A tasty and exciting Vietnamese Phở
1 large onion, peeled and halved
2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and halved lengthwise
3-inch cinnamon stick, preferably Vietnamese cassia-cinnamon
1 star anise
2 whole cloves
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
4 cups vegetable stock or broth
2 teaspoons soy sauce
4 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
For the noodles:
1 packet flat rice noodles
Fried oyster mushrooms
For the garnishes:
1/2 large onion, very thinly sliced
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
4 sliced thai chillies
1 lime, cut into wedges
1/2 cup bean sprouts
Large handful of coriander
Sprinkle of chopped peanuts
Hoisin sauce (optional)
Broth: In a large pot, dry roast the cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and coriander over medium-low heat, stirring to prevent burning. When you can smell the aroma of the roasted spices, add vegetable stock, soy sauce, carrots, onion and ginger.
Bring broth to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Strain and keep hot until ready to serve.
Make the noodles while the broth simmers. Place the noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for 5 - 10 minutes or until tender but still chewy. Drain.
Prepare the toppings as desired – dice and cook tofu, lightly steam or blanch vegetables, and so on. Toppings should be unseasoned or only lightly seasoned so as not to interfere with the flavour of the broth.
To serve, divide the noodles between two bowls. Arrange toppings over noodles. Ladle the broth between the two bowls. Serve with garnishes on the top.
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