Recipe for 8 bowls
2.7 kilos of pork bone (neck/spine/leg), cut in 5cm pieces
about 4.5 liters of water
3 dried squids (about 60 grams)
1/3 of a cup of dried shrimp
1 yellow onion cut in 4 and peeled off course
2.5 cm of golden rock sugar (approx 30 grams)
2 tablespoons of salt
about 600 grams of pork loin
35-45 grams of pork liver
1/3 cup Crispy caramel Shallots
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
25 grams ground pork
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Cooked pork from the broth simmering
1 ½ to 2 pounds dried tapioca stick noodles or dried fettucine-size flat rice noodles (bánh pho), cooked in boiling water until al dente (5 to 7 minutes for the tapioca; 3 to 4 minutes for the rice noodles), drained, and flushed with cold water (keep tapioca stick noodles in a bowl of water to prevent sticking)
16 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ small bunch Chinese chives, cut into 1 ½-inch-long pieces (1 cup total)
1 small bunch Chinese celery, trimmed and cut into 1 ½-inch-long pieces (2 cups total)
2 cups bean sprouts (about 1/3 pound), picked over, washed, and drained well
2 or 3 hot Thai or serrano chiles, thinly sliced
2 or 3 limes, cut into wedges
Preparing the broth
1. Boil water and bones in a stockpot (approx 12-quart/11 litres) over high heat. Remove any fat or scum that rises to the top. After adding the remaining ingredients and the broth begins to boil again, lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, you should notice the boneless pork meat is now slightly chewy but not tough. After cooking the pork to your liking, add the meat to a cold bowl of water. Soak the meat for approximately 10 minutes which will prevent it from drying up. After the meat cools, add to the refrigerator. Continue to simmer the brother for a further 2 hours.
2. Using a mesh strainer, strain the brother into a large saucepan.
3. Use a large spoon or ladle to remove as much fat and scum from the brother as you desire. You can make this task easier by cooling it in the refrigerator over night and reheat the following day. Feel free to change the flavour to your liking by adding salt and rock sugar. It is beneficial for the broth to taste slightly strong as the noodles and other ingredients will not be salted. You should be left with about 4 quarts/3.7 litres.
4. Begin to poach the liver as the broth simmers. Half fill as saucepan with water and bring and boil using medium heat. After adding the liver to the water, reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 15 minutes. Soak the liver in a cold bowl of water for approximately 10 minutes which will prevent it from drying up. After draining the liver, store it with the cooked beef.
5. Prepare the caramelised shallots reserving the cooking oil in the skillet and add extra oil so that there is approximately 3 tablespoons total. Over medium to low heat add the garlic. Prepare to sauté, stirring until you get a golden colour. Transfer the garlic to a or small bowl and leave to cool.
6. There should be at least 2 tablespoons of oil in remaining the skillet. If not free free to add a little more. After the heating the oil to medium, add the pork, salt and pepper whilst stirring to break up the pork into tiny pieces. Continue stirring for 3 minutes, or until the pork looks cooked. Add the pork to a small bowl and allow to cool. The toppings can be prepared in advance and refrigerated. Be sure to allow the topping to return to room temperature before assembling the bowls.
Assembling of the Bowls
7. Chop the liver and pork into thin slices. Prepare the shrimp, garlic, shallots, noodles and ground pork for assembling the bowls. Then present the garnishes on one large plate or put them in small dishes.
8. Whilst assembling the bowls, simmer the broth over medium heat. Then add the shrimp, leaving them for around 2 minutes until they have curled and turned orange. Once completed, remove from the shrimps from the broth and set aside.
9. Now fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. In each bowl place a portion of noodles on a strainer and dip the noodles in the boiling water. The noodles should soften after 10 to 20 seconds, remove the strainer from the water and allow the water to drain into the pot. Place the soften into a bowl.
10. Add sliced pork, live and 2 shrimp to every bowl. In the middle of each bowl add the ground pork, fried garlic, and caramelised shallot. You can also add black pepper if you desire.
11. Now bring the broth to a boil. Do another taste test and make adjustments if needed. Add about 2 cups of broth into each bowl, using the hot broth to warm all the ingredients. Proceed to serve with the prepared garnishes.