Chicken and Tofu Vietnamese Pho

Chicken and Tofu Vietnamese Pho

March 18 2015
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It’s January and everywhere I go I hear of detoxes and diets.  If you find yourself on either one of those (or both!) then this dish will fit nicely into that regimen.  It’s reasonably light but full of ingredients that will nourish and nurture a body in need of some tlc.  Ginger is one of my favourite winter ingredients – it’s so warming and it’s anti-inflammatory properties make it ideal for warding off those ailments that are more prevalent in winter months such as arthritis, rheumatism and the common cold or flu.  Make a simple ginger tea with fresh grated ginger, add some freshly grated or dried turmeric for an extra anti-inflammatory hit.  If you can make your own chicken stock – not only will the flavour be so much better but you’ll be adding a stock that is rich in healthy fats and free amino acids – all essential for cell and bone health.  Not one for the vegetarians which is a pity as it’s soo nutritious.

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Serves 3 meat eaters and 1 vegetarian
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp honey/agave syrup
5cm fresh ginger, thinly sliced
3 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
150g tofu, cut into bite sized pieces
coconut oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
200ml chicken stock
100ml vegetable stock
4 spring onions
1 red chilli, thinly sliced, to serve
fresh coriander, to serve
broccoli florets (tenderstem are good), steamed

In a bowl combine the fish sauce, oyster sauce and honey.  Add the ginger.  Divide the sauce into two bowls, three quarters in one bowl, a quarter in the other.  Add the chicken pieces to the larger bowl and the tofu pieces to the smaller bowl.  Make sure all the pieces are covered and leave to marinate for 20 minutes or so.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over a medium heat and add a little coconut oil (enough to coat the base of the pan thinly).  Add three of the garlic cloves and cook for a minute or so, but be careful not to burn.  Add the chicken which you’ve drained slightly and stir fry for a couple of minutes until the meat is lightly browned.  Next, pour in the marinade and chicken stock.  Simmer for 15 minutes or so on a reduced heat.

Once the 15 minutes is up you could take out the almost finished dish and put it somewhere to keep warm whilst you proceed in exactly the same way with the tofu.  Or you could run two pans simultaneously – up to you.  For the tofu, you will need just one garlic clove and 100ml vegetable stock, and no need to simmer for quite so long – you don’t need to cook the tofu in the same way as the chicken – just for the sauce to reduce slightly.

Once the two dishes are done, stir in the sliced onions and steamed broccoli.  If everyone is hungry serve it with some brown rice though it’s just as good on its own.  Sprinkle with the chilli and coriander for a pretty, chefy look.