Take a break from the famous Beef Pho by making this amazing Authentic Vietnamese Chicken Pho (Pho Ga). It's faster to make but tasted just as great as its sister version.
Disclaimer: this Authentic Vietnamese Chicken Pho recipe was originally made for Mother's Day 2020 home-made recommended meal.
So we're 2 days away from Mother's Day, and there's a small chance that you have no idea what to make for the entire family in order to celebrate this day perfectly. Well, if I were you, I'd better stick with two courses meal: one main course, you cook yourself, that can feed the crowd and one delicious yummy tummy dessert which you can Google where to buy even it might be across town.
Why you can't just go and buy the main course instead, it's faster, you might think? C'on, it's your mom's day, let celebrate it properly by putting your heart & efforts in making a gigantic main dish. If you have extra time, lets tackle down the dessert too with this Creamy Pandan Panna Cotta. But if you don't, this Authentic Vietnamese Chicken Pho still makes you look flawlessly in your mom's eyes (and the entire family members' too).
How to make this Authentic Vietnamese Chicken Pho broth?
Regardless of what you heard, making Pho is not really that complicated (anymore). Why? Because now we can buy all required ingredients with just a few clicks. Compared to back in the day, if I wanted to make the broth for this authentic chicken pho, most likely I would have to run back and forth between several markets. With the help of technology a.k.a Amazon, all of your ingredients can be delivered to your home within 24 hours.
The key to make chicken Pho broth is to keep it as clear as possible. And how can you achieve such clear broth? Here are the steps (please keep in mind this guide line works with any kind of broth or stock):
- In order to make any kind of broth/stock clear, you need to make sure the bones are free of blood and impurities. If you see the chicken bones still have a lot of excess impurities attached to them, you can do an extra step by blanching the bones in hot water then submerge them completely in ice water bath.
- Make sure the water is boiling before adding chicken bones. And the bones should be at room temperature or colder.
- Keep the chicken pho simmer, do not let it boil.
- Don't stir the pot. Only skim impurities that float on the surface.
- When grilling white onion and ginger, do not let them turn black or brown. Only grill them in the oven to avoid burning their outer layer.
In order for this authentic chicken pho achieves its flavor to the fullest, it is best to make the broth one day ahead of your main event. Let your pho broth take it time to develop its sophisticated flavor.
Ingredients and side condiments
Pho broth in general is made of a mixture of Asian spices. All of the spices' fragrance combined have created such sophisticated flavor and aroma for this world popular dish. Here are the key ingredients and side condiments that frequently served with this chicken pho (pho ga):
- Pho noodle: the star of this authentic soup. You can not can't have noodle.
- Cinnamon stick: I bought this big box from McCormick, it lasts for ages and still keeps its fragrance wonderfully.
- Nut meg: don't use ground nut meg, use whole instead to keep it freshness for a long time.
- Coriander seed
- Condiments: Hoisin sauce and sriracha sauce - this combo can be found in every Vietnamese restaurant that served Pho.
Speaking of authentic and traditional soup recipes, I have quite a few on my blog. If you can challenge the fermented fish smell, give this Bun Mam recipe a try. Or on a lighter option, this Bun Rieu can surprise you too. And if you're all for comfort food, you can't skip this number one comfort soup found in Vietnamese cuisine: macaroni soup with pork ribs. Last but not least, for some reasons you want to challenge your cooking to the next level, how about go for the most popular pho version on the planet: Beef pho. I found this recipe on Viet World Kitchen pretty amazing.
Authentic Vietnamese Chicken Pho
- Sachet or Coffee filter with cooking twine
- Pho noodle fresh or package, as needed
- 8 qt water adjust it according to the crowd
- 1 lb chicken bones
- 1 lb chicken thighs and/or breasts
- 2 white onions grilled, do not char
In Separate Sachets:
- 2 large ginger peeled, grilled, do not char
- 5 star anise
- 2 small cinnamon stick
- 2 whole nut meg
- 1 tsp coriander seed
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 10 cilantro stems
Vegetables, herbs, & sauces
- Culantro as needed
- Basil as needed
- Bean sprout cooked, as needed
- Lime cut into wedges
- White onion thinly sliced
- Green onion chopped
- Hoisin sauce
- Chili sauce
- Please note: Chicken Pho is different from Beef Pho. The broth should be clear at the end of the process so all ingredients that you put in the broth should never be charred or brown.
- In a big stockpot, bring water to boil. Then add chicken bones, your choice of chicken meats, and sachets.
- Bring the whole pot to almost boiling point then lower the heat and simmer for 1.5 hours (add 30 minutes more for every extra quart of water you use). DO NOT ATTEMPT TO STIR THE POT in order to keep the broth clear. If needed to, just carefully skim the impurities from chicken bones that float on top of the water.
- If your choice of meat is chicken breast, remember to set your kitchen timer to take the breasts out (probably around 20-30 minutes since the broth starts simmer). If your choice of meat is chicken thighs/drumsticks, as soon as the meats start coming off the bones, take them out immediately. Then let the pot continue to simmer with chicken bones and spice sachets.
- While waiting for the broth to infuse all of the spice flavors, start shred the meats of your choice, wash vegetable and herbs, set the table.
- After 1.5 hours, take everything out carefully and slowly to keep the broth as clear as you can.
- Use only salt and bouillon cubes/powder to season to season. Do not use soy sauce or fish sauce because they can make the broth look dark which we really don't want it happen for this chicken pho.
- Assemble: in a big bowl, put pho noodle, shredded chicken meats, thinly sliced white onion, green onion, then ladle the broth on top of the noodle. Add black pepper if desired. Served immediately with assorted herbs, hoisin sauce, and chili sauce on the side. Enjoy!