reader’s recipes: vietnamese chicken pho

November 1, 2012

vietnamese chicken phoVietnamese Chicken Pho

Ingredients for broth:
1. 1-2 tbsp salt (I used 1 tbsp)
2. 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
3. 9 – 12 star anise
4. 1 tbsp Better Than Bullion chicken stock concentrate (no MSG)
5. rice stick noodles
6. 1 large brown onion
7. 1 large chunk of fresh ginger
8. (1) 4 – 5 lb. chicken: wash, remove giblets and discard, keep the neck for the broth (not pictured cause raw chicken ain’t pretty!)
vietnamese chicken phoDirections for the broth:
1. Place the washed chicken (and neck), along with all the star anise in a pot, cover with water and start to boil chicken.
2. While the chicken is cooking, cut the onion and ginger (with the skin on for both) in half and char the onion and ginger over an open flame. You will start to smell the onion and ginger and the skin will burn. Let it roast for about 10 minutes or until you can smell the onion and ginger. This can also be done on a grill or in the oven until it is a golden brown.
3. Remove the burned onion and ginger skin and discard, then place the ginger and onion into the pot with the chicken.
DSC_0305 4. Add the salt and sugar. Continue boiling the chicken until the chicken is fully cooked and the meat easily pulls apart from the bone. Takes about an hour.
5. Once chicken is fully cooked, remove the chicken and let it cool for a few minutes. Once it is cool, remove the meat from the bones and put the bones back in the broth and set to simmer.
DSC_0342 6. Shred the cooked chicken and set aside. We like to keep the dark and white meat separate because Ben and I prefer the white meat, while the girls have no preference and could use the extra fat from the dark meat.
DSC_0347 7. Add 1 tbsp of Better Than Bullion into the broth. Taste the broth and add salt if needed. The broth should have a slight sweetness from the chicken and not be overly salty like chicken noodle soup.
8. Cover and allow broth to simmer for at least another hour, but like with all soups, the longer it simmers, the better it tastes.
9. Strain the both and bring broth back to the pot. This removes all unnecessary bones and chunks. Can also skip this and when you ladle the soup into your boil, just be mindful not to let any chunks in.
10. When ready to serve your broth, bring it back to a boil, so it is nice and hot when you ladle it into your bowl.

Note: You are using the whole chicken, so the soup is a bit oily. We wanted to healthify it a bit and cut out some of the unnecessary fat, so we resisted eating it once it was done (I know it’s hard to do!), refrigerated it overnight so that the fat would harden and accumulate on top, then proceeded to scoop the fat out and discard.

Toppings for soup:
1. side of hoisin sauce (the dark colored one) and a side of siracha hot sauce (the red one)
2. chopped cilantro
3. chopped green onions
4. slices of lime
5. soybean sprouts
6. jalapeno/serrano peppers (we love spice!)
7. basil
vietnamese chicken phoDirections to put together soup:
1. Prepare noodles according to the package.
2. Chop all your toppings you want for your soup.
3. Place cooked noodles in a bowl, add shredded chicken on top, and ladle some of the hot broth into the bowl. If you like, grind fresh pepper on top.
4. Garnish your bowl with all your desired toppings and enjoy!

vietnamese chicken phoA great thing about this whole blogging thing, is learning from and getting inspired by others. I first met Liz when I ran The Color Run with my friend Lance. She was on his team and I joined the team, not knowing anyone else, and when he was introducing me to everyone, Liz was so sweet and told me she kind of already knew me thanks to the internet. I tell you, when you meet a blog reader/, it’s like seeing an old friend again and you cut out all that weird awkward stuff and you just pretty much start chatting. At least that’s how it happened with Liz. Liz and I have hung out a couple times after and she is a great cook and baker! I was inspired by this recipe that she shared with me to start this new little feature… Reader’s Recipes!

She learned how to make pho from her grandmother and is so kind to pass the recipe along. It is totally legit and Ben and I love it so much! We’ve made it twice already and will probably make it a lot more once it really cools down over here. If you have never had pho, try it, it really is quite delicious!

Now, this is where you all come in. I would love to try more of your recipes! Do you have a favorite recipe you made up? Maybe something that has been passed down through the generations? Or just a favorite recipe of yours you like to make over and over again? If so, I would love for you to share it with me and I would love to try it and then share it with everyone else. Kind of like those recipe chains that used to go around. We are totally open to trying all types of food (and then healthifying when needed), but I would just love to try new recipes and then pass them along to everyone else. If you do have a recipe to share, leave the name of your recipe here and make sure your comment links up to your email. I will email you if I choose your recipe and you can share the entire recipe that way. I want to try and include a reader’s recipe in my meal planning at least once a week or once every other week, it will depend on my time and if I get a lot of suggestions.

