Fresh, full of flavours and truly satisfying is just some of the qualities of this Traditional Vietnamese chicken pho. Don’t believe me? Get involved and judge it for yourself.
Pho is a popular Vietnamese noodle soup usually served with raw vegetables and beef or chicken. I LOVE Vietnamese food, like I could eat it everyday and probably wouldn’t get bored, Bun Xa is also one of my favourites which is made with lemongrass, rice noodles and nuts – between the two, I would probably say the latter is my all time favourite.
Although this recipe took me a few times to master, I am what some may call a “SOUP MASTER”, I mean I don’t enjoy blowing my own trumpet but they’re not wrong and I’m actually surprised that this is the first soup recipe I’m writing on here. This one is by far the trickiest but I’ve overcome those hurdles, here to tell the tale and share with you, an authentic tasting recipe. All you have to decide is what type of noodle you’ll have with it – you’re welcome.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 8 hours+ (Yes, that is correct)
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 white onion (skin on)
- 4 inch ginger stick (skin on)
- 5 cloves of Chinese garlic (skin on)
- 2 tablespoons of coriander seeds
- 2 whole star anise
- 1 tablespoon of rock salt
- 2 1/2 tablespoons of fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 bunch of fresh coriander
- thin rice noodles (I chose the flat ones but you can also use vermicelli)
- bean sprouts
- sliced chillies
- spring onion
- grated carrot
- sririacha sauce (optional)
- lime (optional)
Step 1: Add the onion, ginger and garlic with their skins on to a dry skillet pan. Cook for around 15 minutes, turning frequently and allowing the skin to burn to create a charred look. Once cooked, set aside to cool down and then remove the skins. Now add the coriander seeds to the skillet and lightly toast for 3 minutes.
Step 2: Separate the wings from the chicken, and rinse all parts and add to a pot with water (enough to cover the whole chicken) to par boil to get rid of the “frothy” parts and the initial excess that comes off the chicken.
Step 3: Add the chicken back into the pot with fresh water (again, enough to cover the chicken) along with onion, garlic, ginger, seeds, star anise, salt, fish sauce, sugar and fresh coriander. Lightly boil for one hour.
Step 4: Once the ingredients have cooked for one hour, take the chicken out of the pot and rinse with cold water. When it has cooled down, remove all the flesh and meat from the breast, leg and thighs. Add the remainder of the chicken bones back into the pot and gently cook for 8-12 hours – I know, a whole working day but the results are amazing. During this time, check the broth occasionally to make sure there’s enough water, if there isn’t you can add more.
Step 5: After what seems like several weeks later… The broth has got a lovely smelly aroma and is ready to be strained through a fine sieve. Mine wasn’t fine enough so I then used the smallest coffee strainer (for real) and strained every last drop – dedication knows no boundaries and what you should have is a lovely clear, medium dark broth.
Step 6: Cook the noodles. Get your noodle bowls ready and begin layering, first noodles, then bean sprouts, chicken and top off chillies, spring onion, lime and coriander. Get a ladle spoon and pour in the broth into the bowls. Serve with sririacha and spring rolls (recipe coming soon, I’m still perfecting it) and devour away.