Fragrant, nourishing noodle broth, using the cooked turkey carcass from Christmas, that feels like it does me some good. Just what I need after all the crap I’ve put away this last week or so….
You’ll need a really large pan to accommodate the turkey carcass etc….
Traditionally you toast the vegetables over a direct flame. (gas hob or barbeque does it.) You need to keep turning the veg as they blacken, and keep turning until blackened all over. You need to stay around and do this. Little bits will catch fire, just pat them out.
Roast them in a hot oven if all this scares you too much, but this charred flavour from the direct heat is really what you need.
Bonus……You’ll also have lots of extra gorgeous stock to freeze for another time.
Vietnamese Turkey Phở
For enough Phở for….6-8…..You’ll need……
For the Turkey Phở stock
1 cooked turkey carcass or 2 chicken carcasses, (see little note below) with some meat attached hopefully…You need about 250 g cooked turkey or chicken meat for the recipe.
1 bulb garlic
10 spring onions
3 big pieces ginger
8 green cardamon pods
4 cinnamon sticks
4 star anise
½ tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to season
50 g rock, palm sugar or light brown sugar, see little notes below…
6 litres water
2 whole dried red chillies, split or 1-2 fresh red chillies
2 tablespoons fish Sauce (Nam pla)
Freshly ground black pepper
Then you’ll add these flavourings and noodles at the end…..
8 spring onions
1 bunch coriander, about 75 g with stalks (keep any stalks or roots for the stock)
1 small bunch fresh basil, about 30g with stalks (see Little notes below)
200 g pak choy or 100 g beansprouts
50 g very thin rice noodles, like vermicelli.
Accompanied by… Sriracha chili sauce is an intense and fiery chili sauce served as a traditional accompaniment alongside Hoisin sauce and sliced fresh chillies. All optional, but they all add more layers of flavor.
1. Strip away any remaining meat from the turkey carcass. (There will be lots of lovely moist meat hidden underneath the bird.) I managed to get 850 g from my, (what was a 7 kg turkey.) bird. You only need about 500 g. Discard any fat you might find. Drop the carcass and any bones into a very large pot.
2. Carefully peel the papery outside the onions and garlic and stick 4 whole cloves into each onion. Place a couple of these peeled vegetables directly on the hob and using tongs or a fork, turn frequently until blackened all over. Repeat with the rest.
3. Next trim the spring onions and place on the hob, followed by the whole pieces of ginger, again turning til blackened. Cut the garlic bulb in half across it’s middle and throw into the pot with the charred onions, spring onions and ginger.
4. Crush the cardamon pods and place in a dry frying pan with the cinnamon sticks, star anise, fennel seeds, peppercorns and dried chillies, (if using dried.) Heat the spices, tossing frequently til you get a lovely aroma wafting off of them. (don’t let them burn) Tip into the pot with the carcass and veg.
5. Add the salt and sugar then cover with the water, with any coriander stalks or roots you might have. Bring to a boil, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface as it does. Reduce heat and simmer gently for an hour. Remove from heat and leave to stand for 30 minutes.
6. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve. Pour ½ of the stock (about 2.75 litres) into the cleaned out pan, place on heat, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes to reduce slightly.
7. Whist the stock is reducing, use 2 forks to pull the reserved turkey meat into fine shreds.
8. Add the fish sauce to the stock and season to taste with pepper and more salt if needed. Cook the rice noodles as per packet instructions, them drain and set aside while you finish the Phở.
9. Peel and thinly slice the shallots, chillies, (if using fresh chillies) and spring onions and add to the stock. Quarter the lemons, squeeze them into the pot and drop in the squeezed out skins. Pull the leaves from the coriander and basil and chop roughly. Slice the pak choy thinly and add all to the pot with the beansprouts and chicken, then reheat. Stir, season to taste and serve.
Vietnamese Basil, Thai Basil, Holy Basil/
The basil traditionally used for Phở is Vietnamese Basil, which is similar to other South-east Asian basils, (Thai Basil or Holy Basil, available from South-east Asian supermarkets) which have more of a clove undertone (that this Pho depends on, along with aniseed flavour too) than the regular European Sweet Basil we’re used to, but you can use that one too.
Cooked carcasses for stock…when you roast any bird, freeze the leftover carcass and keep to make stock at a later date if you can’t do it straight away.