There are some things in life that you don't need to have experience in for them to just look appealing. Cupcakes, a nice icy drink, or for me, a good clear broth soup. I don't know what it is, but I've always just gone nuts for a good Miso or Tom Yum. For some bizarre reason, I had never ventured to try Vietnamese chicken soup (phở gà pronounced "Fuh Guh") I'm insane, I know!
I found an amazing comprehensive recipe on the Spicy Foodie, a food blog I have become very fond of, and while the list of ingredients and instructions may seem a little daunting, once you have a good read through and get your mind around it, you'll see it's not as scary as it looks, and once you get the hang of it, it'll be a walk in the park. I was determined to have the recipe turn out as right and best it could, so I made it my mission to get amongst the markets & source the freshest spices & herbs. It honestly made all the difference, I think!
Full credit of the following phở gà recipe to the Spicy Foodie, drop past their site & have a look at their amazing yums! The photos in this post are my own ^_^
Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup: Pho Ga
Author: SpicieFoodie.com & Nancy Lopez-McHugh
- 1 chicken carcass
- 2 chicken wings
- 2 chicken breast, skinless
- large pot
- 1 medium yellow onion, cut in half and do not peel
- 1 large piece of fresh ginger, do not peel
- 1 tsp. coriander seed
- 2 green cardamom pods, bruised
- 1 whole star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 whole cloves
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp. fish sauce
- rice noodles cooked according to package instructions
- lime wedges
- fresh cilantro leaves
- fresh mint leaves
- scallions sliced
- sliced chile
- bean sprouts
Start the broth:
- Place chicken pieces and water in a pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Use a colander to drain the chicken and discard the broth. Set the chicken pieces aside. Rinse/wash the pot out or have a new clean pot ready to use. Next rinse off the chicken pieces then place back inside the pot.
- The ginger and onion need to be charred. Place them both over an open flame/gas stove flame, or on top of a very hot griddle, or they can also be charred under the broiler setting in the oven. Turn the onion and ginger to char evenly throughout. (I used an open flame and it took me about 8 minutes.) Set aside to cool down.(I used a hot griddle & wore an oven mitt to protect my hands from the high temperatures!)
Toast the spices:
- In a clean pan dry roast the spices to bring out the scents and flavors. Roast for 2 minutes stirring often to prevent burning. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
- Peel the onions, and using a knife gently scrape away the charred ginger skin. Cut the ginger into 4 chunks and use the flat edge of the knife to bruise the ginger.
- Place the ginger, onions, cooled spices into the pot with the chicken pieces. (Alternatively the spices may be placed inside a spice bag before putting in pot.) Add 4 liters or 8 cups of water to the pot. Then add the 1 tsp granulated sugar and 2 tbsp. fish sauce. Cover and bring to a boil, once boiling reduce heat down to medium low and leave a small crack to allow steam to escape. Simmer the soup for at least an hour, longer if time allowed. I simmer my pho for about 2-3 hours. The longer the better.
Once the soup has finished simmering, strain and discard the spices and carcass — NOT THE BROTH. Thinly slice or shred the chicken breast. Add some cooked rice noodles to the soup bowls then ladle the chicken broth over the noodles. You can either serve the additional garnishes on the side so everyone can add their own or top the soup with them.
I made this for Alex and I with much success! We ate like kings and still had a good amount of broth leftover, so I placed it in an airtight container, in the fridge to be reheated the next day. I decided to put my own twist on this serving, and this is what I did:
- Pan fried a skinless, chicken thigh fillet off the bone, which was dusted slightly with Vegeta powdered chicken stock, just to really enhance the chickeny flavour. It really added to the flavour of the broth, which I reheated to a gentle simmer on the stovetop, rather than risk harming flavours with the microwave.
- Added some raw Enoki mushrooms, Boy Choy and crushed peanuts. It was delish!- Pan fried a skinless, chicken thigh fillet off the bone, which was dusted slightly with Vegeta powdered chicken stock, just to really enhance the chickeny flavour. It really added to the flavour of the broth, which I reheated to a gentle simmer on the stovetop, rather than risk harming flavours with the microwave.
- Added some raw Enoki mushrooms, Boy Choy and crushed peanuts. It was delish!
Do you have a preferred twist on Pho? I'd love to hear it! This was my first ever experience with it, and I am very keen to make some more!
I hope this inspires you to go out and give making your own bone stock broth from scratch a go, if someone as kitchen illiterate as me managed okay, you'll be fine!
I've been cooking a lot with salmon, and even managed to convert Alex to eating it! I'll get around to posting the recipes, promise!