The time has come…I made pho!!
And can I just clarify to all: it’s is pronounced like “fuh,” not “foe.” It drives me nuts when people say it wrong!
Also, I don’t use MSG. For some reason, a lot of my friends asked me this when I told them I was making pho. Pho restaurants typically use MSG to enhance the flavor of soup, but I am not a pho restaurant so I use good old sugar and fish sauce.
I had many requests from friends to make this, so I felt that it was high time I shared my version of the popular noodle soup. Many of you may be accustomed to beef pho, but I personally prefer to make it with chicken. I think it’s just because I like chicken better than beef in general. You can totally substitute the chicken stock with beef stock; the pork bones with beef bones; and the chicken with thinly sliced beef flank (phở tái), brisket (phở chín), or those Vietnamese meatballs (phở bò viên). You’ll probably have to adjust the seasoning a little bit.
I hope you guys give it a try! Let me know how it turns out 🙂
Chicken Pho (Phở Gà)
2 lbs chicken (drumsticks, thighs, or breasts), marinated overnight with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and chopped onions
4 pork bones
1 quart of water (can be tap water)
dash of salt
3 quarts low-sodium chicken broth, divided
4 quarts water, divided
1 medium onion, peeled
1 large knob of ginger (or I used two small ones)
2 Pho spice packets
5 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp white sugar
2 lb rice noodles, cooked according to directions on the bag
chopped green onions, chopped cilantro, and bean sprouts to garnish
- Bring 1 quart of tap water to a boil in a large pot. Add a dash of salt and the pork bones and boil on high heat for 10 minutes (this cleans out most of the impurities in the bones). Pour bones out into a clean sink and let cool while you wash the pot.
- Put pot back on the stove and heat 3 quarts of water on high heat. Wash the pork bones under cold running water then add them back to the pot. Once it reaches a boil, add 2 quarts of chicken broth and bring it up to a boil again. Then turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on, but place 2 wooden chopsticks or 2 wooden spoons on top of the pot so that the lid is propped up a little. You want to let some steam come out, but not too much.
- Pierce the ginger with a metal knife and grill it over a gas range or on top of an electric range until it is slightly charred all around it, then add it to the pot. Repeat with the onion.
- In a smaller pot, bring 1 quart of water and 1 quart of chicken broth to a boil and poach the marinated chicken. Set the chicken aside to cool and pour the poaching liquid back into the large pot. Simmer for 3-6 hours with the lid propped up.
- Remove the pork bones and onion then strain the soup using a strainer or colander and a cheesecloth or paper towels.
- Add fish sauce and sugar.
- Pile the noodles, chicken, and herbs into a bowl and add hot soup and you’re done!