All those who have experienced eating pho already know that it is the most comforting yet tasty food. I cannot stress the above sentence enough. For those who will try it for the first time, it will be life-changing for you.
Pho is an authentic Vietnamese broth and rice noodles dish flavored with amazing spices. Originally, the broth and topping on traditional pho have beef. If we make it from scratch, it will take you roughly 6 hours to finish cooking. If 6 hours of cooking time and beef are not in your plans, then we have this amazing alternative, easy chicken pho recipe.
This easy pho chicken recipe can be considered the Vietnamese version of chicken noodle soup. It takes up a maximum of 30 minutes to prepare, including the preparations and tastes exactly as good as the authentic ones.
Easy Chicken Pho Recipe
For The Pho Broth
- 4 cups (1 L) Chicken broth (unsalted, if available)
- 6-8 ounces (180-225 g) boneless chicken
- 5 ounces (150 g) flat rice noodles
- 2 cups (500 ml) water
- Half(large) 1(medium) onions
- 2-3 tsp Fish sauce
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp sugar/maple syrup
- 3-4 inches ginger
- 2 Star Anise
- 1 Clove
- 2 medium/large Scallions
- ½ tsp coriander seeds
For the toppings: You can add these toppings as much as you like, with no measurements. These ingredients are not compulsory to add; you can skip any topping you don’t like and add whatever you prefer.
- Thai basil/basil
- Sliced jalapenos
- Sliced scallions
- Bean sprouts
- Lime wedges
- Hoisin sauce
- Start with chopping the gingers into slices, onions into two halves, and scallions into half an inch long pieces. Chop the green leafy part of the scallions for the toppings and only put the stem part in the broth.
- Slightly sauté the spices without oil. Put cloves, star anise, coriander seeds in a pan and sauté until you get the aroma. This will help in bringing out the flavors. TIPS: If you have time, you can also char the onions and scallions for that authentic taste in the broth. Raw onions will also work for good taste.
- Keep the chicken broth on high heat and bring it to a boil. Once it’s boiling, add the onions, scallions, ginger, star anise, coriander seeds, and cloves into the broth. Simmer the heat after adding all the mentioned ingredients.
- Keep the dried rice noodles completely dipped in warm water to cook them. NOTE: I would prefer to cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Some rice noodles are required to boil in water to be cooked.
- Add the boneless chicken pieces to the broth. Add the fish sauce. Cover with a lid and cook on simmer until the chicken is completely cooked.
- Add salt and sugar/maple syrup to the broth. NOTE: Sugar will not make the broth sweet as salt and spices will balance out the sweetness. It is necessary for enhancing the sweet-savory flavors. TIPS: You can add water to the broth if it is too concentrated after this step. If the broth seems watery, you can skip adding water to dilute the taste.
- Once the chicken seems firm and cooked enough, take the chicken pieces out of the broth and simmer and cook the broth for another 15-20 minutes.
- Run the chicken under cold water to stop the cooking. Shred the chicken into bite-size pieces using a fork or your hands. Keep it aside for now.
- Chop the jalapenos and the green herbs. You can add the basil and mint without having them chopped. Cut the lime into wedges. Do this in the meantime when the broth is simmered.
- Take out the rice noodles when they become soft and opaque. Run them under cool water to avoid soggy noodles.
- Remove the broth from the flame and strain out the pho broth in a different pan. NOTE: Throw out the solids from the broth as the chicken and broth absorb all the flavor, since it cannot be used for anything.
- Add the noodles to the broth pan and cook until boiling on high heat for 5 minutes.
Enhance Your Easy Chicken Pho Recipe With These Tips
- You can add Sriracha sauce to your Pho as a topping.
- Add all the toppings and squeeze the lemon over the chicken.
- You can use Hoisin sauce in the topping and even in the broth. Just add an equal amount of hoisin along with the fish sauce.
- Many tend to skip the fish sauce due to the pungent smell that comes from fermenting the fish. Don’t skip the fish sauce; it brings that dark flavor without adding a fishy taste or smell. You won’t be able to tell if there’s fish sauce, but you will miss the taste if it’s missing from the broth.
- You can add dried chili pepper as a topping to make it a bit spicy.
- You can add some more flavor and texture to your pho, just add some seasoning and let your boiled chicken seer on a skillet—an option for those who don’t like boiled chicken.
Alternative Easy Chicken Pho Soup Recipe
- You can switch the broth to beef broth.
- You can use your preferred meat options like pork or beef.
- You can switch noodles to glass noodles or any rice noodles you prefer.
- Thinly sliced steak cooks just by dipping it into the hot broth, just like in hotpots.
- You can use leftover chicken breasts or thighs. Seasoned and cooked meat also go well with the toppings.