Malaysian Cuisine - Rice & Noodle

Chicken Pho (Pho Ga)

March 29, 2018 | Recipe by Bake with Paws

This flu has had the strange effect of making me crave for a lot of food.  I was craving for something soupy like Koey Teow Th’ng.  However, I don’t know where to get a good Koey Teow Th’ng near my area.  We ended up with Pho at a Vietnamese Restaurant nearby.  It was a bit of a disappointment as the quality wasn’t consistent. I came home very thirsty.  I suspect they used MSG and it didn’t fulfil my craving.  

So, I decided cook my own Chicken Pho the next day.  I looked through our pantry and we had all the ingredients I needed.  Surprisingly it turned out delicious even though it may not the best Pho I have had.  Home cooked is always the best!  

This Vietnamese Classic Chicken Noodle Soup recipe is adapted from “The Vietnamese Market Cookbook”.  

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Chicken Pho (Pho Ga) Recipe

Yields: 4 servings


For the broth:
700g chicken meats + bones
4 inches fresh ginger
1 large red onion, unpeeled
2 cloves garlic
2 star anise
2 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
A dash of ground black pepper 
1 tbsp brown sugar
Salt to taste
2 tbsp fish sauce
3.5 liters water

To serve:
2 packets of Vietnamese thin flat dried noodles (200g each packet)
Shredded cooked chicken from the above
1 bunch coriander, chopped
1 bunch spring onion, chopped

Fresh herbs on plate:
100g bean sprouts
Few bunches Thai basil
5 limes, cut into wedges


For the broth:
  1. Char the ginger and red onion over gas stove or electric burner on high heat. Remove when nicely charred on both sides. It does not need to be completely burnt. The charring imparts a subtle flavour into the soup.
  2. Remove the meat from chicken breast and thigh.  Keep aside.
  3. Next, blanch the balance of the chicken & bones with boiling water. 
  4. Then start the broth by placing the chicken & bones in a big pot of cold water. Cook over medium heat. Add in the charred ginger and onion, garlic, star anise, cardamom pods, and cinnamon. Reduce the heat to low and let the broth simmer for 2 hours.  
  5. Frequently skim off the scum and impurities that rise on the surface and top up with water as necessary.
  6. Add the chicken breast and chicken tight at the final 30 minutes of simmering. Discard the onion, ginger, garlic and all the dried spices. Remove the chicken breast & thigh meat. Season to taste with salt, sugar, fish sauce and a dash of black pepper. 

For serving ingredients:
  1. Soak the dried noodles in water for 30 minutes and strain. Bring a pot of water to boil and blanch the noodle for few seconds and strain.
  2. Shred the chicken meat. 
  3. Wash and cut the fresh herbs accordingly.

To serve:
  1. Place a portion of cooked noodle in a big bowl. Lay slices shredded chicken on top of the noodles.
  2. Pour the hot broth on top. Sprinkle with chopped coriander and spring onion. 
  3. Serve immediate to top with fresh herbs, lime and fish sauce as you wish. In Vietnam, a hot siracha and a hoi-sin sauce is often served as dipping sauces for the chicken.