Vietnamese Chicken Pho


vietnamese chicken phoPho (It’s pronounced like Fur but without the R. Not Foh, not Poh, but Fur) is a popular meal any time of day in Vietnam, especially breakfast.

This chicken pho has such a delicate blend of flavours, a good protein hit and it really sets you up for the day. If soup for breakfast ain’t really your bag, stick with bacon and eggs in the morning and give this delicious soup a crack at any other time of day.

Get the everyone involved by putting a big plate of all of your herbs, bean shoots and sauces on the table and everyone can create their own adventure. Or soup.

The food in Vietnam is really right up there in my books. Every time I shoved something in my face I was all  “OMG this tastes so fresh!”

It’s not just the freshness of the ingredients, but also the flavour combos just really light my fire. This soup is often served with solidified chunks of blood in it, but I steer clear of that one. It can also be made with beef.

Vietnamese Chicken Pho

Time 1 hours for broth, 10 minutes to make the soup

Serves Phour (see what I did there? Genius)

What you need

For the broth –

600g of chicken legs

350g chicken breast fillet

3 1/2 litres of water

1 brown onion

3 inches of ginger

2 tbs coriander seeds

4 cloves garlic

2 star anise

2 1/2 tbs fish sauce

one bunch coriander, stems only

For serving –

Rice, or sweet potato noodles, zoodles for lower carbs

Bean shoots

Basil leaves

Mint leaves

SriRacha chilli sauce

Hoisin sauce

Fresh chilli

Lemon or lime

What to do

Cut onion in half and place it under a high grill with the ginger, turning occasionally, until both char. This brings out the sweetness.

With a big knife, chop your drumsticks, ensuring you break open the bones in order to get the maximum flavor in your broth. Pop them into the water on the stove over a medium heat. Do not add breast yet.

Add your coriander seeds and stems, garlic, star anise and fish sauce.

Remove onion and ginger from grill, and scrape the skin off the ginger. Cut into chunks and toss them both into your pot.

Bring to a simmer and leave for 1 1/2 hours. Scrape scum off top.

After an hour and 15 minutes, add chicken breast whole to the pots and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove legs and breast and set aside to cool.

Place a clean Chux wipe in a colander over another saucepan and carefully strain your broth of all chunky bits.

When meat is cool enough to touch, shred the breast and pick the shanks and put back into the broth.

Cook your rice noodles, or sweet potato noodles as per packet instructions. Zoodles do not require prior cooking.

Place some noodles in each bowl add broth and then allow each person to add finely chopped red onion, bean shoots, fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon or lime as they like. Some people like the delicate broth as it is but I like to mix through SriRacha chilli sauce and a hint of hoisin.