You can make this with chicken stock and chicken if you prefer but you’ll need to simmer the thinly sliced chicken in the broth to fully cook it through before adding it to the noodles. Bean thread vermicelli is often available in the produce department at the supermarket. You can boil it for hours and it won’t fall apart.
For the beef pho
|100 g||Bean thread vermicelli, or dried rice vermicelli (Main)|
|1 Ltr||Beef stock, good-quality|
|1 ½ Tbsp||Fish sauce|
|½ tsp||Five spice powder|
|1 pinch||Ground cloves|
|1 Tbsp||Fresh ginger, grated|
|½ ||Long red chillies, deseeded, use up to 1|
|1||Kaffir lime, or zest of 1 lime, finely grated|
|4||Button mushrooms, sliced|
|1 stalk||Lemongrass, optional|
|100 g||Beef fillets, trimmed, use up to 150g (Main)|
|2 Tbsp||Chopped coriander|
|2 Tbsp||Lemon juice, or lime juice, use up to 4 Tbsp|
|1 small handful||Coriander leaves|
|1 sprinkle||Sliced fresh chillies, optional|
- Place vermicelli noodles in a bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to soak for 10 minutes. While they soak, place stock in a pot with water, fish sauce, five-spice powder, cloves, ginger, finely chopped chilli, lime leaf or zest and mushrooms. Bruise the lemongrass stalk, if using, with a rolling pin and add to the pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. While the broth is cooking, cut the beef fillet across the grain into the thinnest possible slices.
- To prepare the garnish, cut spring onions and carrot into 5cm lengths and then shred finely. Drain noodles, snip with scissors in a few places for easy eating and divide between heated bowls. Top with raw beef slices and coriander. Remove lemongrass stalk and lime leaf, if using, from broth, adjust seasonings to taste and divide boiling broth between bowls (it will lightly cook the beef). Drizzle each bowl with 1 Tbsp lime or lemon juice and top with shredded spring onion and carrot. Garnish with coriander leaves and lime wedges and serve at once. If desired, accompany with a bowl of sliced chillies.