Vietnamese pho is a fragrant, elegant soup with subtle flavours and a chilli punch that will fill you up till dinner!


  • 400 g (14 oz) scotch fillet steak

  • 1 lemongrass stem, white part only, thinly sliced

  • 2 red chillies, plus extra sliced chilli to garnish

  • 1 large garlic clove

  • 3 cm (1¼  in) piece of ginger, peeled and

  • roughly chopped

  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1.5 litres (51 fl oz/6 cups) salt-reduced beef stock

  • 2 teaspoons fi sh sauce

  • 3 kaffi r lime leaves, shredded

  • 1 bunch baby bok choy, chopped

  • bean sprouts to garnish

  • 1 bunch Thai basil leaves

  • 1 bunch coriander (cilantro) leaves

  • lime wedges to serve


  • 1.

    Put the steak in the freezer about 30 minutes before serving. (This will make it easier to slice thinly.)

  • 2.

    Place the lemongrass, chilli, garlic and ginger in a mortar and pestle and pound to a paste. Season with salt and pepper.

  • 3.

    Remove the steak from the freezer and slice thinly. Set aside.

  • 4.

    Add the stock to a saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Add the spicy paste, fish sauce and kaffir lime leaves and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the beef slices one at a time (use tongs), then add the bok choy.

  • 5.

    Simmer for another 1–2 minutes.

  • 6.

    To serve, fill each bowl with a handful of bean sprouts, some pieces of the beef and some bok choy. Pour the ‘pho’ or broth over the top. Add some Thai basil leaves, coriander, chilli and serve with a wedge of lime.

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