This is a really tasty version of phở – Vietnamese noodle soup. You can mix up the toppings that you use, depending on what’s cheap or what you have growing at your whare – you don’t need to use everything I’ve listed (i.e. it looks like you need heaps but really you can make it as simple or as complicated as you want). Leave out the chilli if you’d rather have a savoury soup than a spicy one. Some nice substitutions are: lightly stir-fried or steamed green beans, broccoli or cauliflower, or oyster mushrooms instead of the button variety.
Kīnaki (serves 4)
- 1 x onion
- 2 x garlic cloves (or a teaspoon of crushed garlic)
- 4 thin slices of fresh ginger (or a teaspoon of crushed ginger)
- 9 cups of vegetable stock (or 8 cups of water and 4 teaspoons of vegetable bullion)
- 4 x cloves
- 1 x stick of cinnamon (or 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon)
- 1 x star anise
- 1 x fresh red chilli, diced
Noodles & toppings
- 2 x tablespoons chopped mint
- 2 x tablespoons chopped coriander
- 2 x sliced spring onions (you can cut these on the diagonal to look flash…)
- 2 x handful of bean sprouts
- 1 x packet of firm tofu, drained and cut into slices.
- 8 or so white button mushrooms
- 1 x small bunch of pak choy
- Crushed peanuts or cashews
- Rice noodles
To make the broth, add the stock, garlic, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, chilli and star anise to a large pot. Roughly chop the onion and add this to the mix. Bring it to the boil and then turn down the heat and let it simmer away. Set a timer for 15 minutes.
While the broth is cooking, prepare the noodles and the fresh ingredients.
I usually use white vermicelli noodles – to prepare these they just need to be soaked in cold water for a few minutes. Drain them and then place a handful of noodles into each bowl you are using to serve your phở.
Cut up the pak choy – I like to cut a few slices off the stalk as those are nice and crunchy, and then cut the rest of it lengthways into a couple of long, green bits from each leaf. Set these aside.
Heat a little sesame oil in a large pan to cook the tofu (if you want you can add a little garlic and freshly grated ginger to season the tofu a little). Add the tofu slices and cook until brown on all sides. Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside. Return the pan to the stove, add a little more sesame oil and fry the mushrooms. Once tender, remove these from the pan also and set aside.
Once the 15 minute timer goes off, add the pak choy to your stock and set the timer for another 5 minutes.
Now prepare the bowls for serving. Place some bean sprouts on top of the noodles. Add a few slices of tofu and some mushrooms to each bowl. Once the timer goes off, ladle some of the soup into each bowl (avoiding the large chunks of onion, star anise etc. Make sure you get a few slices of the pak choy though.)
Top each bowl with some spring onions, some mint and coriander, a sprinkle of the crushed nuts (and add a little sriracha if you like it spicy).