This Vietnamese pho is full of aromatic flavours, such as cinnamon, coriander, ginger and lemongrass, and topped with loads of fresh herbs.
Feel free to play about with the seasoning and spices to find the perfect balance for you. Some prefer their Pho to be hotter, while others favour a milder taste – so add extra chilli’s or spring onions if you fancy.
This tasty meal is super low-calorie, at just 485 calories per serving, but feels really indulgent. With plenty of veg and protein in the form of the chicken, you can be sure you’re getting a good, healthy meal if you choose this for dinner tonight.
And the herbs and spices are also brilliant for our bodies. Chilli’s for example have brilliant antioxidant benefits, so use as many as you dare!
Recipe taken from Lose Weight and Get Fit by Tom Kerridge (£22, Bloomsbury). Photography © Cristian Barnett
- 1.5 litres fresh chicken stock
- 15g dried porcini mushrooms
- 2.5cm piece fresh ginger, thickly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, lightly bashed
- 1 star anise
- ¼ tsp black peppercorns
- ¼ tsp Chinese ﬁve-spice powder
- 1tsp coriander seeds
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 lemongrass stems, lightly bashed
- 3 spring onions, white and green parts separated
- 750g skinless chicken thighs (bone in)
- 200g carrots, julienned
- 200g ﬂat rice noodles
- 2 tbsp ﬁsh sauce
- Juice of 1 lime
- Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
- To ﬁnish and serve
- 200g beansprouts
- A large handful each of mint, coriander and Thai basil
- 1 bird’s eye chilli, ﬁnely sliced
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
Pour the stock into a medium saucepan, place over a high heat and add the dried porcini, ginger, garlic, spices, lemongrass and white spring onions. Add the chicken thighs, bring to a low simmer and cook gently for 25 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
Meanwhile, put the carrot julienne and rice noodles into a large heatproof bowl, pour on boiling water to cover generously and leave to soften for 10 minutes. Finely shred the green spring onions for the garnish.
Pour the broth through a strainer into a jug, remove the chicken from the strainer and set aside for later; discard the rest of the contents. Return the flavoured broth to the pan and place over a medium-high heat.
Bring back to the boil and let bubble for 5 minutes to reduce and intensify the flavour. Stir in the fish sauce and lime juice. Season the soup with a pinch of sea salt if needed and a small pinch of white pepper.
Shred the chicken, discarding the bones, then add to the broth to warm through for 2 minutes. Drain the noodles and carrot and share between warmed bowls. Scoop the chicken out of the pan and add to the bowls. Ladle over the broth and finish with the spring onions, beansprouts, herbs, chilli and lime wedges.
Top tip for making Tom Kerridge’s Chicken Pho
Add a dash of any leftover fresh herbs you may have - it changes the flavour every time!