Pho Style Noodle Soup


I’m feeling very blessed at the moment, working in London’s Wet End. There are just so many options for lunch. Although many are not cheap, everyday options, there must be over 50 takeaway food joints within a 10 minute walk from my office sampling 20 to 30 different cuisines for under a tenner. Currently, when I am feeling very flush I treat myself to something delicious and healthy from itsu. Japanese food has been a bit of a revelation to me in the last few years and, although this is not real japanese, it is still perfect for an asian inspired lunch on the go. Plus, their sushi comes with loads of wasabi and pickled ginger which is a must for me!

Pho2Today I really fancied one of their potsu dishes, noodles served in various warming spiced broths. Unfortunately, however, today I did not find myself particularly plump in the pocket so had to opt out. I still found myself craving the soothing warmth of noodles and chicken, the ideal antidote to those first suggestions of winter. Therefore, I decided to have a pop at making something similar myself.

Pho3This recipe works best as a use for leftover road chicken but alternatively you could cook a chicken breast in a tinfoil parcel in the oven and make the broth with chicken stock (this would be far quicker but not as tasty). I also should mention for any sticklers out there that this is not a proper pho at all, I skipped many of the ingredients because they are hard to find and expensive.

Pho Style Noodles (Serves two)

  • Left overs from a roast chicken including the carcass and some meat.
  • 1 Stick of lemongrass
  • I small pack of thai basil (if you can’t find this just use normal basil)
  • Half a Packet of coriander
  • One red Chilli
  • A small piece of ginger
  • A tiny dash of soy sauce
  • Some green beans (whatever you’ve got to hand)
  • A handful of mushrooms
  • Half a packet of rice noodles.

How to Make it…

  • I’m afraid this is not a quick recipe but it is very easy! Start by picking any meat off the chicken carcass get as much as you can.
  • Put the carcass in the largest pan you have and cover with water. Add the chilli, sliced lengthways, the basil and coriander stalks, most of the ginger, whole but peeled, and finally the lemon crash but first bash it slightly with the side of a knife to release the juices.
  • Leave this to simmer for about two hours or until the broth is flavoursome in its own right.
  • Remove the larger chicken bones with tongs and strain the rest of the broth through a sieve, this is not michelin starred cuisine, it does’t have to be entirely clear, just not full of bones!
  • Put the broth back on the boil and add the chopped mushrooms and beans.
  • Once the veg is nearly cooked add the leftover chicken bits, the rest of the herbs and the noodles.
  • At this point I also added a tiny dash of soy sauce, vietnamese food would normally call for fish sauce but as I didn’t have any I used soy to add that hint of saltiness, this is entirely optional.
  • Once the noodles are cooked serve piping hot to warm your cockles!

Cost Rating ** I Used: Chicken leftovers from a chicken that originally costed £5, 5 mushrooms costing 27p, 1/4 of a packet of green beans costing £1.50, a packet of thai basil costing 80p, half a packet of coriander costing 80p, 1/3 of a packet of chills costing 60p, one stick of lemongrass costing 40p, 1/2 a piece of ginger costing 50p, 1/2 a packet of rice noodles citing 75p. Total cost: £3.10, cost per head: £1.55 (if you had used a chicken breast and stock this would cost an extra 82p per head).

Washing up rating *** I Used: A pan, a knife, a chopping board, a sieve, a bowl and some chopsticks.