Monday, January 19, 2009

Phở Gà - Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

This is my first attempt at making home made chicken noodles soup. Surprisingly, it turned out great. My hubby loves a bowl of hot chicken noodles soup in the morning for breakfast.

All of a sudden I have the crave for chicken noodle soup. I could of order from the restaurant, but instead I want to cook it from scratch. I have to admit this is my first time cooking this soup. I wanted to make this for the longest time, but I am not sure what to put in the broth. After all, it's the secret in the chicken broth that made really good PHO. In Viet Nam, pho has been eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

After a little bit of research and tips from different forums, I think I got it down.

These are the items that you will need to make the chicken soup. You will need whole cloves, coriander seeds, whole star anise, ginger, onion, rock sugar, and cinnamon bark. Also, a small piece of dry tangerine skin if you have it.

I just learned a great tip and it is to tie the spices with the coffee filter. Then use a string to tighten it. When you get ready to discard them, all you have to do is yank it out from the pot. Cool idea huh? :-)

This is my chicken broth. After I made 2 lbs of chicken legs into chicken broth, I added the spices along with ginger and onion into the pot. Then I put the whole chicken into the pot and simmer for one hour in low heat. I also added 7 Kaffir lime leaves. This will make the broth smell awesome. Then continue to simmer the stock (uncovered) for another 2 hours. Taste the broth and add more salt , fish sauce or sugar if needed.

Note: After an hour in the pot, you can check to see if the chicken is done. If yes, then you can place the whole chicken into a bowl of ice water. After it cool down, you an put the whole chicken in the refrigerator so the chicken meat can be firm. This way, it's much easier when you ready to chop it into small pieces.

Check out the clear broth. Since I have some white scallion heads, I also put them into the broth. My dad made some pork meat balls yesterday and gave me some. I decided to put them in as well.

It's ready!!!!!! I can't wait to taste it.

This is what fresh pho noodles look like.

I shreded the whole chicken into thin strips and discarded the skin. The tripe has been washed with vinegar, and salt. And then boiled and precut into small strips. The plate of fresh herbs consist of bean sprouts, basils, thin slices of onion, chilli peppers, small pieces of scallions and cilantros, and lime wedges.

This bowl of chicken noodles soup really hit the spot. It's awesome. There is no FAT whatsoever in this broth since I left the broth in the refrigerator overnight and skim off all the FAT in the morning. This is a great soup for cold weather. You can add hoisin sauce and chilli pepper along with bean sprouts and all the wonderful herbs.

INGREDIENTS: (6 servings)

  • 16 oz. (454g) pkg. fresh Phở noodles (bánh phở tươi)
  • 3 quarts of Phở broth:
    • 1 whole chicken (approx. 3.5lbs/1.5 kg)
    • 2 lbs. of chicken legs ( I used chicken legs since I can't find any chicken bones)
    • Vietnamese fish sauce (nước mắm)
    • 2 Tbl spoon of rock sugar
    • 1 tsp. (5 g) salt
    • 10 whole cloves inh hương)
    • 5 whole star anise (hoa hồi)
    • 2 small pieces of Vietnamese cinnamon bark(vỏ cây quế)
    • 10 coriander seeds (hột ngò - this is optional)
    • 1 small piece of dried tangerine skin
    • 4 small shallots
    • 1 onion and 1 piece fresh ginger, about 2 inches long, cut into 4 pieces , both broiled in the oven until slightly charred on the outside.
    • water
    • beef tripe (optional)
    • beef balls or pork balls (optional)
    • 6 or 7 kaffir lime leaves (optional)

  • Herb and vegetable garnish:
    • cilantro (rau ngò)
    • thai basil (rau quế)
    • culantro aka sawtooth herb (rau ngò gai)
    • bean sprouts
    • fresh lime wedges
    • chili sauce
    • 2 to 3 fresh jalapeno peppers, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds (optional)


  1. Make chicken broth from the 2 pounds of chicken legs, and skim off the FAT.
  2. Place the whole chicken and stock in a large pot with the onion, ginger , rock sugar and dried herbs package and bring to a rapid simmer.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 1 hour, skimming surface as foam rises.
  4. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer and return the broth to a large soup pot.
  5. Season with salt to taste and keep hot.
  6. Take the chicken out from the pot and place it in the ice cold water.
  7. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove it from the bones and shred into large pieces. Discard the bones, skin, and ginger.
  8. While the stock is cooking, Divide the noodles into 4 portions and using a mesh strainer, separately boil the noodle portions for approximately 1 minute each. The noodles should be cooked but still “al dente.”
  9. To serve the soup, ladle hot broth into large soup bowls.
  10. Dip the cooked noodles in the remaining hot broth to warm and then place a handful of noodles in each bowl.
  11. Divide the shredded chicken between the bowls and place on top of the noodles.
  12. Add the tripes and beef balls or pork balls and place them on top of the nooodles.
  13. Serve the soup immediately with the cilantro, basil, mint, bean sprouts, lime wedges, and jalapeno peppers in separate bowls so each person can garnish their soup as they like.
  14. Serve with chili sauce and fish sauce on the side.


Ji said...

This looks so yummy. it's great for the winter time or any time, thanks.

Zoe said...

Yes. It's a great soup for cold weather. Next time, I will try to make beef noodles soup :-)

PlumLeaf 李葉 said...

Your nowl of chicken noodle soup looks delicious! You certainly took a lot of time making this!

My hubby is half vietnamese and half chinese and we made this following a different recipe earlier this year - it was a light flavoured broth - I think we needed more cooking time and more chicken bones! :0)