If you are craving some Vietnamese Pho, then look no further, you can make it at home and it’s super easy. Traditional Vietnamese Pho is cooked with beef bones.
It’s a long process, when I was making it from scratch I’d cook my broth for 4-5 hours to ensure I had a really good tasting broth. I know a lot of people use beef stock cubes or flavorings but those have MSG in them which we’ve completely eliminated from our diet.
My hubby was also on a mission to get fit so he was eating a lot less fat and required something that was somewhat healthy as well.
So we made this easy chicken pho recipe with all the flavorings of pho but not the traditional beef.
It’s perfect on a cold winter’s day, we eat regularly throughout the year.
Traditional Vietnamese requires that you use beef bones for the broth. You parboil the broth, removed the water and boil it again. You simmer for 4 hours on low removing any froth and fat that floats to the surface. I assure you that the ingredients seem more intimidating then they look.
Once you gather everything, it all goes into the stock, and you let it cook for one hour, then it’s done. During the cooking time, it allows you to prep everything else including the chicken, noodles, washing and chopping all of the veggies.
I was able to get everything I needed from Walmart except for my fish sauce, cardamom and star anise. I purchased these from my local Asian supermarket.
My favorite fish sauce brand is Squid it comes in a glass bottle and it costs $1.79 from our supermarket.
While I used Beef broth here, Campbell’s now has a Pho Broth which is a vegetable broth and we’ve used it with great success and prefer it to the beef broth.
You could look for the star anise and cardamom at Bulk Barn as well. I use the back of the knife to place a crack in the cardamom.
My sister had no idea about the ingredients I was talking about so I had to add a picture of the star anise and cardamom.
- 2 packages of rice noodles (package reads Banh Pho)
- 1 3 inch piece of ginger root
- 1 whole onion
- 1 whole cardamom (cracked)
- 3 whole star anise
- 2 900 mL beef stock
- 4.5 L of water
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 4 cooked chicken breast sliced
- Siracha sauce
- Hoisin sauce
- Thinly sliced onions
- Sliced green onions
- Bean sprouts
- Thai basil
- Place the rice noodles in a large bowl with lukewarm water to soak for 30 minutes (I cook one package at a time).
- Bake the chicken breast in the oven first at 350F for 10 min and then flip over for another 7 minutes, turn off heat and wait 10 minutes before you remove from the oven.
- On medium low heat, place the ginger and onion into the pot and dry heat it until it is heated on all sides.
- Then add the beef stock, water, salt, sugar, and fish sauce to your pot on high.
- Using a coffee filter place the cardamom and star anises inside and tie it up with string and then place it into the broth.
- Once it comes to a boil bring the heat down to medium low for one hour.
- As the broth is cooking, bring another pan of water to boil on high for the noodles.
- Turn off the heat, drain the noodles and add it to the pan and let it cook for 10 minutes. Then drain and rinse with cold water and set aside.
- To assemble your pho noodle bowls, add your noodles to the bowl with your sliced pieces of chicken, sliced onions, green onions and cilantro.
- Pour the broth over your noodles
- Add Siracha sauce, hoisin sauce and lime juice to taste.
- (Optional) Garnish with Thai basil and bean sprouts
This large pot of pho will feed our family of 5 for two meals, so we’ll have it for dinner two nights in a row. The hubby and I will also pour the hoisin sauce and Siracha sauce into a small dish and dip our chicken in it as we eat it with the noodles.
We go all out with the toppings and add green onions, cilantro, bean sprouts and Asian basil along with a splash of lime, hoisin sauce and Siracha sauce directly into our soup.
Hubby will also add more fish sauce to his bowl of soup because he likes it saltier, I like to keep it as is for the kids because they don’t need as much salt.
The children are not as adventurous and stick to the noodles and chicken with some hoisin sauce and lime.
Pho is usually eaten with rare beef sliced thinly but we’re trying to cut down our beef intake and have opted for the lower fat option of using chicken breasts.