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Chicken and asparagus pho

publication date: Mar 17, 2010
author/source: Fiona Beckett
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It’s a while since I made noodles - in fact a long while since we had our Not Pot-Noodle Recipe Challenge - but as I had two cooked chicken thighs to use up I thought I’d give them a whirl. The result was delicious - a bit like a pho (a Vietnamese noodle dish) or a bowl of Thai noodles (though I admit it doesn't particularly look it from the blurry photo to the right, served in a very un-Thai-like bowl.

Don’t be daunted by the list of ingredients. I’d recommend the ginger, garlic, chilli, soy sauce, fish sauce* and coriander but you can play around with the vegetables and obviously leave out the meat if you want.

Serves 2-4 depending on whether it's the only thing you're eating
Time: About 15 minutes
Cost: Depends if you have the basics. About £1.25 a head if you have, nearer £2 if you haven't

A handful of medium-thick rice noodles
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock made with 4 tsp Marigold bouillon powder
1 good size cube of fresh ginger, peeled
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 small red chilli, de-seeded and chopped
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp fish sauce
1 small leek, cleaned and shredded or half a bunch of spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
The stalks off a bunch of asparagus, finely sliced (saving the tips for another dish and cutting off the woody bits at the end)
A good handful of coriander leaves
A few button mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
2 cooked chicken thighs, or a breast, skin removed and finely sliced
Juice of 1/2 - 1 lime

Pour boiling water over the noodles and leave them to soak for 2 minutes then rinse them in cold water and set aside. Pour the stock in a large saucepan, add the ginger, garlic, chilli, soy and fish sauce and bring up to simmering point. Cook for a couple of minutes then add the shredded leeks, finely sliced asparagus and chopped coriander stalks (save the leaves to add at the last moment). Cook for about 3 minutes then add the mushrooms, bring back to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Then add the shredded chicken, bring back to boiling point and simmer for a couple of minutes more. Add back the noodles, heat through for a few seconds then add the juice of half a lime and check the seasoning, adding more soy, fish sauce and/or lime to taste (you shouldn’t need salt). Scatter over some chopped coriander leaves and serve in deep bowls.

* Ingredients like this are much cheaper in an oriental supermarket. If you have some leftover you could use them to make a stir-fry.


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