For a spicy pho-style soup, you need a strong broth as a base. In Vietnam, it is traditionally made from beef bones and beef. The basis of the Eat Better formula is chicken broth. It is worth preparing it in larger quantities and freezing for future use.
The broth is prepared as follows: wash the chicken inside and out, put in a saucepan and cover with cold water. The mixture is boiled. Wash the vegetables and mushrooms and roughly chop them. Cut garlic and ginger into cubes. Add the chicken with the remaining herbs and spices. Add some salt. After boiling, cook with the lid half closed over low heat for about 1.5 hours. Get rid of increased turbidity if necessary.
Then carefully remove the chicken from the pot. Remove the meat from the bones and set aside for later use. Pour the broth through a fine sieve and combine the vegetables. Pour the liquid into a clean kitchen towel. This makes the broth particularly smooth and clear. Season with a little salt and pepper.
Clean the vegetables and onions and cut them into long strips. Remove the stems from the shiitake mushrooms and pluck the lids into pieces. Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onions and vegetables that require longer cooking (parsnips, carrots). Charge the broth. Cut the lemongrass in half lengthwise and press firmly. Peel the ginger and garlic and chop them into small pieces. Cut the pepper into small cubes as well. Add the prepared spices with anise, cinnamon and lemon leaves to the soup and simmer for a few minutes. Cut pak choy. Put the thick stems into the broth. They cook for 2-3 minutes. Green leaves and peas are added to the soup at the end, and they only have to soak in it for a short time.
Cook rice noodles separately.
Pluck the leaves from the stems. Season the soup with fish sauce, soy sauce and a little lemon juice and add some cooked chicken. Finally add a few drops of sesame oil. Roll the noodles into portions and place in soup bowls. Add soup with toppings and garnish each with a handful of herbs.
The main seasonings for the soup are lemongrass (alternative to lemon juice and peel), soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, ginger and fresh cilantro. This gives the soup a typical Asian flavor. Other spices make the soup clear, but they aren’t completely necessary.