Pic of Winter beef pho with sprout leaves, shallots and udon noodles

Winter beef pho with sprout leaves, shallots and udon noodles

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Meat mains

Winter beef pho with sprout leaves, shallots and udon noodles

Main Serves 2 35 min
Pho is a deep richly aromatic broth to which noodles and various accompaniments are added. The broth can take hours to make so to save time start off with a good chicken stock. The other ingredients are grated to give them a larger surface area from which to impart their flavour and speed up the process.

Cook's notes

The heat of the broth is used to cook the beef and reheat the noodles, so you need to slice the beef as thinly as you can. A spell in the freezer will firm the beef up and make slicing much easier. You can add the chilli, shallots, chard and lime to your taste at the end. The chard will wilt just like spinach.


  • 200g sirloin
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 1 onion
  • 25g ginger
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 125g udon noodles
  • 2 Brussels sprouts
  • 1 large or 2 smaller shallots
  • 1 red chilli
  • salt
  • 20g baby chard
  • 1 lime


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 25 min
  • Step 1

    Wrap the beef tightly in clingfilm and pop it into the freezer for 20 minutes. Tip the chicken stock into the pan along with 300ml of water. Bring to a simmer.
  • Step 2

    Peel and coarsely grate the onion. Peel and coarsely grate the carrot. Grate half the ginger too, skin and all. Add them to the pan of stock. Toast the coriander seeds, star anise and cloves in the small frying pan, stopping when they start to smell fragrant but before they burn.
  • Step 3

    Add them to the stock along with the soy sauce. Simmer the stock very gently for 20 minutes. Put a pan of salted water on to boil. Cook the noodles for 8 minutes, until just cooked. Drain and cool immediately in cold water. Clean the pan.
  • Step 4

    Cut the connective root end away from the sprouts and break each one up into small individual leaves, discarding any discoloured outer leaves. Peel the shallot(s) whole and slice as finely as you can into rings. Slice the chilli widthways into thin rings.
  • Step 5

    Wash and drain the chard. Remove the beef from the freezer, discard the clingfilm and, using your sharpest knife, slice it as thinly as you can. Strain the stock, through the sieve into the other pan, pressing as much liquid as you can from the vegetables, then bring back up to a simmer.
  • Step 6

    Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt if needed. Divide the sprout leaves and chard between each bowl and arrange the noodles on top. Lay the sliced beef onto the noodles in a single layer.
  • Step 7

    Cut the lime into wedges and place them on a plate with the chilli and shallots. Pour the hot stock into the bowls – this should lightly cook the beef. Press any raw beef down into the broth to heat through. Add the chilli, shallots and lime to your taste.

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