Vietnamese Recipes that you can easily replicate at the comfort of your own home or even to show it off to your house guests!

Makes 8


2                            medium yellow onions
4cm                     knob old ginger
5 stalks              unpeeled lemongrass, bruised lightly
3kg                      beef joint bones
1⁄2kg                    beef shank, cut into 5cm cubes
1/2kg                    boneless pork leg
4tbsp                    grapeseed oil
8                            star anise, toasted
6                            whole cloves
1                            toasted cinnamon bark (10cm)
2tbsp                    toasted coriander seeds
1tbsp                    toasted black pepper corns
3tbsp                    annatto seeds
6-8L                       water
30-50g                  yellow rock sugar
Sea salt, to taste
Fish sauce, to taste

  • 2 packets of Dried round rice noodles (bún), soaked in cold water for 30 minutes, strain. Blanch the noodle in boiling water for 20 seconds before straining and running under cold water. Set aside.
  • 1 white onion, sliced paper-thin, soaked in ice water for 15 minutes, strain
  • 8 Spring onions, chopped
  • Handful chopped bean sprouts
  • Handful sweet basil leaves
  • Handful sawtooth coriander, chopped
  • 2 long red chilies, thinly sliced
  • 4 limes, cut into wedges
  • Black Pepper, freshly ground
Prepare the broth
  1. Chargrill the onion and ginger over gas burner until fragrant.
  2. Halve the ginger lengthwise and bruise lightly. Set the onion and ginger aside.
  3. Parboil bones. Place bones in stockpot and cover with cold water. Over high heat, bring to boil. Boil vigorously for 2 to 3 minutes to allow impurities to be released. Dump bones and water into sink and rinse bones with cold water. Quickly scrub and clean stockpot. Return bones to pot and add water.
  4. Season the beef shank and pork leg with oil until golden brown. Add annatto seeds and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add water and beef bones. Bring to boil over high heat and then lower to gently simmer. Add onions and ginger, star anises, cloves, cinnamon, coriander seeds, and peppercorns and cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes – 1 hour. Remove the pork leg and place it in bowl of cold water for 10 minutes; this prevents the meat from drying up and turning dark as it cools. Drain and slice the pork leg, cover with plastic wrap and set aside. Allow the broth to continue cooking; in total, the broth should simmer for 2 hours. Once the beef shank is tender, remove to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until cold, slice and set aside.
  6. Strain the broth and discard the solids. Bring the broth to boil. Taste and adjust with additional salt, fish sauce and yellow rock sugar.
  7. To make the chili-lemongrass paste: sauté the chili flakes, garlic and lemongrass until fragrant, around 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the brown sugar, fish sauce and shrimp sauce.
  8. To finish the broth, add chili- lemongrass paste. Adjust with salt and sugar if needed.
Assemble the bowls
  1. Top each bowl of noodles with brisket and sliced of pork leg and shank meat. Place a mound of white onion, spring onion, bean sprouts and chopped herbs. Top with sliced chilies.
  2. Bring broth to a rolling boil. Ladle the broth into each bowl. Serve immediately with lime wedges and black pepper.
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Excerpts from the Passport to Saigon: The essential guide to Saigon’s Street Food Secrets by NamNam