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pho soup with white scallion, chopped green onion, and picked cualantro

Authentic Vietnamese 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.
5 from 3 votes
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!