Around the world in 80 dishes No.20: Vietnam

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Vietnam: beef noodle soup (pho bo), by Tracey Lister and Andreas Pohl

Ingredients to make 6 bowls

2kg beef bones

2 brown onions, cut in half

1 knob of ginger, cut into chunks

1 pig's trotter (ask your butcher to saw it in half)

1 teaspoon of salt

500g beef brisket

1 star anise

4cm piece of cassia bark or 1 cinnamon stick

To serve:

200g scotch fillet, thinly sliced

1tbsp fish sauce

600g fresh pho noodles (Vietnamese pantry)

4 red Asian shallots, finely sliced

4 spring onions, half sliced in long strips and half sliced into rings


1 lemon, cut in half or wedges

1 long red chilli, sliced

1 handful coriander leaves

1 handful Thai basil leaves

Fish sauce


Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the beef bones on a baking tray and roast for 20 minutes. Turn the bones over and roast for a further 20 minutes.

Heat a grill or barbecue to medium-high heat. Grill the onion and ginger on all sides until charred lines appear.

Remove the bones from the oven and place in a large stockpot. Add the pig's trotter and the salt and cover with cold water. Slowly bring to simmering point, removing scum as it comes to the surface. Add the onion, ginger, brisket, star anise and cassia bark (or cinnamon stick) and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Remove the brisket and set aside. Continue to simmer the stock for a further 4 hours. Strain the stock and discard the bones, vegetables and spices.

Marinate the scotch fillet in the fish sauce and set aside for 30 minutes. Thinly slice the brisket across the grain. bring the broth back to simmering point.

Bring a saucepan of water to the oil. Drop the noodles into the boiling water for about 20 seconds, stirring with a chopstick to separate them. Drain throughly and divide evenly between 6 bowls.

Place the brisket sliced fillet, shallots and spring onions on top of the noodles. Ladle in the hot broth and encourage diners to generously add lemon juice, chilli, herbs and fish sauce.

From 'Koto' by Tracey Lister and Andreas Pohl (Hordie Grant Books, £16.99)