As a Vietnamese-American…and a human with working tastebuds…pho is one of my all time favorite soups. It’s hearty without weighing you down, flavorful and comforting. For me, chicken pho is a bit more approachable to make at home. This recipe includes a method of achieving that rich chicken broth flavor without having to deal with the sourcing and cooking of chicken bones. And of course there is the more traditional broth method for the purists. The broth is the star of the show so be sure to keep your focus there. Also, do yourself a favor and go to an asian market to stock up on asian pantry essentials-cinnamon, star anise, sriracha, etc.-or else you’ll be shelling out major $$$ at Whole Foods. Enjoy the recipe below and here’s to hoping I make momma proud!
- 2 lbs chicken thighs
- 3 lbs chicken bones OR 2 boxes chicken broth
- 4 tbsp fish sauce
- 3 inches ginger, smashed
- 1 large onion, charred on gas stove if possible
- 6 star anise
- 2 cinnamon stick
- 1 tbsp corriander
- 2 tsp cloves
- 5 tbsp sugar (I use palm sugar)
- 1 package dried rice vermicelli
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 bunch mint
- scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- 1 jalapeño, stemmed and thinly sliced
- hoisin sauce
1.) Rinse chicken thighs and bones under cold water. Place in large soup pot and add enough water to thoroughly cover, about 3 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. All the while, skim the surface to ensure a nice clear broth.
2.) Remove chicken thighs and add fish sauce, ginger, onion, star anise, cinnamon, coriander, cloves and sugar. Let the broth continue to simmer for at least another hour. Once the chicken is cooled, shred and set aside.
2.5) If using boxed chicken broth, proceed with step 1 and 2 using only the chicken thighs. Add boxed broth along with the broth spices in step 2.
3.) While broth is cooking, prep soup ingredients and cook vermicelli noodles according to package directions. Rinse noodles under cold water after cooking.
4.) Scoop out and discard the spices from the broth. Now you’re ready to begin plating! In a large soup bowl add a handful of noodles, ladle in your broth and drop in your soup garnishes. Nomz away!