Chicken pho in a bowl with rice noodles, cilantro, basil, and lime.

Chicken Pho

Chicken phò is a comforting Vietnamese noodle soup with an aromatic chicken broth that has simmered for hours. This soothing, vibrant chicken noodle soup is made with rice noodles and garnished with fresh herbs, lime wedges, bean sprouts, jalapeno slices, and hoisin sauce.

Chicken pho in a bowl with rice noodles, cilantro, basil, and lime.
Chicken Pho

Chicken phò is a comforting Vietnamese noodle soup with an aromatic chicken broth that has simmered for hours. This soothing, vibrant chicken noodle soup is made with rice noodles and garnished with fresh herbs, lime wedges, bean sprouts, jalapeno slices, and hoisin sauce. It’s especially warming on a cold day, or when you need a bowl of comfort.

Chicken pho in a bowl with rice noodles, cilantro, basil, and lime.

Note: This post was originally published on August 13, 2012. The recipe has been updated from the archives with updated content and photographs, as well as improved kitchen notes and recipe annotation. I hope you enjoy this favorite from my kitchen.

No matter the temperature outside, when we’re feeling under the weather, our bodies crave soup. This chicken pho includes all of the ingredients to soothe stomachs, open up sinuses, and nourish bodies, while simultaneously wrapping you up in a steamy blanket of edible comfort.

In the weeks leading up to my sister’s wedding in Southern California, we were busy wrapping up all sorts of loose ends on this side. Between various projects and drama camp performances, dress alterations and wedding favor packaging, business trips and hair cuts, the end of July was go-go-go. So it came as no surprise when one after another, my son, daughter, and I became sick. It may have been an amazingly busy and fulfilling summer, but our bodies called for rest.

It was time for soup. Never mind that it was hot outdoors, this time Chicken Pho seemed like just what we needed. The kids loved pulling the long, flat noodles with their chopsticks, and I certainly appreciated the clear and flavorful chicken broth, laced with ginger to soothe my stomach, and the spicy heat from the jalapeño to help me breathe deeper. Each sip nursed me back to health.

Chicken Pho for the win! With some rest and soothing bowls of soup, I was ready for wedding celebrations in no time.

Chicken pho in a bowl with rice noodles, cilantro, basil, and lime.

History of Pho

Check out the history of Pho here!

How to Make Chicken Phò

The beauty of a satisfying phò is in its broth. When I go out to my favorite restaurant for pho, I appreciate the hours the broth has been simmering to perfection, the bone broth scented by aromatics and spices. There is a hint of cinnamon and anise, and in most cases, the onions and soup bones were roasted to bring out even more flavor prior to cooking.

This version takes inspiration from Chef Charles Phan, but between you and me, I take a few shortcuts when time is not on my side. I leave out the roasting process in this recipe, however, if you have a few minutes, consider giving the onions and ginger a few minutes under the broiler or charring them over high heat in the stock pot before you begin. But if you leave out this step, do not worry.

Similar to any good chicken soup, time is your friend, so allow the soup broth the hours it needs to simmer, first to cook the chicken. The chicken can be shredded and set aside until the broth is ready. A second simmer with the remaining bones will infuse the broth with flavor. A third and final simmer will reduce the broth to a flavorful, concentrated soup.

Rice noodles for phò in a dish.

The second key to the dish are the flat rice noodles (bánh phò). At my local Asian market, there are several brands and versions. Opt for small or medium width noodles made for pho. (See how the Three Ladies Brand in the photo notes the size of the noodles with the “M.”)

Soak the noodles in hot water to soften. Then, drop it in boiling water to cook before adding the noodles to your soup bowl.

Three Ladies Brand Rice Stick Noodles for Phò.

After that, don’t forget the herbs and garnishes to serve along side! I like to blanch the bean sprouts before adding them to my bowl. Tearing generous bunches of cilantro and basil is essential. Don’t forget slices of jalapeño and lime. Hoisin sauce is also another delicious addition!

Chicken pho in a bowl with rice noodles, cilantro, basil, and lime.

Wedding Registry Kitchen Must-Have Giveaway:
Le Creuset 7 1/4-Qt Dutch Oven Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed. Sincerest thanks to everyone for entering – I especially enjoyed reading all your responses! Congratulations to Gina M, winner of this Le Creuset Dutch Oven!!!

It’s time for my final Wedding Registry Kitchen Must-Have Giveaway! I l-o-v-e my Dutch Oven and know you will too. Soups and stews, wintery braises, deep frying, and even no-knead breads – there’s nearly nothing this heirloom quality piece will not do well. I know you will love this Le Creuset 7 1/4-Qt Dutch Oven, and I’m so excited to be able to share one with one of you!

Ready to enter? Here’s how:

  • Please leave a comment below and feel free to share: What will you stir up in this dutch oven?
  • Bonus entry: Share this page on Facebook and leave another comment saying so.
  • Entries/Comments accepted until 10 pm Pacific, Sunday, 19 August, 2012.
  • One winner will be randomly selected and notified by email.
  • This contest is open to US residents only, my apologies to my international friends!

Disclosure: Wayfair sponsored this giveaway by giving one winner a Le Creuset Dutch Oven. I am grateful to them for their support and for making this giveaway possible. The author was not compensated for this chicken pho post/giveaway. All opinions are strictly my own.

