Vietnamese Chicken Soup - Pho Ga
A Bowl of Pho to start, or end, the day
In Vietnam, a bowl of pho is often breakfast. In Australia it's often lunch. Whenever you choose, pho is a delicious and healthy soup any time of day.
The traditional main ingredient of pho is beef, but this is a wonderfully adaptive soup and can be made in many different ways.
This recipe, Pho Ga is easily made in the Western kitchen with chicken breasts, chicken broth and fresh herbs.
Once the bowl is put in front of you, you can spice it up more to suit with bean sauce or chili sauce and squeeze in a few lime wedges.
Dig in with a pair of chopsticks in one hand (to lift up the noodles to cool them off) and a spoon in the other (to lift the noodles to your mouth).
Nockie Le is a Vietnamese-Australian who creates wonderful meals with vegetables and herbs straight from her own garden.
Nockie's garden, with its intoxicating scents, is a haven of greenery and her bright, cheerful kitchen is the centre of her home.
Nockie coaches me in Vietnamese cooking while I show her my tried and true lamb recipes, a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Even better, Nockie is also my daughter-in-law
How much time do you have?
If you want to make an authentic Vietnamese pho, you're looking at a long time in the kitchen.
You will need to cook meat, and bone, in broth for up to 3 hours. After you've prepared everything else the time can run to 4 or 5 hours total.
Don't want to spend that long? No worries. Nockie recommends this chicken pho recipe.
Ingredients for Pho Ga
* 1 cup rice noodles
* 1 1/2 cups snow peas, ends trimmed
* 1 cup shredded carrots
* 1 piece ginger (1/2 inch thick), peeled and chopped
* 1 star anise
* 3 whole cloves
* 8 cups chicken broth
* 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into fine strips
* 1 capsicum (red bell pepper), cored, seeded and cut into thin strips
* 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
* 1/2 cup chopped spring onions (scallions)
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
* 4 sprigs basil
* 1 lime, cut into 4 wedge
* bean sprouts
How to Prepare Pho Ga
* Make a little sachet of ginger, star anise and cloves in a piece of cheesecloth;
* Bring a pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add the rice boodles for 3 minutes.
* Put the carrots and snowpeas into a colander; and then drain the rice noodles over them. Rinse to stop them cooking.
* Make up a large pot with the chicken broth.
* Add the sachet, bring the pot to the boil and cook on high heat for 5 minutes.
* Lower the heat to medium; add the chicken strips; and simmer 5 minutes.
* Drop in the capsicum slices and lime juice. Give it a very quick swoosh with a spoon and take the pot off the heat.
* Remove sachet.
* Ladle into 4 bowls; drop in the noodles, snowpeas and carrots.
* Garnish with the coriander and basil. Add a wedge of lime to each bowl
Serve in these beautiful bowls
10% of my income goes to continue the work of Fred Hollows in treating avoidable blindness and improving indigenous health.
Photo : Khim Rath, who can now see after a successful cataract operation, Kampong Chhnang province, Cambodia.
Blindness is a significant public health issue in Cambodia. Over 160,000 people are blind and an additional 20,000 become blind each year. The main cause of blindness is cataract, which can be treated by a simple 15 minute operation at an average cost of $25 (AUD$35).
Bowl of Pho with Tray of Basil Big Stock Photo
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