2 cups picked herbs, such as coriander, Vietnamese mint and Thai basil
Fried Asian shallots*, for sprinkling
1To make the broth, heat a large, heavy stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and ginger to the dry pan and allow them to catch and caramelise slightly; this should take about 1 minute. Remove from the pan and set aside. In the same hot pan, dry fry the cinnamon sticks, star anise and coriander seeds for 30 seconds, or until roastily aromatic. Add the rice bran and sesame oils, then quickly stir in the onions and ginger again, along with the garlic cloves, lemongrass, peppercorns, celery and carrots. Stir constantly for 1 minute, before adding the soy sauce, hoisin, sugar and stock. Add most of the kaffir lime leaves, setting some bits aside. Bring to boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10–15 minutes.
2Strain the soup through a fine colander, then return the liquid to the pan. Very finely shred the reserved kaffir lime leaf and add to the broth. Add the lemon or lime juice, then keep hot until ready to serve.
3Prepare the noodles according to the packet instructions, then rinse with cold water, toss with the sesame oil, and set aside in a covered bowl until ready to serve.
4Steam or microwave your chosen vegetables until just tender (wombok cabbage can be left raw). Blanch in cold water, then arrange on a platter. Arrange the garnish ingredients on the platter. Have the fried shallots, soy sauce, hoisin and sriracha and plenty of serviettes close at hand.
5Bring the hot stockpot to the table and place on a wooden board. Divide the noodles evenly between four large, warmed bowls and allow people to add their chosen veggies before ladling in the piping-hot stock. Invite everyone to garnish and season their own bowls as desired.
*Tip: Fried Asian shallots can be found in the international foods section of most supermarkets. They add a delicious, oniony crunch sprinkled on stir-fries, curries and soups.