Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup, usually comprising of a broth with meat, noodles, spices and herbs. I am sure that there are many reiterations and variations of the dish, and I make no claims to this being particularly authentic – for starters there are no noodles, and we used Norwegian Skrei in our Pho.
What I will claim is that this is a delicious soup; richly, deeply and complexly flavoured, as well as light, refreshing and reviving and not at all heavy.
Skrei is a Norwegian cod; Skrei comes from old Norse word for Wanderer, that is caught in the winter months, between January to mid April as the fish migrate to their Northern spawning grounds.
Fishing is carried out from small boats, and to be labelled as Skrei the fish must be 5 years old, and in perfect condition. Skrei is delicious, lean (the fish stores all its fat in its liver, not in its muscles), with a firm flesh and is renowned as the being the best cod that you can buy. Utterly lovely.
We gently fried one piece and served with roasted tomatoes and buttery mashed potato. Our second pieces of Skrei we shared with our friend Monica, who came up with the idea of the pho.
- 1/2 quantity Pho we based ours on Rachel Demuth’s recipe herefollow
- Selection of vegetables – shredded – try spring greens tenderstem, red peppers, carrots etc
- Small handful of dried mushrooms I like the Porcini from Cooks & Co
- 2 Skrei fillets
- Spring onions – finely shredded
- Red chillies – sliced
- Fresh coriander & basil
Your mise en place is key to this dish. Prepare your vegetables before starting to cook.
Prepare the base of the pho according to step 1 in the recipe.
Add the vegetables and Skrei and gently simmer for 5 minutes, until the Skrei is cooked and will flake, but is not falling apart.
Serve immediately, adding the herbs, spring onions and chilli to taste.
For more Skrei inspiration:
Many thanks to the Norwegian Seafood Council for my Skrei and to Cooks & Co for a selection of their dried mushrooms.