For a brief time, in between stints at the Slam Palace and the P.A Mansion, I lived in a sharehouse a walk away from Victoria St, Richmond, the commercial strip in inner Melbourne known for a few things—heroin, traffic congestion and the best Vietnamese food in town. To wander up and down Victoria St is to experience Asian culinary heaven in the midst of drug-laden purgatory.
You take good things for granted when you live so close to them, in this case the Vietnamese, not the cheap junk. Looking back, I didn’t appreciate Victoria St anywhere near as much as I should have.
Hodgey and Hon had their hangover remedy down pat. Living with them at the P.A mansion years later, I got in on their routine:
- Ease in with a boost juice,
- Get some synapses firing with a decent coffee, then,
- Fill your gut with a hot, salty, MSG-laden beef pho in a bowl bigger than your head, ideally from one of those good Vietnamese joints along Victoria St, rather that somewhere down the ‘shit end’ of Lygon St.
Hodgey was fond not so much of the beef strips in her pho, but the gristly beef balls that sometimes accompanied it, and was known to order double where possible. Hodgey knew the deal: When you’re sick, you smash a chicken soup; when you’re hungover, slurp a beef Pho, balls ‘n all.
Pho is a great medicinal recharge brew. Don’t worry if you can’t pronounce it. Faux, furr, whatevs. And if you happen to be in such a state that you can’t even bring yourself to leave home, let alone mouth the word, we’ve got your back with a pretty fine in-house replica.
sh.k ‘Faux’—aka ‘Hodgey’s Easy Beef Pho’—for our bud Hodgey, a treasured sharehouse alumni and all-time hangover companion/champion.
- 1L (4 cups) of chicken stock (beef or vegetable may be used too)
- 500ml (2 cups) water
- 6 Whole cloves
- 6 Whole black peppercorns
- 4 Star anise
- 4 Tbls (60ml) of fish sauce
- 3 Cinnamon quills
- 2 Tbls of caster sugar (or palm sugar – this will make the broth darker)
- 1 Tbls of coriander seeds
- 1 Tsp of soy sauce
- 1 White onion, thinly sliced
- 1 3cm piece of fresh ginger, skin removed, sliced into thirds
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt and pepper
- 350g Beef fillet, very thinly sliced
- 100g 5mm rice noodles
- 3 Spring onions, thinly sliced
- 2 Cups of Thai basil, on stems
- 2 Cups of bean sprouts
- 1 Small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 Cup of coriander leaves
- Several red birdseye chillies, thinly sliced
- Several Lime wedges
- OPTIONAL ACCOMPANIMENTS:
- Sriracha hot sauce
- Hoisin sauce
- Chilli oil
- Soy sauce
- Place all the broth ingredients (excluding the fish sauce, lime juice and salt and pepper) into a large pot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for approx. 1 hour.
- Taste broth and add fish sauce, lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Turn up heat to medium-high and cook for a further 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the noodles by placing in a pot of boiling water for approx. 10 minutes. Drain and divide between bowls. Top the noodles with the beef slices, some coriander leaves, spring onion and red onion.
- Pour/ladle the very hot soup over the raw sliced beef. Fill the bowls evenly and serve immediately with a side plate of bean sprouts, Thai basil, fresh chilli and lime wedges!
Beef or chicken stock can be used. We prefer homemade chicken stock; this also allows the option of adding shredded chicken breast instead of beef fillet. Play around with the stock options and pick one which best suits your taste.
Serve these extra sauces so that each person can add their chosen amount of spice/onion/flavour. Hoisin and Sriracha are essential table condiments in any Sharehouse Kitchen!