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Pho Ga: Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

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  • Post category:Recipes

For the Broth:

  • 6 inches worth of fresh ginger
  • 2 large yellow onions cut in half
  • 1 4-5 lb whole chicken
  • 5 quarts chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp coriander seed
  • 4 pc whole cloves
  • 1 good sized bunch fresh cilantro
  • ½ oz lump Chinese rock sugar or a tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp kosher salt
  • 3-4 tbsp fish sauce

For the bowls:

  • 1 package (565g) thin dried rice noodles
  • The cooked chicken pieces from making the broth
  • ½ medium red onion very thinly sliced and rinsed under cold water
  • 3 green onions. Very thinly sliced and rinsed under cold water
  • 1-2 jalapeno chilies thinly sliced
  • A handful of bean sprouts
  • A bunch of Thai Basil
  • A bunch of cilantro
  • A bunch of mint
  • A bunch of culantro
  • Hoisin sauce as needed
  • Sriracha as needed

To make the broth:

Char the ginger and onions either over an open flame or in a cast iron pan or under the broiler. When cool enough to handle, peel the skin from the ginger and gently crush the ginger with the side of a knife. Set aside with the onions and remaining ingredients as you turn your attention to the chicken.

Remove the legs and thighs from the chicken and then the wings and finally the back bone. Leave the breast meat attached to the breast bone for the time being. Clean the back bone and chop it in two or three pieces. Cut the breast meat in half through the sternum and then put all of it in a pot with 4 quarts of cold water. Bring the water to a boil and when it does drain off all the water and the impurities that floated to the top. Rinse the chicken pieces with cold water and return them to a clean pot and cover them with 5 quarts of chicken stock.

Add the ginger, onions, and remaining broth ingredients to the pot and bring it to a simmer. About 15 minutes after it comes to a simmer, remove the breasts and allow them to cool. Then about fifteen minutes later remove the legs and thighs and allow them to cool as well. Take the meat off the bones and return the bones and skin to the stock pot.

Simmer the stock another hour to hour and a half then strain the broth through a cheesecloth lined strainer. Add fish sauce and taste for seasoning.

Now cook some rice noodles according to the package instructions, assemble the garnishes and slice the chicken meat.

Assemble the bowls by dividing the noodles up evenly, toppin the noodles with chicken and the broth. Allow your guests to dress up their bowls however they wish using the garnishes and sauces.



Andrew Zimmerman, the award winning Chicago Chef of Sepia & Proxi restaurants, knows a lot about cooking food.