One of my favourite dishes when I go to a Vietnamese restaurant is Pho is a hearty, healthy broth packed full of delicious ingredients. This is my take on a prawn pho, the prawns can easily be replaced with chicken or tofu if you prefer. If I make it with chicken I use homemade chicken stock to add extra goodness.

This recipe uses cloves which are often an ingredient that get bought for a particular recipe, like ham at Christmas, and then sit in the cupboard for the rest of the year. However there are many health benefits to cloves they have anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiseptic and analgesic properties. Due to these properties they are commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine.

Ingredients:               

Serves 6

  • 7 whole cloves
  • 4 star anaise
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 6 black pepper corns
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1” fresh ginger, grated
  • ½ red chilli (to taste)
  • 2 pints vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce
  • ½ packet rice noodles
  • ½ packet mushrooms
  • 1 packet of baby corn
  • ½ packet green beans
  • 2 packets cooked prawns
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 limes
  • Small handful of fresh coriander
  • Small handful of fresh mint

Method:

  1. Put the star anise, cinnamon, black peppercorns and cloves in a dry frying pan and heat until the aromas of the spices begins to release
  2. Put the spices in a pestle and mortar and roughly grind up, then wrap them in a muslin cloth and secure
  3. Place the stock in a large pan and add the spice parcel, ginger, garlic and half of the chilli, simmer for minimum of 10 minutes to allow the flavours to merge
  4. Slice the mushrooms and chop the baby corn and green beans in half and then add them to the stock along with the rice noodles, fish sauce and soya sauce
  5. Simmer until the noodles are cooked
  6. Divide the prawns between the bowls and then place the pho on top
  7. Add slices spring onions, fresh coriander, mint and squeeze with lime to serve

 

NB if you don’t have muslin you can place the spices directly in the pan and simmer for at least 10 minutes and then strained the stock before adding the remaining ingredients.

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