Lemongrass and Star Anise Pho

A lovely warming noodle soup, this pho is brought to life with a delicious stock base starting with star anise and lemongrass packed full of fresh veg to make a great weeknight supper.

Serves 2

Ingredients: 1 Lemongrass, 12g ginger, 2 shallots, small bunch of coriander, 1-2 carrots, 1 pak choi, 1 star anise, a few slices of chilli (or more if you prefer), 1 spring onion.

From the larder: 100g rice noodles, 1.25L stock, 1-2 tbsp soy sauce (optional extra: tofu or beef strips).

Instructions:

  • Make the Pho stock. Chop the shallots, ginger, coriander stalks, remove the outer layer and slice the lemongrass. Place in a saucepan with the star anise and add 1.25 litre of stock and 1 tbsp soy sauce. Bring to the boil and leave to simmer gently while you prepare the other veg.lemongrass-closeup-600px
  • Chop the pak choi, separating stalks and leaves and chop carrots into thin batons. Slice and set aside ¼ of the chilli (or more if you prefer), slice the spring onion and chop the coriander leaves. If using beef strips or tofu, prepare and cook in another pan.

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  • When everything is chopped, add the carrots and pak choi stalks to the simmering stock and then add the noodles and cook for 3 minutes.stock with veggies 600px
  • Add the pak choi leaves and cook for a further minute.
  • Ladle into big bowls and serve with spring onions, a few chilli slices and coriander leaves and if using, beef or tofu on top.landscape pho close up angle 600px

Autumn Stir Fry

Baby parsnips are the sweetest! Not only are they tiny and cute but also lovely and sweet to taste. Combined with the star anise, this is a delicious and slightly different stir fry perfect for this time of year. Just remember that those tiny chillies will pack a punch, so use a small amount and add according to taste.

Ingredients: 1 clove of garlic, 2 shallots, 12g ginger, 1 red thai chilli, 100g cavolo nero, 1 carrot, 4-5 baby parsnips, 1 star anise, handful of fresh coriander.

From the larder: 175g egg noodles, 2 tbsp vegetable oil, 1-2 tbsp soy sauce, juice of ½ a lime (optional extras: prawns or steak and rice wine vinegar)

Instructions:

  • Prepare all your veggies before you start cooking. Finely chop the garlic, shallots, ginger and ¼- ½ chilli. Chop the cavolo nero and slice the parsnips and carrots into thin matchsticks approximately 3 cm long.
  • Start cooking the noodles at the same time as you start stir-frying the veg.
  • Heat a glug of vegetable oil in a wok or large frying pan. Add the star anise, shallots and chilli and stir-fry for about 1 minute and then add the steak or prawns, if using, and fry for about a minute.
  • Add the carrot and parsnips and continue stir-frying for another few minutes until softening but so they still have a crunch. Finally add the cavolo nero and stir-fry until wilted. Stir in the soy sauce and if you have it a small splash of rice wine vinegar.stir-fried-veg-600px
  • Drain the noodles, and stir into the stir-frying veg for a final minute before serving.
  • Remove the star anise and serve with a generous squeeze of lime and torn coriander leaves on top.