More Vietnamese Dishes

Shaking Beef Vietnamese Stir Fry
Traditional Vietnamese Iced Coffee (Ca Phe Sua Da)
Prime Rib Pho
Vietnamese-style Grilled Pork Chops
Slow Cooker Bánh Mì Vietnamese Sandwich

Chicken pho in a bowl with rice noodles, cilantro, basil, and lime.

Note: This post was originally published on August 13, 2012. The recipe has been updated from the archives with updated content and photographs, as well as improved kitchen notes and recipe annotation. I hope you enjoy this favorite from my kitchen.

Chicken Pho

Chicken pho is a comforting Vietnamese noodle soup with an aromatic chicken broth that has simmered for hours. This soothing, vibrant chicken noodle soup is made with rice noodles and garnished with fresh herbs, lime wedges, bean sprouts, jalapeno slices, and hoisin sauce.
Print This Pin This
5 from 1 vote
Course Dinner, lunch, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Vietnamese
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 50 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 770kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 5- lb chicken quartered
  • 1 onion skin intact, quartered
  • 3 inch piece of ginger cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 quarts cold water
  • 1 tablespoon salt or fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb dried pho noodles Vietnamese rice noodles
  • 1 lb mung beans
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup basil roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro roughly chopped
  • 2 limes sliced in wedges
  • 2 jalapeños thinly sliced
  • Asian chili garlic sauce and/or hoisin for serving

Instructions

  • In a large stock pot, place the chicken, onion, ginger, water, salt/fish sauce, and sugar. Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer and cook for 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken and allow to cool for a moment, but let the soup stock continue to simmer on the stove. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, de-bone the chicken and shred. Place the shredded chicken into the refrigerator while the rest of the meal is cooking.
  • Place the bones and the skin back into the soup pot and continue to simmer for about 3 hours.
  • Strain the soup stock into a large pot or dutch oven, add the fish sauce, and cook over high heat until the liquid reduces to roughly 12 cups.
  • Season to taste with additional fish sauce and freshly ground black pepper, if necessary.
  • Soak the noodles in a bowl of hot water for 30 minutes, or until soft.
  • Bring a pot of water to boil. Salt it generously, then drop in the softened rice noodles and cook for about 3 minutes. Drain. Do the same for the mung beans, blanching them briefly.
  • Divide the rice noodles, mung beans, and shredded chicken into bowls, and ladle chicken broth into each bowl. Garnish with scallions, basil, cilantro, jalapeño slices and chili sauce. Serve immediately.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Chicken Pho, by Charles Phan on Food & Wine: Vietnam a la Cart, September 2005.
In Charles Phan’s original recipe, he calls for roasting the vegetables for 30 minutes in a 400°F oven prior to adding it to the soup stock. When I make this soup in the summer months, or if I am short on time, I opt to not fire up the oven and simply start the stock on the stove. If you have a few extra minutes, consider giving the onion and ginger a few minutes under a broiler or charring them over high heat in the stock pot before you begin.

Nutrition

Calories: 770kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 170mg | Sodium: 749mg | Potassium: 976mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 461IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 5mg
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see! Tag @kitchconfidante on Instagram and hashtag it #kitchenconfidante
Two bowls of chicken pho topped with cilantro and jalapeno slices.
Original photo of Chicken Pho published on August 13, 2012.

Comments

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  1. grills

    Excellant post and really full of information. Here’s an idea that bbq specialists can make use of to smoke or bbq a lot of the most mouth watering barbeque out there. If you’re having trouble with your meal dehydrating on the barbeque smoker or charcoal grill, try this procedure to promptly improve your barbecue. Whether you’re cooking ribs, chicken breasts, or any other meat, shower it using apple juice to keep a better moisture content degree on the food. A lot more moisture means your meal may be a lot more juicy and tender when served. MMMMM BBQ.

    Reply
  2. Jane

    How funny: I have Jim Lahey’s bread recipe in the oven now, in a borrowed pot from my mom! If I owned one of these, I would make braised short ribs, which I do now in a rigged-up heavy soup pot, and more bread to go with it (of course). Dutch ovens are good for beans, too. And that Chicken Pho looks like it was just the right remedy. Summer colds are the worst!

    Reply
  3. Brandy

    Definitely a stew of some sort… but I might have to try my hand at breadmaking inside it first!

    Reply
  4. Beth C.

    There’s not much I *wouldn’t* make in that! It would be brilliant for jam, as well as braising and soups…

    Reply
  5. @yumivore

    Liren, your award-winning photography always makes each dish so tempting! I’ve made your trio of mushroom soup before which was divine. Soups, risottos, Moroccan stews or even this Pho would all be perfect for a dutch oven. Given all the dust my kitchen is going through, I’m looking forward to a home cooked meal soon (and wouldn’t mind if you were making it I might add!). Lovely post.

    Reply
  6. Hannah

    Love the color and would surely find amazing things to make in it :)

    Reply
  7. Melinda Bunker

    Omg …I LOVE Pho’ and am trying this tomorrow!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  8. wendy farner

    I love this color!! I will cook up beef stew and chicken and dumplings to start…and experiment from there!!

    Reply
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