quick Phở soup:
- rice noodles
- Beef slices
- stock (beef used if sliced beef used)
- nước mắm
- ginger
- star anise
- chinese 5 spice
- slices of red chillis
- lime
- ngò gai (culantro, or long coriander)
- Thai basil
- bean sprouts

Heat the beef stock with the spices, ginger, sliced onion and star anise.

In a bowl, place the chilli, herbes, beensprouts, lime, noodles and beef slices. Pour the stock on top and serve.

NOW. I ran out of
nước mắm (but I still have some thai fish sauce. not quite the same though. they taste very different..) did not have beef slices, bean sprouts or thai basil, I had cilantro but not culantro, and I had rice flakes only as I also ran out of rice noodle.
BUT, it was lunchtime and I was hungry so decided to go ahead anyway. So here is my heretic alternative:

I used some chicken stock I had, in it I threw finely sliced shallot, 1 star anise, a pinch of chinese 5 spice and some rice flakes (they are flat square type noodles see in the next photos), and the ginger chopped .

In a bowl I prepared: the cilantro (coriander leaves), lime juice, diagonal slices of a bird'seye chilli
The make do Pho (by Christ tell)

I used the vietnamese sausage I had in the fridge:
Vietnamese sausage (by Christ tell)
I cut slices in dice, but with hindsight I should have cut long thin strips.

Then I poured the stock mix on top of the ingredients...
The make do Phở (by Christ tell)
The make do Phở (by Christ tell)
Like for thai food, one of the big secret is the right balance between the fish sauce and the lime (adjust). The soup was great for a speed lunch, but I can't wait to make a proper one, as the flavour with the indicated ingredients will be more delicate of course. I already have quite a lot of the ingredients because I often cook Asian food, but I guess it demands some specialist fresh ingredients, and in the UK, even if it is easy to find them in chinatown (ahem, I live next door from it), in this recession time, some people might find it a bit costly to make.

I am looking forward to taste the original vertsion during my trip in Vietnam, can't wait!

Source: Marjolaine's recipe + my own heretic modifications


Justin said...

a trip to Vietnam? that sounds great. I've never tried making this at home before.

Parker said...

I would love to make homemade pho!
So wonderful tasting... mmmmm...perfect for this rainy day.

mycookinghut said...

I have been wanting to try making this! Yours looks yummy!!
By the way, I haven't been to Vietnam. So, I am looking forward to hear all about it from you ;)

Kalice said...

J'adore le pho originaire du Vietnam, mais très apprécié partout en Asie. C'est un gio à la couenne de porc (je ne vois pas très bien sur la photo) que vous avez substitué aux boulettes de boeuf ? C'est une très bonne idée. Félicitations Christelle

Christina Kim said...

Pho is maybe my favorite noodle soup. I am too wimpy to try making it at home! But your recipe is do-able.

unconfidentialcook said...

I love pho--I'm bookmarking this so I can make it myself. Thanks!

eyeshoot said...

That looks really yummy - I only know very little about Vietnamese food, I've only eaten it once and that was in Tokyo! Is there anywhere in Manchester to have a nibble?

Marjo said...

hello Christelle,
Nice to see your first try of "Pho" : heretic may be, but it looks appetizing !
and using the vietnamese pâté (gio bi) as a substitute for the raw beef slices is a good idea too, for a fast and ready to make Pho.

pigpigscorner said...

This sure looks tasty! I crave for pho very often but have not tried making some myself.

Christelle said...

To Justin and mycookinghut: yes very excited about the trip!! will write some posts about it of course!

To Parker: yes that's an excellent point!

To Kalice: Oui c'est ca, tu l'as bien reconnu!

To Eyeshoot: Ahhh very unfortunately there is no Vietnamese restaurant in manchester to my great despair. There used to be a Karaoke bar (Vina) that usee to do Vietnamese food, but I don't think they do food now, just a bar....

To Christina Kim and unconfidential cook: Well, the simple things are the most difficult sometimes, but at least Pho is doable at home indeed. I have just heard from her daughter's mouth that marjolaine's standard is so high (her pho is perfect)that she's afraid to try other pho for fear of being disappointed!!

To Marjolaine: I'll have to taste yours one day since wonderwoman says it's perfect. I enjoyed this heretic pho very much, so I'll do it again and again and hope to perfect it especially when I'll taste a perfect one really ;)...

To pigpigscorner: always worth a try, it's so easy, fresh and nourrishing!

Cuong Huynh said...

Christelle, great boldness and creativity! Here's something that will help make your next pot a bit easier and stay more on the authentic side.
Have a happy pho day!