Pho With Healthy Hoisin

The Bondi Markets have the most exquisite pho I have ever had the pleasure to eat, but I feel this version does this restorative Vietnamese soup justice. Often, it’s the commercially made condiments that we eat that have the most additives, so here I have made a delicious, healthy version of hoisin.
Serves 4
Total Time
1 Hour 30 Minutes
1 cinnamon stick
3 star anise
5 whole cloves of garlic
2 tsp of coriander seeds
6 cups of beef bone broth
1 small carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 spring onions
5cm knob of ginger, bruised
2 strips of mandarin peel (optional)
150g of beef fillet
250g of dry rice noodles, or zucchini noodles
1 tbsp of tamari
1½ tbsp of freshly squeezed lime juice
4 large handfuls of bean sprouts
2 large handfuls of Thai basil leaves
2 large handfuls of Vietnamese mint leaves
2 large handfuls of coriander sprigs
2 red birds-eye chillies, thinly sliced
Lime wedges, to serve
Chilli sauce, to serve
For the hoisin sauce
3 medjool dates, pitted
¼ cup of boiling water
cup of brown miso paste
1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp of honey
2 tsp of tamari
1 clove of garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
2cm knob of ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tsp of five spice powder
Step 1

Place the spices in a medium saucepan and toss over low heat for 3-4 minutes, until fragrant.

Step 2

Add the bone broth, carrot, spring onions, the ginger and mandarin peel, if using, and bring to the boil over high heat.

Step 3

Decrease the heat and gently simmer for 30 minutes.

Step 4

Wrap the beef fillet tightly in plastic wrap, to make a nice round shape. Freeze for 30 minutes, or until partially frozen, firm but not solid. This helps to make it easier to slice thinly, for serving.

Step 5

Meanwhile to prepare the hoisin sauce, soak the dates in the boiling water for 10 minutes.

Step 6

Combine the dates and their soaking liquid with the remaining ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth.

Step 7

Soak the noodles in boiling water, or according to the packet instructions, until softened. Strain.

Step 8

Strain the broth, discarding the solids. Return to the pan. Add the tamari and lime juice.

Step 9

Unwrap the partially frozen beef. Using a sharp knife, slice into very thin rounds.

Step 10

To assemble, divide the noodles among four serving bowls.

Step 11

Top with slices of raw beef, bean sprouts, fresh herbs and chilli. Ladle over the hot broth.

Step 12

Serve with lime wedges. Drizzle with chilli and hoisin sauces, as desired.

Cook's Tip: The hoisin sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. It makes a wonderful marinade for meats, especially pork and beef.


Extracted from The Beauty Chef by Carla Oates (Hardie Grant, £25).

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