Tuesday, 4 September 2012 - , , , , , , 6 comments

RECIPE : Vietnamese Noodle Soup (Pho)

Vietnamese noodle soup (Pho) is a delicious, fragrant, clear stock served in a large bowl over rice noodles. It's presented with a selection of fresh herbs and seasoning ingredients, which you add yourself, to your personal taste.


I had this for the first time in a restaurant called PHO last year. I couldn't wait to invent my own version and have been making it ever since!
It's a light but filling meal - perfect for those days when you might be on a tight propoints budget.
It's 1pp/approx.40kcal for the soup and 4pp/approx.162kcal. for the rice noodles, so 5pp/approx.200kcal in total per portion.


You will need: (per portion)

Frylight sunflower oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
Small piece grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice
2 tablespoons low salt soy sauce
1 reduced salt beef/vegetable stock cube
White pepper to taste
700ml boiling water
1/2 carrot
2-3 spring onion, sliced

To serve:

1 pack Straight-to-wok rice noodles
Selection of fresh herbs;
basil, mint, chives, coriander
1/2 fresh red chilli, diced
1/2 a lemon
1/2 a lime


Fry the crushed garlic with the grated ginger in a little Frylight oil. Add the Chinese 5 spice, the stock cube and the low-salt soy sauce and make a paste. Cook gently for a few minutes, stir well.
Add the hot water and season with white pepper. This is your basic stock. Allow to cook for 10 minutes to let the flavours develop.

You can add all the herbs and flavourings into the pan at this stage if you prefer, but I love to serve it the traditional Vietnamese way with the herbs, chilli and the citrus fruits on the side. I sometimes slice a few mushrooms and add them to the stock while it's cooking.

Just before serving, chop the spring onion and add to the hot stock. Using a julienne peeler, peel the carrot into the soup.

Prepare the serving plate; pop the straight to wok noodles (cold) into the soup bowl. Arrange a selection of herbs, the cut lemon and lime and the chopped chilli.
(I always put the chilli into a tiny dish so that it can be tipped into the soup without having to handle it).
You could also put a heap of beansprouts with the herbs to add for a light crunch.

Pour the hot stock over the noodles. This heats them through instantly.
Add the herbs, chilli and squeezed citrus fruits to your personal taste. I love the way the flavours develop with each mouthful. As the herbs steep and infuse, their distinctive fragrances are released. I personally adore this really packed full of lime and lemon juice. The chilli gradually adds heat as you devour the soup.
Eating this dish is quite an experience!


Tangy, sour, hot, vibrant, peppery, fragrant.



To make this into a more filling meal, chargrill some chicken, prawns or steak with a little low-salt soy sauce. Slice and add to the soup just before serving.
Remember to calculate and add any propoints/calories for this.

You could also poach a chicken breast in the stock while its cooking. The chicken will need at least 30 minutes in the stock. Slice into strips or shred it with a fork before putting back into the soup.




Kimberly 9 September 2012 at 17:33

This looks like a great PHO and low-cal too! Found you through Amee's Fit and Fabulous Fridays and so glad that I did! From the Hungry Goddess :)

Janey 9 September 2012 at 17:36

Thanks Kimberly......glad you like my recipe! xx

Yankee in England 14 November 2012 at 13:26

Made this for lunch (added a bit of fish sauce as I thing it makes everything better) posted my intentions this morning on a WW Facebook page I belong to and two other ladies joined me in making it. Thanks for the inspiration!

Janey 14 November 2012 at 13:31

you're welcome ! Glad to have inspired you! x

Lis Watkins 31 January 2013 at 12:51

Been looking through the recipes and now feel very hungry! This looks particularly tempting. Going to have a go at making it soon.
Keep up the good work! Lis x

Janey 31 January 2013 at 13:27

Thanks Lis! Will do! Let me know how your Pho turns out xx

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