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Pho-lavourful Pho with Asian Greens- Quick Cheat’s Version

I am still going strong with my winter-inspired meals!  One of my favourite experiences, during the colder months, is sitting down to a warm meal- that heats up my body from the inside- after I have done an outdoor endurance training session.

I love coming back home after a long run in the cold, hopping into a steaming hot shower, and enjoying a bowl of something warm. Ahhhh!

Broth fits this bill perfectly. I don’t know about you- but I find one of the tastiest broths around is Pho.

Pho is a traditional Vietnamese beef noodle soup.  The backbone of this dish is the beef broth that usually takes hours (even days!) to make.  It’s light and full of flavour, deceptively beefy, savoury, complex, has the tiniest hint of richness and is filled with the beautiful aromas of spices like cinnamon and star anise.

The only way to get enough beef flavour into the broth is to use a combination of meat and bones.  I like using brisket, meaty bones and/or marrow bones.

However … today I present you with a quick cheat’s version.  I know I may get slammed for this by some of my more traditional friends, BUT, you know how sometimes you just want to have something and you don’t have all the time in world to wait for it to cook?  I guarantee you won’t have to wait long for this one!

I have adapted this recipe from Shannon Bennett’s recipe:

What you need:

1 glug olive oil

400 g beef fillet

Packet of dried flat rice noodles

3 bunches of baby bok choi, washed, trimmed and quartered

Sliced small red chilli to serve (optional)

Sliced spring onion or shallots to serve

Coriander to serve

Lime wedges and fresh bean sprouts to serve

For the Pho Broth

2L of good quality beef bone broth or beef stock

2 tsp brown sugar

3 garlic cloves

4 whole cloves

2 star anise

1 cinnamon quill

2 tsp whole black peppercorns

2 tbs fish sauce


  1. Place all the broth ingredients with 500ml of water into a saucepan over medium heat.Simmer for 20 minutes until slightly reduced.  Let it stand for another 20 minutes for the spices to infuse.  Season, then strain, discarding the solids.

  2. Heat the oil in a frypan on medium heat and cook the beef until it is browned on all sides but still rare in the middle.This generally takes me 6-8 min depending on the thickness of the beef.  Cool then very thinly slice.

  3. Cook the noodles according to the instructions.

  4. Drain the noodles and divide amongst bowls. Add the meat and raw bok choi.  Pour over the broth (which will cook your meat further so don’t worry if it’s a little under cooked to start with, and will also cook your bok choi).

  5. Top off with all of your toppings – coriander, shallots, sprouts and a squeeze of lime.Add a little chilli if you prefer a little more heat.



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