On our wonderful riverboat cruises, we absorb the cuisine of the locale. Every country we visit has well known national dishes.

In June we are cruising on the Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia and will be introducing our guests to the fare of these countries.

Over the next few weeks, we will show you some of their famous dishes. Even better join us this June for the Mekong and Siem Reap.

We start this week with Pho. Enjoy!


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 shallots, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, chopped
  • 1” piece ginger, sliced
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • ¼ tsp Chinese five spice
  • ¼ tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp Pareve Worcestershire sauce (parev not OUFish)
  • 3 pints chicken stock
  • 3 large chicken breasts (about 11/2 lb)

To serve

  • 1 lb rice noodles
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced on an angle
  • 1 carrot, shredded or peeled into ribbon with a vegetable peeler
  • 2 large handfuls (5 oz) mung bean sprouts
  • large bunch coriander, chopped
  • small bunch mint, leaves chopped
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2 tbsp crispy fried shallots (optional)
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf, tough central stalk removed, very finely sliced, (optional)
  • 1 lime, cut in


  • Heat the oil in a small frying pan on medium heat and gently cook the shallots and garlic until golden brown (about 4-5 mins).
  • In a large saucepan, add the caramelised shallots and garlic, lemongrass, ginger, star anise, cinnamon stick, coriander seeds, Chinese five-spice, peppercorns, sugar, fish sauce, chicken stock and chicken breasts. Cover with a lid and bring to a very gentle simmer for about 15 mins.
  • Meanwhile, cook the noodles, using pack instructions, until just cooked through (do not over-cook). Rinse under cold water to prevent them sticking together. Drain and divide between serving bowls.
  • Strain the soup through a sieve. Discard the spices. Shred the chicken and keep to one side. Return soup to the pot and bring to a boil. Season to taste with more pareve Worcestershire sauce if needed.
  • To serve, ladle piping hot soup into bowls of noodles and chicken, and top with spring onion, carrot, bean sprouts, and herbs, plus the chilli, crispy shallots and kaffir lime leaf if using. Serve with a lime wedge to squeeze over, and more chilli to taste.