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 Chicken Pho still makes you look flawlessly in your mom’s eyes (and the entire family members’ too).

Why this Chicken Pho can rescue you? Because it can feed the crowd, no matter how many people you’ll get at the gathering, it’ll do it jobs wonderfully. Furthermore, it’s faster to make than most of the crowd-guaranteed-to-be-full-recipes out there. All you need are one hour at the super market to gather all ingredients and couple of extra more hours to cook; then voila. The job is done.

What even better is you can actually make this ahead of time. Then on D-day, you just need to heat the soup broth, set up the tables, celebrate with your family, and most importantly make your mama proud (and she will, I promise). The broth tasted better overtime anyway, so it is a win-win situation for your busy schedule. Now, lets cook!

Chicken Pho

Suggestion: make the soup broth ahead of time (1 day) so it has time to develop its sophisticated flavor. Also, when grilling the onions and ginger, do not char them because you want to keep the chicken pho broth as clear as the sunny sky.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Recommended resting time for more flavor: 1 d
Total Time 1 d 2 hrs
Course Breakfast, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 4 people


  • Stockpot
  • 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!
Keyword Asian food, Chicken Pho, Pho, Vietnamese Food