Vietnamese Pork Noodle Soup

Another one of Joe's choices for this weeks big shop. It was incredibly easy to make, soothing and tasty. I think next time I make it I may tweak it a little - I felt the broth was missing a little something that I can't put my finger on at the moment. Not that this should deter you from trying this recipe out and maybe you will let me know what you think if you do.

This comes from Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home - I still feel like I've only scratched the surface of what this book has to offer. What I love about this recipe is the use of pork fillet, which I have to confess to never using before. I'm not a huge pork fan but this was tasty and easy and really cheap compared to my usual beef. £4 something for nearly 500g so I cut it all into strips and put the remaining bits in freezer bag ready for the next batch of this. I think next time I will probably use straight-to-wok noodles and add them to the soup in the wok rather than cooking noodles separately.

Vietnamese Pork Noodle Soup

Serves 4

275g pork fillet, cut into thin discs and then fine strips
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbs soy sauce
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp fish sauce
250g ramen noodles
1 tbsp garlic oil
6 thin or 3 fat spring onions, finely sliced
1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
1 litre chicken stock
300g beansprouts
175g baby pak choi, torn into pieces
2 tsps chopped red chili

All you need for this (apart from a chopping board and a sharp knife) is a saucepan to cook the noodles in and a wok or deep heavy-based frying pan. I'd advise doing all the chopping and weighing out of ingredients first then cooking the soup itself will be a matter of minutes.

1. Put the strips of pork fillet into a bowl and add the lime juice, soy sauce, paprika and fish sauce, but don't let this stand for more than 15 minutes.

2. Cook the noodles according to packet instructions and then refresh in cold water.

3. Heat a wok then add the garlic oil and fry the spring onions and ginger for a minute or so. Add the pork and its liquid to the wok, stirring as you go.

4. Cook the meat in the pan for another two minutes, then make up the chicken stock with boiling water, add the hot stock to the pan and bring to the boil.

5. Check the pork is cooked through, then add the beansprouts and baby pak choi. Add water if the soupy base has evaporated too much - about 125ml of freshly boiled water should do the trick, but you may not need it.

6. Arrange the drained noodles equally in warmed bowls, ladle over the pork and vegetables and finally the soupy stock. Scatter the chopped chili on top and serve.

Finished soup (without the red chilli)

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