Vietnamese Chicken Pho


This Vietnamese Chicken Pho is nourishing, warming & full of culinary therapeutics!

As well as adding the vibrant flavour dimension that characterizes the traditional Vietnamese Pho, The operational side of the culinary spices (like star anise, cinnamon, fennel etc) are potent herbal medicine digestive carminatives (calming & soothing to the gut), & support healthy metabolism.

Heads up; it is a long, slow process, lockdown suitable & totally worth it.

Here’s what you will need

  • 2L of water
  • 1 full bulb of garlic chopped
  • 2 onions sliced in half
  • 1 medium sized chicken
  • 1/2 bunch of washed coriander (no need to chop) 
  • 2 teaspoons fennel 
  • 5 star anise 
  • 6 pieces of cloves 
  • 1 teaspoon coriander (ground powder)
  • 1 lemon grass (chop into big pieces) 
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 4 tablespoons of fish sauce 
  • 1 cinnamon stick 
  • 1/2 tablespoon of hoisin sauce  * optional. I only needed hoisin to serve 
  • Pepper and salt to taste 
  • 3 leaves of Thai basil to serve
  • 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
  • A handful of Bean sprouts to serve
  • Angel hair Konjac noodles – I found some in Coles.
  • Vietnamese mint 5 leaves

Optional : Sriracha sauce, Hoisin sauce, Fried shallots (You can get these from the supermarket and they make a great garnish)

Here’s how:

Phase 1: Making The pot of chicken soup

To a large stainless steel pot, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil 

Once heating, slice two onions in half (skin on) – and put on the heat 

Slice 4cm of ginger, and add them to the heat 

The aim is for them to charr slightly, once the onion is turning dark, it’s ready for the next step

Chop 8 garlic cloves loosely and add them to the heat 

Once the onion is charred (not completely black but well on it’s way) add the large chicken. Partially cook both sides of the chicken for 5 minutes this is just to release the flavour! (The rest of the cooking process will happen later) 

Cover the chicken, onion, garlic and ginger with enough water to cover completely by 1 inch 

Add your herbs – no need to chop anything as we are straining a the end! 

  • 1/2 bunch of washed coriander (no need to chop) 
  • 2 teaspoons fennel 
  • 5 star anise 
  • 6 pieces of cloves 
  • 1 teaspoon coriander (ground)
  • 1 lemon grass (chop in tobig pieces) 
  • 1/2 lemon juice 
  • 4 tablespoons of fish sauce 
  • 1 cinnamon stick 
  • 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon of hoisin sauce  * optional. I only used needed hoisin to serve) 
  • Pepper and salt to taste. 

Bring to the boil on high heat for 5 minutes, then drop to a low-medium heat to simmer for 1.5 hours.

After 1.5 hours your chicken soup is done, now we strain : )

Phase 2: Strain

Remove the chicken and place in a large bowl (Carefully separating the chicken meat from the bone & discard the bone, set aside)

Strain the broth carefully as it will be extra hot! Discard the bulk and keep the broth.

To the hot broth:

Add 3 more chopped large cloves of garlic & extra salt if you need to  

And 6 Vietnamese mint leaves

Let it rest covered for an hour or so to cool slightly, then remove the Vietnamese mint leaves, add the shredded chicken to the broth and prepare to serve 

To serve: 

  • Put the soup in a serving bowl
  • Toppings
    • A serving of Low carb Angel hair spaghetti (available at Coles) 
    • Thai Basil 2 leaves 
    • A slice of lemon
    • A drizzle of Hoisin 
    • A sprinkle of fried shallots (optional but delish!)  
    • Bean sprouts
  • Optional dipping sauce – Sriracha (yas) 

Enjoy : )

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