My time in Singapore will always be special since it opened me up to all the great food in the region.
I remember tasting my first authentic Vietnamese Pho, and knowing then that it would be one of my favorite dishes.
But moving to Germany made it harder to get my hands on authentic Asian food.
Unfortunately, a lot of people here equate Asian food with eat-all-you-can buffets.
However, this lack of options only challenged me to get my hands dirty.
And instead, I learned how to satisfy my cravings in my own kitchen.
I researched online, read some cookbooks, and also spoke to the Vietnamese mama in my Asian shop to come up with my own version of this beautiful Pho Ga. One very important tip - use Asian / Thai Basil and Parsley as they are key to making the soup taste and smell like the real deal.
Oh, the Asian in me is definitely rejoicing at every drop of this soup.
And so is the Italian husband!
What you need...
1 kg chicken (thigh preferably, with the bones)
250g Pho Noodles
5 Star Anise
1 teaspoon Coriander Seeds
1 stick cinnamon
2 Onions (halved, unpeeled)
4 inches Ginger (unpeeled)
1 full Daikon Radish, peeled
Thai Basil (a handful)
Asian Parsley (a handful)
Bean Sprouts (a handful)
6 Shallots (peeled)
5 stems Spring Onions
2 Chilli Peppers
1 teaspoon Fish Sauce
1 tablespoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
Hoisin Sauce (a couple of teaspoons)
Sriracha Sauce (a couple of teaspoons)
What to do...
Soak the pho noodles in lukewarm water until they are needed.
Roast the onions and ginger in the oven (around 15-20 minutes, you have to pay attention so they do not burn). Peel off the skin.
On a pan, also roast the spices for about three to four minutes.
Bring four liters of water to boil, and add the chicken, radish and the roasted onions and ginger. Put the roasted spices in a closed-strainer and place at the bottom of the pot. Lower the heat and simmer for at least 90 minutes.
Then remove all the ingredients from the pot, and the foam from the surface of the broth. Add the fish sauce, salt, and sugar. After seasoning, add the peeled shallots. Keep cleaning the surface of the broth, it is important that it remains clear. Leave to simmer for around 60 minutes.
Drain the pho noodles, and put in a pot of boiling water for three minutes. Drain well, and leave to cool.
Slice the green onions lengthwise and very thinly. Soak in cold water for around 10 minutes, or until they curl up. Then drain.
Tear the chicken into large chunks. And put some on top of a handful of noodles. Add some beansprouts, herbs and spring onions. Add the broth. Sprinkle with some chopped spring onions, sliced chilies and a couple of Thai Basil. Squeeze in some lime juice. And serve with Hoisin and Sriracha dipping sauces and lime wedges.