Fragrant, comforting, packed with chicken and completely customizable to your taste, is what this soup is about!
I guess it was about 2 years ago when I first started noticing this Vietnamese soup. I know, I’m so behind with the trends! I didn’t understand what all the hullabaloo was about. It was probably several months later I realized it was actually pronounced “fuh” not “foe” – doh!
Even more embarrassing, it wasn’t until this last summer that I actually tried it. Doh! Pho sad! Laugh, snort!
I was hooked immediately, guys. I found myself dreaming about it almost daily. Now that’s sad, right? Do you do that, or is it just me? Maybe I’m just a little…loco special. 🙂
If you haven’t had Pho before, you are in for a treat, my friend. It’s an incredibly fragrant soup because of all the wonderful, toasted spices that are left to steep in the chicken broth for several hours. I add both white and dark chicken to the soup just before serving too. It’s served with a side of herbs, bean sprouts, chilies, etc. I add matchstick veggies too! I love that I can customize my bowl of Pho to my taste and my guests can do the same. One soup, many paths to deliciousness!
I like to load mine up with rice noodles, veggies, sprouts, lime, and lots of basil, mint, and cilantro. The more herbs and sprouts, the better! Jim prefers chilies and sriracha in his bowl.
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The primary problem I found while researching the making of Pho at home was the sheer cost of gathering all the spices. Yikes! I found a solution on my favorite website. Yup, it’s Amazon. Is there anything that isn’t on Amazon? I decided to do a quick search for Pho spices, hoping someone had considered creating a spice mix and they have! I’m
pho so excited! I bought a pack of three sachets of Pho Spice Seasoning for less than $12. One sachet will flavor a huge pot of broth, so it’s a superb deal, in my opinion. I also buy the rice stick noodles on Amazon. It’s my one-stop shop.
The other problem I had with making Pho at home is that most recipes are very labor-intensive, in my opinion. You all know I’m all about quick and easy, right? Yep. So, I chose to use boneless, skinless thighs and breasts instead of a chopping up a whole chicken and dealing with fat and bones. Now, about the quick part – It’s not really. Well, it’s fast on overall effort, but you’re going to want to allow the broth to simmer for a couple hours to get that fragrant broth we all know and love. Just saying. 🙂
Hey, here’s to Pho at home! I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!
Thanks to Jimmy Cho and Food & Wine for inspiring this recipe.
Tip: Freeze extra broth for a delicious bowl of Pho later!
If you make this dish, I want to see! Tag your pic with #basilandoregano on Instagram. Also, don’t forget to leave a comment and rating below. Thanks!
- 1 packet Pho seasoning
- 5 quarts chicken broth
- Water for poaching and evaporation
- 2 yellow onions, quartered
- 2 shallots, halved
- 2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
- 4 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
- ½ package dried rice stick noodles
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- ½ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup Thai basil leaves
- ¼ cup mint leaves
- ½ cup green onions, sliced
- 2 Thai or Serrano chilies, sliced (optional)
- Sriracha (optional)
- 2 limes, quartered
- Empty Pho seasoning pack into a heavy skillet. Toast over low heat, stirring often, until you smell the fragrant spices, about 5 minutes. Add spices to sachet bag (provided with the seasoning pack) and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add onion and shallot, cut side down. Dry-roast over medium heat, occasionally stirring, for about 10 minutes. Onion and shallot should be somewhere between golden to charred.
- In a large stock pot, bring broth and seasoning sachet to a boil and then reduce temperature to low. Cover and simmer for 2-4 hours. If your broth reduces down (evaporation), add water to bring it back up to 5 quarts.
- Meanwhile, poach chicken in simmering water until it starts to lose its translucency, about 15 minutes. Don’t cook chicken all the way through as it will finish cooking in the broth later. Drain and rinse chicken in cold water. Set aside for now.
- Strain broth through a tight weave tea towel or cheesecloth to remove onions and shallots as well as any sediment in the broth. Add broth back to stockpot.
- Shred the chicken, add to the broth and simmer on low for 20 minutes.
- Cook rice stick noodles, following package directions, drain and place in a bowl to be served at the table.
- Arrange your “on the side” platter with herbs, bean sprouts, green onions, and anything else you plan to serve.
- Ladle broth and shredded chicken into bowls and serve with your platter of goodies. Enjoy!