Pho is another one of those dishes I used to take for granted when I lived in the states and now can’t seem to find anywhere in the East Mids (sorry, Wagamama doesn’t count). It’s the perfect food for a cold, a hangover or when you just need a big, warming, slurpy bowl of noodles.
Pho is traditionally made with meat, but you can still get all the same great flavors without it. I like to add my usual spicy baked tofu that I use for miso bowls, but you can also chop up some pre-baked tofu, pieces of seitan or just sauté up some meaty mushrooms instead. Or, let the noodles and toppings speak for themselves. That’s what I love about this dish – it really lends itself to being customized.
Here is my recipe for pho – my idea of the perfect winter weather meal.
- 1.5 liters vegetable stock
- 2 star anise
- 4-5 whole cloves
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 2 inches ginger, peeled and chopped into coins
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp tamari
- 1 packet dry rice noodles (225g)
For the tofu
- 1 block of firm tofu, drained and cut into cubes
- 2 tbsp Tamari or soy sauce
- Juice from 1/2 a lime
- 2 tsp sriracha
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- Large bunch of bean sprouts
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- Large handful each of: mint, basil, coriander
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- 1-2 red and green chilies, sliced
- Sriracha to taste
- Hoisin sauce to taste
- Preheat the oven to 220c. Combine the sriracha, lime juice, tamari and sesame oil in a bowl and add the tofu to marinate. Place to the tofu on a baking tray and bake for 20-30 minutes, tossing once or twice.
- Cook the rice noodles according to the packet. Drain and rince under cool water and set aside.
- Heat a large pan over medium heat and add the star anise, cloves, coriander seeds, ginger and cinnamon and dry fry for 4-5 minutes until the spices start to become fragrant. Add the vegetable stock and tamari, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Divide the noodles between 4 bowls. Top with the bean sprouts, herbs, chilies, tofu, sriracha, hoisin and serve with a wedge of lime. Enjoy!