Speedy Chicken Pho (Pho Ga)

Pho 4

Pho (pronounced “fuh“) is a light and fragrant noodle soup that hails from northern Vietnam. Made with beef (bo) or chicken (ga), locals traditionally enjoy steaming bowls of pho garnished with fresh herbs for breakfast but in my opinion, any time is a good time for pho! The authentic recipe involves making the beef or chicken stock from scratch but I’m sharing my recipe for speedy pho today for a quick and healthy meal.

Serves 4              Preparation time: 10 minutes       Cooking time: 25 minutes


  • 2 cups water
  • 2cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • 2 chicken breast fillets, thickly sliced diagonally
  • 1L chicken stock
  • 150g flat rice noodles
  • Boiling water


  • 100g bean shoots
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 red chilli, sliced (to serve)
  • 2 tbs crisp fried shallots (optional)


1. In a large saucepan, combine water, ginger, garlic slices, star anise, soy sauce and fish sauce.  Bring to the boil over high heat.  Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat to low.

2. Add chicken slices and simmer for 10-15 minutes until cooked.  Remove chicken from poaching liquid and set aside on a plate to cool slightly. Shred when cooled.

3. Remove ginger and star anise from poaching liquid and discard.  Add chicken stock to poaching liquid, and return to simmer.

4. Place noodles in a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water.  Stand for 5 minutes then drain.

5. Divide noodles between serving bowls. Top with chicken, and ladle stock mixture into bowls.  Garnish with bean shoots, mint, coriander, spring onion, chilli and fried shallots (if using).

© 2017 Sunshine and Gelato

Moroccan Ghoriba

Moroccan Ghoriba

What do you do when you have an entire packet of fine semolina? You make Ghoriba, of course.  These moorish little semolina and coconut biscuits are perfect with a cup of tea.  Just try stopping at one!

Makes 30 biscuits


  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tbsp butter (unsalted)
  • 2 tbsp oil (preferably unflavoured)
  • 250g desiccated coconut
  • 170g fine semolina
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 drops rosewater essence
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Icing sugar (to dust)


  1. Place sugar, eggs and butter in a bowl.  Beat with an electric beater until the mixture is creamy.
  2. Add oil and mix well.
  3. Add desiccated coconut, semolina and baking powder and mix well until combined.
  4. Allow the mixture to rest for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  5. In a small bowl, mix the water and rose essence together.
  6. To shape the biscuits, dip your fingers into the bowl of rose water.  Then scoop up a small ball of dough (~3cm diameter) and shape it into a ball.  Place the ball onto the baking tray.  Repeat with the remaining dough.
  7. Dust the cookies with icing sugar (NB – traditionally, the tops of the biscuits are dipped in icing sugar before being placed on the tray. I found it tricky to remove the balls from the icing sugar without ruining their shape with this method, hence resorting to dusting them).
  8. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until they are lightly browned.  The tops should be cracked.  Allow the cookies to cool on the tray before transferring them to a wire rack. Serve with tea!

© 2017 Sunshine and Gelato

Caramelised onion and goat’s cheese tart

Buttery flaky pastry topped with sweet caramelised onions and salty goat’s cheese.  This humble tart has to be one of my most favourite dishes to make – its quick, flavoursome and (relatively) healthy.  Serve with steamed vegetables or a simple salad for a more filling meal.

The recipe makes 2 square tarts but  you could use 1 pastry sheet if you wanted a denser filling.

Makes 2 square tarts. Serves 4.


  • 4 large brown onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vinegar (white, malt or balsamic)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Baking paper
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry (reduced fat)
  • 200g soft goat’s cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 200C
  2. Add oil to a large frying pan, and place over low heat.  Add onions and cook for 25 minutes or until the onions become a rich golden colour.  Stir occasionally to prevent the onions from sticking to the pan.
  3. Add brown sugar and vinegar (I used malt but you could use white or balsamic vinegar instead) to the onions, and stir until well combined.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Line a baking tray with baking paper.  Place the sheets of puff pastry on the tray and allow to thaw slightly.
  5. Prick the pastry with a fork, leaving a border around the edge of each tart (~2cm wide).  Bake the pastry for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove pastry sheets from the oven.  Top with caramelised onion mixture, leaving a 2cm border all around.  Top with crumbled goat’s cheese.  Return to oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. Serve with steamed vegetables or a simple salad.


Pumpkin, chickpea and tomato curry

This is the excerpt for a placeholder post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post.

I love nothing more than a good chicken curry mopped up with hunks of buttered bread.  But over the last few years, I’ve found myself intentionally choosing dishes without meat.  Animal welfare has always been important to me, but after a trip to New Zealand, I just started to feel uneasy about eating innocent living creatures.  Now, I’m what my husband likes to call a “part-time vegetarian” (I Googled it – it’s a real thing).  I still eat meat but not as much.

I recently stumbled across this Jamie Oliver recipe for Pumpkin, chickpea and coconut curry which I adapted slightly by swapping coconut milk for light evaporated milk and adding in some chopped fresh tomatoes that we had at home.  The end result is a hearty and deliciously tangy curry that’s mildly spicy.  If you like your curries hot, then I’d recommend adding more chilli.

This dish is best served piping hot with steamed rice, roti parathas (flaky Indian flatbreads) or even buttered bread.  And it makes way more than 4 serves!  Dig in and let me know what you think!


  • 1/2 butternut pumpkin
  • 4 cm piece of ginger
  • 4 shallots (or 1 red onion)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 fresh red chilli (use 2 – 3 if you prefer it spicy)
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • Cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 20 curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 x 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 400 g tin of light evaporated milk
  • 1 x 400 g tin of chickpeas


  1. Chop the pumpkin into 3cm chunks and set aside.  Cut the ginger into matchsticks.  Finely dice the shallots and garlic.  Split the chilli in half length-ways and then slice finely.  Pick the coriander leaves (set aside), and finely chop the stalks.
  2. Pour a good lug of oil into a large saucepan and place on a high heat. Add the ginger, shallots, garlic and red chilli and stir.  Reduce to a medium heat. Cook until golden, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves and coriander stalks. Fry until the curry leaves become crispy.
  4. Add the turmeric, tinned tomatoes and evaporated milk.  After a few minutes, add chopped fresh tomatoes.  Bring to the boil.
  5. Add the pumpkin and chickpeas. Reduce to a low heat and cover with a lid.  Simmer for 45 minutes.  Add a little water if it’s looking dry or starts to stick to the saucepan.
  6. After 45 minutes, remove the lid and cook uncovered for another 15 minutes or until the sauce becomes thick.  Remove from heat.
  7. Scatter with coriander leaves and serve immediately.

© 2017 Sunshine and Gelato