How to make chicken pho (Vietnamese noodle soup)

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Pho is basically chicken noodle soup, only better. When I lived in Chicago, there was a block of pho shops walking distance from my apartment, and on cold winter nights, I craved the giant steaming bowl of comfort with a passion. Pho broth is slightly sweet and deeply savory, the rice noodles are delightfully chewy and slurp-able, and the garnishes make it customizable. This dish’s origins may make it seem exotic or intimidating, but the flavor is mild and highly addictive.
This recipe is easy to adapt: if you don’t have anise you could add a few cloves instead; if you don’t have rice noodles you could easily replace them with cooked ramen or even spaghetti—just make sure you undercook them by a minute or too so they don’t get mushy in the hot broth. Traditional pho broth is made with a long list of spices, but you can create a very tasty version with a much more minimal approach. If you’d like to make a more complicated variation, see the tip section below.
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Chicken Pho (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup)
4
10 minutes
8 hours, 15 minutes
8 hours, 25 minutes
2 lbs. (900 g) bone-in, skin-on chicken parts
1 bunch green onions
1 small (2 inch, 5 cm) piece of ginger, peeled and thickly sliced
2 whole star anise
1 tablespoon (6 g) whole coriander seeds
2 tablespoons (30 ml) fish sauce or soy sauce
1 tablespoon (15 g) brown sugar
1 lb. (450 g) dried rice noodles (linguini sized)
1 lb. (450 g) chicken breasts, thinly sliced
2 cups (200 g) beans sprouts
1 bunch cilantro and/or mint leaves, roughly chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges
Sriracha sauce (optional)
Hoisin sauce (optional)
Place bone-in chicken parts, green onions, ginger, star anise, coriander, fish or soy sauce, and brown sugar in a 7-quart slow cooker, and fill to the top with water. Cook on low for 8 hours.
Strain out and discard solids. Taste broth, adding more sugar and/or fish sauce if desired. Add chicken breast and cook an additional 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
Meanwhile, boil a teapot full of water. Place noodles in a bowl and pour the boiling water over them, submerging completely. Allow them to soften for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Scoop chicken out of broth. Drain noodles and divide between four bowls. Pour Broth over noodles. Top with chicken and garnish as desired with remaining ingredients.
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Pro tip: For a richer flavor, add 1 stick of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds, and 4 whole cloves to broth mixture before cooking.
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