Quick and Easy Pho Ga (Saigon Chicken Soup)
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Chicken Pho Broth
  • 2 tablespoons.whole coriander seeds
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 2 quarts (2 liters/8 cups/64 fluid ounces) purchased or homemade chicken stock
  • 1 whole chicken breast (bone in or boneless) I prefer bone in. More flavor.
  • ½ of one large onion, unpeeled
  • 1 3-inch (7.5 cm) chunk of ginger, unpeeled
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons.sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons.fish sauce
  • 1 lb. (500 grams/16 ounces) dried rice noodles (about ¼ inch/6 mm wide):
  • 2 cups (200 grams/7 ounces) bean sprouts, washed and tails pinched off *
  • Fresh cilantro (coriander) tops (leaves and tender stems)
  • ½ cup (50 grams/approx. 2 ounces) shaved red onions
  • ½ lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • Sriracha chili sauce
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sliced fresh chili peppers of your choice
  1. To make the Chicken Pho Broth: Place an oven rack directly under the broiler and line a baking sheet with tin foil. Heat the broiler to high. Rub the half, unpeeled onion and ginger with vegetable oil then place on the pan and under the broiler. Broil 10 to 12,minutes until onion skin and ginger peel is black, turning every 3 minutes so the undersides char too. Let cool, then scrape off the charred skins of both the ginger and onion. Try to get all of the 'black' off both of them.. lice the giner, then smash it with the back of a knife. Set aside until ready to add to the broth.
  2. Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the coriander seeds, cloves and star anise and toast until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Immediately spoon out the spices to avoid burning.
  3. In a large pot, add all the ingredients for the pho broth (including the toasted spices and charred and scraped onion and ginger) and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes, skimming the surface frequently.
  5. Use tongs to remove the chicken breasts and shred the meat with your fingers or slice it like I did, discarding the bone if you have used bone-in breasts.
  6. Taste the broth and add more fish sauce or sugar, if needed. Strain the broth and discard all the solids.
  7. Prepare the noodles as per directions on the package.
  8. Ladle the broth into bowls. Then divide the shredded or sliced chicken breast and the soft noodles evenly into each bowl.
  9. Have the accompaniments spread out on the table. Each person can customize their own bowl with these ingredients.
* I like the tails on the bean sprouts, so I leave them on. A matter of choice.
Recipe by parsley sage sweet at https://www.parsleysagesweet.com/2009/10/14/vietnamese-penicillin-this-is-not-your-bubbys-chicken-soup/