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Vietnamese pork and mushroom broth.

Vietnamese pork and mushroom broth.

Ok, I admit this is Vietnamese in the loosest sense as this dish doesn’t specifically have a Vietnamese provenance, but it was inspired by a trip to Vietnam and the ingredients are all widely available in Vietnam, so it’s not far from the truth. First rule of food blogging: never let truth stand in the way of a good recipe or story.

Quantities per person  

Ingredients:

Pork mincemeat or sausage stuffing (as much as required per person)

2 Portobello mushrooms

1 portion egg or rice noodles

1 pint (568 millilitres) vegetable stock

Half a lime

I tsp root ginger sliced thinly

2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly

Four spring onions

Black cardamom pod

1 red chilli

Quarter tsp coriander seeds

2 tbsps fresh coriander

1 tbsp of fish sauce

Toasted sesame oil for cooking

Chop the garlic and ginger in thin slices with a super-sharp knife.

Grate the black cardamom pod to a fine powder.

Slice the whites of the spring onions in small thin slices, and the green tops diagonally in 1 inch strips.

Slice the lemongrass in to long thin 1 inch strips like blades of grass.

Chop the mushrooms in to 2 cm slices.

Steam the pork balls

Set the pork meatballs to steam over a pan of fairly vigorous boiling water. They shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan gently cook the mushrooms in a small amount of toasted sesame oil for 7 minutes. After 3 minutes add the ginger, garlic, ground coriander seeds and black cardamom, gently stirring all the while.

Pour in 1 pint of vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Set it to simmer. Add the pork balls.

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Bruise and douse the spring onion tops in half the juice of the lime.

After ten minutes, add the remainder of the ingredients (chilli, spring onion, lemongrass and fish sauce) excluding the fresh coriander. Cook for 2 minutes. At the end, add the coriander and remainder of the lime.

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And there it is. Pretty quick and simple but truly delicious. The cooking times are guides only and the best way is to taste and gauge it as you go along. Enjoy!

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