Classic Chicken Pho: A Taste Of Vietnam In Your Bowl

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Craving a steaming bowl of comforting chicken pho? You don’t need to trek to your favorite Vietnamese restaurant to enjoy this flavorful dish. Pho (pronounced “fuh”) is surprisingly easy to make at home, and the rich broth forms the heart of this delicious soup. This guide will take you through everything you need to know, from prepping the aromatics to perfectly cooking the chicken, for a pho experience that rivals any restaurant.


Chicken Pho
Chicken Pho

For the Broth:

  • 1 whole chicken (3-4 lbs), cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 lbs beef bones (marrow bones or a mix of knuckle and marrow)
  • 1 yellow onion, charred
  • 2 large shallots, charred
  • 1 knob of ginger (about 1 inch), peeled and charred
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and charred
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick (about 3 inches)
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 inch black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon rock sugar (optional)
  • 10 cups water

  • For the Noodles and Assembly:

  • 1 package (16 oz) dried rice noodles (banh pho)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/4 cup chopped Thai basil (optional)
  • 1/4 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Sriracha sauce (optional)
  • Hoisin sauce (optional)
  • Toasted peanuts (optional)
  • Cooked chicken breast slices (from the broth)

  • Directions:

    1. Char the Aromatics: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the onion, shallots, ginger, and garlic halves on a baking sheet and char them under the broiler for 5-7 minutes per side, until blackened.

    2. Make the Broth: In a large pot, combine the chicken pieces, beef bones, charred aromatics, star anise, cinnamon stick, cloves, coriander seeds, and rock sugar (if using). Pour in the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, skim off any scum that rises to the surface, and simmer partially covered for at least 2 hours, or until the broth is flavorful and the chicken is cooked through.

    3. Strain the Broth: Remove the pot from heat and carefully strain the broth into another large pot, discarding the solids. You can shred the cooked chicken meat from the bones at this point and set it aside for later.

    4. Cook the Noodles: While the broth simmers, cook the rice noodles according to package instructions. Typically, you’ll soak them in hot water for 10-15 minutes until softened.

    5. Assemble the Pho: Divide the cooked noodles among serving bowls. Top with thinly sliced cooked chicken, chopped cilantro, scallions, and Thai basil (if using). Ladle the hot broth over the noodles and chicken. Serve with lime wedges, sriracha, hoisin sauce, toasted peanuts (optional), and enjoy!

    Nutrition Facts (Per Serving):

    Calories: Approximately 400-500 (depending on ingredients)

  • Protein: 40-50 grams
  • Fat: 15-20 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 40-50 grams
  • Sodium: High (due to broth)

  • Conclusion:

    Homemade chicken pho is a satisfying and healthy meal that’s perfect for a chilly day or anytime you need a comforting pick-me-up. With its rich broth, tender chicken, and fresh herbs, pho is a taste of Vietnamese comfort food that you can easily create in your own kitchen.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

    1. Can I substitute chicken with another protein?

    Absolutely! You can use beef, pork, or even shrimp for your pho. Just adjust the cooking time based on the chosen protein.

    2. What if I don’t have beef bones?

    The beef bones add depth of flavor, but you can still make a delicious pho using just the chicken. You might want to increase the simmering time slightly to compensate for the missing richness.

    3. How can I make my pho gluten-free?

    Use gluten-free rice noodles, readily available at most grocery stores. Double-check any store-bought sauces you plan to use for hidden gluten content.

    4. How can I store leftover pho?