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Northern Vietnamese style Chicken Pho – Phở Gà on a rainy day

I made Chicken Phở yesterday for my family and it was a hit. It’s definitely VietnamEazy!

It took about 1/2 an hour to shop and an 1.5 hours to make. I was able to get all the ingredients at a local super market no problem.

Here’s the recipe along with photos!


1/2 bunch Cilantro finely chopped (leave a few sprigs for garnish. Cut off 3 inches of roots to flavor soup. Chop the rest finely)

1 bunch Green onions finely chopped (save white ends about 2 inches for quick blanching when serving. Chop the rest finely)

2 Jalapeno chili peppers thinly sliced

1 small ginger

1 bag bean sprouts

3 cut limes into wedges

3 onions (slice 1 thinly, leave the other 2 whole)

1 bunch basil leaves

1 whole chicken

3 dry aniseed

3 cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1 tsp whole peppercorns

3 cans chicken broth

1-2 packs of Thai rice noodles

salt & pepper

1/4 cup of sugar (optional)

1 fish sauce bottle as condiment

1 Sriracha hot sauce bottle as condiment

1 Hoisin sauce bottle as condiment

Preparing: Pound the ginger root a little to release it’s flavor. Peel 2 whole onions and cook onions and ginger over an open flame to get that charred flavor. Rinse the char off under cold running water. In a large pot add enough water and 1/4 cup to salt to cover the whole chicken, add grilled onions and ginger into pot on high heat.

Cut off roots/ends of cilantro. Use the roots to flavor the broth. Take a small metal colander cilantro roots, aniseed, cloves, cinnamon stick, and peppercorn into basket, close lid and submerge into the soup.

Once the soup boils, impurities will form at the top of the water. Use a ladle and scoop the foam out. Doing this will ensure your broth will be clear and appetizing looking. Cloudy broth are a no no!

Reduce heat to medium low or low to achieve simmering temperature. Once the chicken is cooked, about 1 hour and 15 minutes, remove it from the pot and set aside to cool down. Add chicken broth into the soup. Taste the soup, add salt if needed. (Optional: I like to add 1/4 cup of sugar to my broth) Once the water boils, reduce heat to medium low. Do not allow broth to boil too much as this will will cloudy the broth. Simmering is best.

Once chicken is cool, remove all meat and slice them into 1/4 inch cuts to serve with soup. Put all large bones back into the broth. (legs, back, wings) Soak the dry noodles in a water bath until ready to cook. In a deep pot, boil some water to cook your noodles later.

Garnish: On a large platter, arrange bean sprouts, sliced lime, jalapeno & basil leaves.

In Northern Vietnam we also like to have pickled raw onions on the side with our Pho. To pickle onions (only takes 5 minutes): slice onions thinly, squeeze in a lime, add 1/4 tsp fish sauce, hot sauce, and sprinkle a little chopped cilantro for color and toss lightly.

Cooking noodles: I do this 1 bowl at a time to ensure proper portion and cooking. Add about a handful of noodles to boiling water, wait about 3-4 minutes, taste the noodles if necessary. Do not over cook. Once cooked, drain excess water and add noodles to a large bowl. Add a little fish sauce on the noodles (about 1/4 tsp).

To make it VietnamEazy, I don’t add fish sauce to the broth directly. Adding fish sauce to the broth makes the smell too strong, even for my taste. Arrange cooked sliced chicken on top, add a little chopped cilantro, green onions, and sliced raw onions. Also add the long ends of the green onions if you like them.

Pour hot broth over noodles, garnish with sprigs of cilantro and add some group pepper. All ready to serve steaming hot!!

Optional: Add hot sauce, hoisin (Northerners frown when we add hoisin sauce, its a Chinese import to Pho), lime, jalapeno, bean sprouts, and basil leave to soup. (I don’t like to add bean sprouts to mine as I find them tasteless).

I like to eat each bite with the pickled raw onions. Enjoy!

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