Chicken Pho Soup

Serves : 4

Time: 45 minutes


For the broth:

-1 large white onion, peeled and halved

-3-inch piece of fresh ginger, halved lengthwise

-5 star anise

-4 whole cloves

-3 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks

-2 cardamom pods

-1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds

-8 cups good-quality beef stock (or chicken or vegetable stock)

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 tablespoon fish sauce

For the soup:

-300 to 400g raw chicken, very thinly sliced (or beef, pork, or shrimp)

-7 ounces uncooked thin rice noodles

-Garnish : bean sprouts, lime wedges, green onions, peanuts, chiles, jalapeños, siracha


1- Char the onions and ginger:  Turn the oven broiler to high, and place the baking rack about 8 inches away from the heating elements.  Place the onion and ginger cut-side-up on a baking sheet, and brush with a bit of oil.  Broil for about 7-10 minutes, until the tops of the onion and ginger are slightly charred.  Remove and set aside.

2- Make the broth: Meanwhile, heat the anise, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and coriander to a large stockpot over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes until fragrant.  Add in the charred onion, ginger, stock, and stir to combine.  Continue cooking until the broth reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover with a lid, and continue to simmer for at least 30 minutes.  Strain out (and discard) the onions, ginger and spices.  Stir in the fish sauce and sweetener into the hot broth.  Then finally, taste and season the broth with salt as needed.

3- Meanwhile, as your broth is simmering, cook the noodles separately al dente according to the package instructions.  Drain in a strainer, then briefly rinse the noodles with cold water to prevent them from continuing to cook.

4- assemble : Add a handful of noodles to each individual serving bowl.  Portion the chicken between each serving bowl.  Then ladle the still-simmering hot broth into the serving bowls, being sure to submerge the chicken completely so that it gets cooked. Top each bowl with lots and lots of garnish!