I will make it, post it, and then link back to the originator of the recipe (if you have somewhere to link back to). If it’s something you fancy, then try it! I know some of you asked about this pho recipe when it was in our meal plan, so finally here it is. If you try it, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. I’m pretty sure you would give it a thumbs up too! Thanks Liz for being our first recipe!!!

So tell me friends, do you have a recipe that I could try?

22 comments on “reader’s recipes: vietnamese chicken pho”

  • Nina says:

    Recently, I got really big amount (5kg) of mushroom called VRGANJ (penny bun, porcino or cep – – they are pretty popular here in Bosnia, and are known as a bit of high class mushroom, but i think you can use any kind you prefer) and I’ve been trying to find different ways to prepare it. Thous far my favorites are:
    1. mushrooms and spinach over homemade gnocchi – i used frozen spinach; cook spinach and mushrooms together over butter. add a bit of milk so it makes a nice sauce. cook for 15 minutes. on grill pan (or something similar) and “burn” gnocchi until light golden. first putt gnocchi on plate and over them pour mushrooms+spinach.
    2. some kind of “risotto” – rice is substituted with quinoa. while quinoa is cooking, sauté mushrooms with a bit of water. when quinoa is cooked add to mushrooms, add a bit of soy sauce, some spices (Mediterranean mix with sea salt, basil, oregano..) and some green onions.
    these are both meat-less but you can add some, but i think its not necessary because these mushrooms are pretty much substitute for meat.

    hope you’ll like them


  • Serena says:

    OOOOOOH I’m soo happy you posted this recipe…Can’t wait to try it…it has been pinned and will be craved!

  • kristin says:

    omigosh your food photography is getting SOOOO good! gorgeous. oh and the pho looks really tasty too. 😉

  • Anastasia says:

    I’m gonna try it for our next meal!
    I really like this recipe:
    I showed it to my mom and she makes it all the time now. It is very quick and yummy, I think.

  • Vang says:

    I love pho! My mom makes chicken pho, but she doesn’t use a recipe. I wish I could do what she does, but I’m still learning in the kitchen. I will definitely try this recipe out. Thanks!

  • I love Pho so I’m excited to try and make this!

  • So many recipes I can pass along, but one of our newer favorites is this one for Roasted Vegetable Panzanella Salad >

  • jozen says:

    Your mom might make this already, but my go to comfort filipino food is tinola (chicken stew with papaya, spinach, ginger, garlic and onions) it’s a one pot wonder!

  • misha lulu says:

    Yummy, I love Vietnamese!

  • janis says:

    on menus here in south korea, they ALWAYS have pictures of raw meat. it is so unappetizing…

  • joycie says:

    What is missing is a tied bundle of cilantro stems added when making the stock. That is what brightens up the flavors! And this is the secret ingredient that makes your Pho the best! Hope you try it next time Ruby!

  • Farfallamamma says:

    Love your blog! Maybe this is a duuhh type of question, but when do you remove the bones? Is it between steps 8 & 9? Thanks!

  • Jordan says:

    You are fearless in the kitchen. I’m so impressed! 🙂 What about paella? My husband and I make chicken paella every summer outside over a campfire- there is nothing like it. So good! But it can be made inside in the oven- you just have to have a paella pan (or else it’s not paella- just chicken and rice 😉 ) My MIL is from Valencia (where paella is from) so I’ve got a great recipe if you’re interested. 🙂

  • val says:

    I will definitely be making this soup sometime soon cuz i love pho. One soup that i make about once a month and sometimes more frequently is zuppa toscana. Its probably not super healthy, but i would be curious to see how you healthify it! 🙂

    • rubyellen says:

      hi val! i would love to try your zuppa toscana recipe! that sounds interesting. actually, i have never heard of it! if you’re interested in being part of reader’s recipes, please send me an email with the recipe! thanks!

  • Deana Joy says:

    Made this tonight! It was serious goodness!!!! Better than a restaurant! Will make again and again!

    • mycakies says:

      I’m so glad you loved it! We do too and it reminds me I haven’t made it in a long time. Must add it to the list soon.

  • pam says:

    i just love this recipe!! thanks to your reader for sharing! i love that it’s so easy and so tasty! i bring leftovers to work and we eat it up!

  • This recipe looks so delicious. I’m vegan, so I was wondering if you’ve ever tried this without the chicken and with veggie broth? It sounds like the recipe is really flexible, but I wanted to check to make sure if I switch things up a little I won’t lose the delicious mingling of ingredients here 🙂

    • Rubyellen says:

      I think it’s very flexible. I think the secret is in the star anise! I’d a little bit more than the recipe called for in the broth. I’m sure it would come out just as delicious! Let me know how it goes.

  • lidia says:

    I can’t believe I hadn’t seen this recipe, but I am so happy I came across it today!

    I am making this very very soon. thank you for sharing.

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