Happy Monday people! I know, it’s a bit rainy here in Brisbane, not very happy. But I’ve got the solution. Because what can cheer you up better than a good hot soup on a rainy day? And if you follow my Instagram a bit, you will notice that I started a new little Monday tradition. Because the beginning of the week is usually when we have our days off. And as much as we both love cooking at home and working in hospitality, sometimes we like to relax a little from both and go out for lunch or dinner. We are still humans, right? Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that all of this and our love of Asian cuisine combined with my obsession with soups led to a thing I started called #phomonday.
Almost every week we would go to a different Vietnamese restaurant and try their version of this amazing soup. And what’s great about it is, that every place and chef would have a slightly different recipe. Sometimes even the toppings, although they are very similar in all of the places. Usually you would get your soup with rice noodles (the only thing I usually don’t finish), meat, thinly sliced onion, bean sprouts, herbs, fresh chilli and wedge of lemon. And so far I can only say that I didn’t have any bad Pho here in Brisbane yet. I’m pretty amazed with this city in so many levels, really.
However, because this is a blog mainly with my own kitchen creations, I felt like I should share my version of Pho with you as well, not just talk about restaurants. So here it is guys, Pho Ga as I like to make it at home. Using the traditional spices as cinnamon and star anise for the broth and twisting things slightly when it comes to the toppings, as you can read in the name of the recipe.
- 500g chicken bones (tip: store the leftover bones from roasted chicken in the freezer and use it for soups or sauces)
- 1 onion, peeled and cut in a half
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 5 pcs star anise
- Fresh ginger (about 5 cm long piece), peeled
- 1 tbsp fish sauce (watch out for added sugar if you are on Whole30)
- Sliced cooked chicken breast (optional)
- Zucchini noodles
- Sliced red onion
- Bean sprouts
- Fresh chilli
- Fresh herbs
- Place the chicken bones in a big pot and pour in 5l of cold water. Add the onion and garlic and place the pot over a low heat. Let the broth slightly simmering for 8 hours. If it's reducing too fast, lower the heat and pour some extra water in the pot.
- After 8 hours add in the salt, fish sauce and spices and simmer for 2 more hours. Add some extra water if needed, you want to end up with about 1,5-2l of stock.
- If you are a lucky owner of a slow cooker, you can definitely make your broth in the smart machine. Just make sure you prolong the cooking process to double the time.
- On the other hand, if you are short on time, you can use a store bought bone broth and just cook it with the spices for 2 hours. However, make sure you'll use a good quality broth, which is full of nutrients, like the homemade version.
- Once your broth is ready, strain it through a fine colander and serve with your favourite toppings. The usual serving is with meat, noodles (I used zucchini noodles to make the dish low carb and paleo and Whole30 friendly), finely sliced onion, bean sprouts, wedge of lemon and fresh chilli and herbs. You can also add some sriracha and hoisin sauce if you like the soup more spicy, but they usually contain lots of unneccessary ingredients.