Pho (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup) is incredible.
It all starts with an amazing slow simmered chicken stock, flavorful chicken, noodles and delicious toppings.
Oh, yes…Pho (pronounced “fuh”).
Chicken Pho (aka “ga”) is ubiquitous in the Vietnams culture. People eat Pho, chicken or beef (aka “bo”) morning, day, and night.
After slow-cooking the chicken in the broth, you’ll have a stock and incredibly tender chicken for the soup.
We just love those thin and yummy rice vermicelli noodles that are typically served in Pho.
They are found commonly now days in most well-stocked supermarkets. But if not, seek them out at an Asian food market, or online.
In a pinch, you could use angel hair pasta.
Next time you have wings, or a rotisseries chicken, be sure to save (and freeze if necessary) the bones to use to make the stock for Pho.
After the stock has simmered on the stove for a couple hours with herbs and aromatics, we like to strain the broth and let sit in the fridge for a couple hours, or overnight.
At this point, you can easily take a spoon and remove the congealed fat that will have formed at the top of the stock.
Now you got pure, wonderful, healthy chicken stock ready for your Chicken Pho.
Similar to chicken noodle soup, this recipe will warm you to the bone.
It is so comforting and is also easily frozen, for up to two months.
Pure comfort, Vietnamese style!
And then the wonderful fresh garnishes will nourish you and make you feel so good and comforted.
Trust us when we say the fried shallots put this dish over the top.
There is something undeniably comforting about homemade Pho. Make this dish, and you’ll understand why. I followed technique and guidance from one of San Francisco’s most prominent chefs, Charles Phan, owner and chef of The Slanted Door.
Take the time to make the stock, and even the fried shallots, and you’ll have one of the most satisfying soups you’ve ever had in your life.
True comfort at its very best.
Pho (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup)
FOR THE CHICKEN STOCK
- 1 large yellow onion unpeeled
- 1 3-inch piece fresh ginger unpeeled
- 7 lbs chicken bones such as back, wings, or whole carcass
- 1 1/2 tbsp Kosher salt
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar
FOR THE FRIED SHALLOTS
- 4 large thinly sliced shallots about 2 cups
- 3 cups canola oil
FOR THE PHO
- 1 3 lb whole chicken
- 6 whole scallions
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger crushed (I use a garlic press)
- 1 tbsp Kosher salt
- 3 quarts chicken stock
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 16 oz. package dried rice vermicelli cooked according to package directions
- 1 bunch of scallions trimmed and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- 1 bunch cilantro chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- Crispy fried shallots for garnish
- Thai, or Chinese basil* for garnish
- Mung bean sprouts* for garnish
- Limes cut into wedges, for garnish
- Jalapenos stemmed and thinly sliced into rings, for garnish
- *Available at Asian markets
MAKE THE STOCK
Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
Place the onion and ginger on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 1 hour, until the onion is soft and beginning to ooze. Remove from oven and let onion and ginger cool.
Peel the onion and cut in half. Slice the unpeeled ginger into 1/4-inch coins.
While the onion and ginger are roasting, blanch the chicken bones (be sure the pot is large enough to blanch the bones without boiling over, do this by placing the bones in the pot and add water to cover by 1 inch, then remove the bones and set aside. ).
Bring the water to a boil, then add the bones, return the water to a boil, and boil for 3 minutes.
Drain the bones into a colander and rinse under cold running water. Rinse the pot and return the rinsed bones to the pot.
Add the onion halves, ginger slices, salt, sugar, and 8 quarts fresh water to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off any impurities that forms on the surface.
Lower the heat so the liquid is at a gentle simmer and simmer for 4 hours, skimming the surface occasionally.
Remove the pot from the heat and, using a slotted spoon, remove and discard the large solids. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large container, let sit for a few minutes (or refrigerate overnight), then skim from the surface.
Refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
MAKE THE FRIED SHALLOTS
In a small saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high until it registers 350 F on a deep-fry thermometer.
Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until light golden brown, about 6 - 8 minutes (watch closely, don't let them burn!)
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shallots to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
MAKE THE PHO
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
Add the chicken, scallions, ginger, and salt and boil for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat, cover the pot and let stand for 15 minutes. If your chicken is larger than 3 pounds, let stand 10 minutes longer.
Just before the chicken is ready, prepare a large ice-water bath.
When the chicken is done, remove it from the pot (discarding the cooking liquid) and immediately submerge it in the ice-water bath, which will stop the cooking and give the meat a firmer texture.
Let stand 20 minutes, until the chicken is cool enough to handle easily, remove from the water, and pat dry.
Pull the chicken meat from the bones, discarding the bones and skin.
Shred the meat with you fingers; you should have about 4 cups (this step can be done a day ahead).
In a large saucepan, bring the stock to a boil over high heat. Taste for seasoning and add more fish sauce, if needed (this will add more salt).
To ready the garnishes, arrange the basil, bean sprouts, lime wedges, and jalapenos on a platter and place on the table.
Divide the rice noodles evenly among warmed soup bowls.
Top each serving with about 3/4 cup of the shredded chicken, then divide the scallions and cilantro evenly among the bowls.
Ladle the hot stock over the top, dividing it evenly, and sprinkle with the fried shallots.
Serve at once, accompanied with the platter of garnishes.