Hoi An Style Pho Bo (Beef)

Ingredients (Serves 2):

50g Beef tenderloin    
100g dried pho noodles   In Hoi An these are slightly thicker almost thin pasta style rice noodles (white)
50g White Onion   1/2 an onion
10g Shallots   1 or 2
2 table spoons vegetable oil    
2-3 cubes of beef stock   Really you should boil beef bones for 4 hours instead of using beef stock cubes. Or since we are in Christchurch you should buy beef stock from Foundations Foods as theirs is great. You can get it from Reward Fresh or direct from foundation foods.
50g Lemon Grass    
50g Fresh Pineapple    
2 tsp light fish sauce   if using Thai fish sauce then maybe just 1 tsp
a pinch of salt    
2 tsp sugar    
1/2 tsp pork powder   I think this is MSG (probably best to miss it out)
1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice    
A few springs of coriander    
2 table spoons of unsalted peanuts    
1 red chilli    
2 spring onions    
Handful of washed mixed greens (basil, lettuce, mint, water spinach, bean sprouts)    


Cut the beef into very think slices and set a side.

Slice the shallots and cut the white onion into small chunks.

Peel the pineapple and cut into thin wedges

Cut the lemon grass into 5cm lengths and smash flat.

Remove the seeds from the Red Chilli and slice crosswise.

Cut the spring onions into 5cm julienne strips


Bring 500ml water to the boil in a large pot and add beef stock cubes or just use good beef stock.

Cook the pho noodles by immersing them for 3-4 minutes in boiling water. Remove from pan and place into two large soup bowls.

Heat oil in the fry pan and fry the white onion, shallots, and a pinch of 5 spice power.

Stir-fry for about 1 minute and then add to the hot stock. Continue cooking the stock over a hot element.

Add the fish sauce, salt, sugar, pork powder, the rest of the five spice powder.


There is two ways to cook the beef:

  1. Place stripes of beef onto a ladle and then add stock to the ladle and place into the bowl with the noodles. When enough beef has been added then add stock to fill the bowl.
  2. Place the beef on top of the noodles and then add stock to the beef and noodles.

Top with springs of coriander, peanuts, slices of chilli and fresh spring onion.

You can serve the soap with a plate of mixed greens.


Tomato Flower


  • One Tomato
  • One sharp knife



Slice the tomato from the stem end to the tomato to the bottom so you have two halves.

[photo needed]

Take one of the tomato halves and slice off the stem end about 1cm in.

[photo needed]

Now slice the tomato into about 20 slices about 2mm in width (this is very important – too thick and you can not roll the slices)

[photo needed]

When you have enough slices of the tomato (say 20) try to fan them vertically out so you end up with a line of tomato

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The tomato’s are sort of like a line of them all standing vertical like a ruler on its edge.

With the line of tomato's now roll from one end of the tomato ruler in a tight circle until all tomato is used.

You should end up with something like the above photo.

Hoi An Spring Rolls

Hoi An Spring Rolls

Ingredients (serve 2 people)

1 dried black mushrooms   These are Chinese Black Fungus mushrooms
30 gm Pork tenderloin    
20 gm Fresh Prawn   Since we do not get fresh, frozen will have to do – just use RAW not cooked!!!
Taro Root   About the size of a potato
1/2 Carrot    
2 Small Shallots or 1 large    
1 or 2 Garlic Cloves    
1 pinch Salt    
1 tsp Black Pepper    
1 tsp Sugar    
1 Egg Yolk   Keep egg white
6 sheets Rice Paper    
2 cups vegetable oil   Depends on frypan size
3 tsp light Fish Sauce   If using Thai Fish Sauce use 1 tsp
1 small lime    
1/2 tsp Minced Red Chilli    
1 table spoon warm water    


Hint: Rice paper can be salty so you could taste a bit and see how much salt there is and adjust the recipe accordingly. If very salty you could make without salt altogether since the fish sauce is salty as well.

Simmer the mushrooms in hot water for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool (a few minutes)

Shell and de-vein the Prawns or buy ones already done.

Mince the Pork and the Prawns or cut very very finely and set aside.

Peel the Taro Root.

Slice and then julienne the Taro, Spring Onion, Carrot and soaked mushrooms (squeeze the liquid from the mushrooms first) and then turn and cut the julienne strips into 1-2mm cubes.

In a medium sized bowl mix the Pork and Prawns with the cubed vegetables, minced Garlic and Shallots. Add the Salt, Sugar, Pepper and Egg Yolk and mix all together by hand.

Separate the 6 sheets of rice paper, soften each with a little water if necessary (dampen a tea-towel so it is just damp not wet) and trim to 5-6 inches wide and 10 inches high (if required).

Divide the ingredients into 6 or just use an appropriate amount of filling (1 large Table Spoon)

Please one of the rice paper sheets flat on the table and place the filling near the bottom in the center leaving about 1” of rice paper at the bottom and 1” on each side.

Roll tightly, turning in the sides of the paper as you roll so you end up with a nice fat cigar shape. When near the top wet the paper with either water or egg white (left over from the egg yolk) to seal.

Repeat the above for the rest of the rice paper sheets.


Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. To test if hot enough place the pointy end of a chop stick in the oil and if it bubbles around the bottom of the chopstick then it is hot enough.

Please the spring rolls into the hot oil, sealed side down, turning frequently. Cooking time is about 8-10 minutes or until golden brown – do not let burn.

Dipping Sauce

To make the dipping sauce in a small bowl mix the fish sauce, sugar, juice from the lime, minced garlic, minced chilli and warm water. Stir until sugar is dissolved.


To make the tomato flower see

Sautéed Chicken with Chilli and Lemon Grass

Sautéed Chicken with Chilli and Lemon Grass


2 Small dried black mushrooms   These are Chinese Black Fungus mushrooms
150 gm Chicken Fillet    
1 tsp light fish sauce   Use Vietnamese but if only Thai available use 1/3rd tsp
2 tsp sugar   Could reduce to 1 tsp as I found the end result quite sweet
1 tsp Pork Power   I think this is MSG – could leave out
1 tsp Oyster Sauce    
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder    
1 Pinch Salt    
1 Pinch Black Pepper    
2 Table Spoons Vegetable Oil    
2-3 cloves of Garlic    
3 Shallots    
2 stalks of tender Lemon Grass   Only use the bottom white section – discard green section
1/2 Green Bell Pepper    
1/2 Large Carrot    
1 Red Chilli   seeds removed
2 Spring Onions    
1/2 Cup Water or Chicken Stock    


Simmer the dried mushroom in water for 5-10 minutes then set aside.  After 10 minutes drain

Slice the chicken into thin slices and place in large bowl.

Mix the chicken with Fish Sauce, Sugar, Pork Powder (MSG), Oyster Sauce, Turmeric Powder, Salt, Pepper and a splash of oil, Mix around and set aside.

Cut the Carrot, Chilli, Green Bell Pepper, Spring Onions and the Mushrooms into Julienne strips (very small strips). Chop the garlic and slice the shallots.  Cut the Lemon Grass and flatten


Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan,add Garlic, Shallots and Lemon Grass, Stir-fry for 20-30 seconds.

Add the prepared chicken and stir-fry over medium heat for 5 minutes until cooked.

Add Carrot, Chilli, Green Bell Pepper and Chicken Stock or Water.

Continue to cook for about 5 minutes

Adjust seasonings to taste.

Arrange on a plate and toss with coriander, serve with steamed rice. Have a nice beer on the side.


Copyright © Chris & Pam - 2020