What's better than a steamy, aromatic bowl of the classic Vietnamese comfort food, pho? Perhaps the answer lies in its slightly lighter and just-as-satisfying sibling, the delicate Chicken Pho. Tantalizingly flavored, brimming with tender chicken and slippery, slurpable rice noodles, and topped with an array of vibrant herbs, this recipe is a must-have for any culinary enthusiast looking to explore the exotic yet incredibly accessible world of Vietnamese cuisine.

Chicken Pho Recipe

Sink into the deep complexity of a savory broth, brought to life with a harmonious medley of spices, and you'll understand why pho is more than a meal; it's an experience that wows the taste buds and warms the soul. Pho, pronounced 'fuh,' has skyrocketed in popularity for its rich flavors and its ability to adapt to various dietary preferences. This recipe is not only mouthwatering but also simple enough for home cooks of all levels to master — a true fusion of ease and flavor.


We believe that the magic of Chicken Pho is in the careful selection of its ingredients. Here’s what you'll need for your culinary adventure:

For the Broth

  • 1 whole chicken (about 3 pounds), skin removed and reserved
  • 2 medium yellow onions, halved and charred
  • 4-inch piece of ginger, halved and charred
  • 1/3 cup fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rock sugar
  • 3 star anise pods
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 black cardamom pod

For the Noodles and Garnish

  • 1 pound dried pho noodles, or fresh if available
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • Thai basil leaves
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Fresh red chili, sliced

Preparation Steps

Broth Preparations

Begin by charring the onions and ginger. If you have a gas stove, you can directly place the halved onions and ginger over medium-high heat. Using tongs, turn them occasionally until they are blackened in spots. If you don’t have a gas stove, you can achieve the same effect by broiling them in the oven.

In a large pot, combine the charred onions, ginger, and chicken. Add enough water to cover (about 4 quarts). Bring to a boil, skimming the impurities that rise to the surface.

Once boiled, reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir in the fish sauce and rock sugar. Next, add the spices tied in cheesecloth (this makes it easier to remove later). Simmer for about 45 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a bowl of cold water to cool. When it's cool enough to handle, shred the meat, discarding the bones and skin. Set aside.

Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth. Breathe in the incredible aroma. This is your liquid gold, the backbone of your pho.

Noodle Preparation

While the broth is simmering, soak the dried pho noodles in water until soft, or prepare them according to the package instructions if using fresh. Once ready, rinse under cold water and drain well.

Blanch the noodles in boiling water, just until tender (about 15 seconds). Drain and divide among the serving bowls.

Cooking Instructions

Bringing It All Together

Return the strained broth to the pot to keep warm over low heat. Taste and adjust seasoning with more fish sauce or sugar as needed.

Divide the shredded chicken among the serving bowls on top of the noodles. Ladle the hot broth over the top; the heat from the broth will warm the chicken and noodles.

Finish with Freshness

Serve the pho hot and offer a plate of garnishes, each to be added by the eater as they wish. The scallions, cilantro, and bean sprouts add a delightful crunch and freshness, the lime juice provides a zesty contrast, while the Thai basil, mint, and chili add layers of aromatic complexity.

Health Benefits

The Chicken Pho recipe entails a balance of lean proteins, immune-boosting ginger, and a rich assortment of vitamins and minerals from the various herbs and spices used. This delectable dish not only delights the taste buds but also supports a healthy diet, making it a go-to option for those looking for a satisfying and nourishing meal.

The invigorating aromas of this Chicken Pho recipe are a testament to the careful preparation and thoughtful ingredients that make every slurp a true delight. Now that you've been guided through the steps, it's time to put on that apron, start simmering, and share in the tradition of communal dining that pho embodies. Invite your senses on a culinary adventure, and savor every moment of your homemade pho experience. After all, the best meals are those shared not just with others but with passion and joy in the process of creation. Happy cooking!

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