1. Cook the rice noodles according to pack instructions and set aside until ready to use, making sure you have rinsed them of all starch with running cold water.
2. Set oven to 200 degrees.
3. Put a large saucepan on the hob on a high heat. Without adding any oil, throw in the garlic, ginger and star anise. Leave to char for around 3 minutes until you can smell the aromas (don’t use your best non-stick pan for this as the char may linger).
4. Add the stock, lime leaves, fish sauce, rice wine and lime zest to the pan, bring to the boil and simmer until reduced by one third. Add 1 tsp of soy sauce.
5. In a separate small pan, stir fry the sliced mushrooms on a high heat in a little sesame oil until just starting to crisp up, then add to the stock.
6. Top and tail the green beans.
7. Place each piece of cod on a separate bit of baking parchment, with the spring onions and a dash of soy sauce. Seal tightly.
8. Place the noodles back in the pan, give it a stir to break them up, then position the pak choi and fish parcels on top. Cover with a lid and leave to cook for 10 – 12 minutes.
9. Separating the noodle and vegetable mixture into two bowls, place the (hopefully very flaky) fish on the top. To finish, add fresh herbs and finely sliced chilli to taste, squeeze on the lime juice and pepper with soy sauce.
Vietnamese Style Noodle Soup
3 x 1/2cm slices of ginger
2 cloves garlic (peeled)
2 star anise
2 lime leaves
1 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp rice wine
Zest of one lime
500ml chicken stock
1 fresh lime
2 x 125g cod fillets
100g rice noodles
150g mushrooms, sliced
200g green beans
2 spring onions, finely sliced
Coriander / mint / Thai basil
Fresh bird’s eye chillies
Note: This seems like it's super complicated but once you get the hang of it you'll realise it's a doddle, so please persevere.