Fragrant pho: The Fast Diet
- Credit: Romas Foord
One man’s health scare led to the creation of a new diet, which is fast becoming a worldwide health movement
Calorie county: 48 - add 15 for 50g for extra veg
When travelling in Laos and Vietnam a decade ago, I came to adore the fresh, vivid taste of pho, served at every truck stop and roadside stall.
This is a deliberately loose recipe – add spring vegetables of your choosing, anything that’s going spare in the salad drawer, the veg box, the windowsill herb pot or the allotment.
The quality of taste hinges on a good stock, so do contemplate making your own.
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2 lemongrass stems, outer leaves removed, inner stem finely chopped
2 tsps grated root ginger
4 kaffir lime leaves, torn
1500ml vegetable or fish stock
1 tsp palm sugar
1 Use a pestle and mortar to grind lemongrass, ginger and kaffir lime leaves.
2 Add to a large saucepan with stock and boil for 10 minutes.
3 Add palm sugar, fish sauce and lime juice, tasting to check for balance.
4 Cook prawns in the broth till pink – about 2-3 minutes.
5 Add herbs and red chilli to serve.
6 To bulk up the broth, add mange touts, sugar snap peas, shredded spring cabbage, ribboned carrots, beansprouts, shiitake mushrooms or baby sweetcorn along with the prawns.
7 3 tbsps Thai fish sauce
8 Juice of a lime
9 8 large prawns, shelled and deveined
10 Fresh Thai basil leaves, mint, coriander and finely sliced red chilli to serve
Note: studies show that soup increases satiation - and stops you over-eating