pho ga

This was my first try ever making Pho Ga, a vietnamese chicken noodle soup, and it turned out really good! Suprisingly I thought it would be a lot more difficult then it was. Don’t get me wrong, you can not start and finish this soup in an hour… but it’s definitely worth the extra effort.

However, if you’re looking for a shortcut… some good chicken stock, chinese 5-spice with the original toppings will work!

Recipe: Pho Ga


  • 1 whole chicken (5-7 lbs)
  • 1 package rice noodles
  • 7 quarts water
  • bunch of scallions (green onion)
  • bunch of cilantro
  • fresh basil (optional)
  • bean sprouts
  • small red onion (optional)
  • 2 limes
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 2 tbs. coriander seeds or ground coriander
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6-8 cloves
  • 4 cardamon pods/seeds (12 seeds in each pod)
  • 4 star anise or 1/4-1/2 tsp. chinese 5 spice
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 4 inch piece of ginger
  • fish sauce
  • sriracha chili sauce
  • hoisin sauce


  1. The secret to a clear broth is to par-boil the whole chicken to release any impurities. Place chicken in large pot, cover with cold water. Boil for 2-3 minutes, rinse chicken with cold water – set aside. Clean soup pot.
  2. On gill or in broiler, char the skin of the onions and ginger. This will take about 15 minutes or until the skin in burnt and the onion and ginger are soft and release a sweet fragrant. Cool, peel outer layer. Warm water and a peeler will help get rid o the charred skin.
  3. Place chicken into clean soup pot, cover with cold water, bring to boil then lower heat to simmer . Add onions, ginger, garlic, coriander, cinnamon stick, star anise/5 spice, cardamon, cloves and cilantro stems. Simmer on low for 25 minutes. Be careful not to stir this soup, it’s best left alone.
  4. After 25 minutes take out the chicken and run under cold water. Cool for 15 minutes while the broth simmers. After cooled, break off chicken thighs and legs then cut off chicken breast, place in refrigerator until later.
  5. Place the remaining chicken in broth and simmer for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Again, the broth doesn’t need to be stirred or boiled, simmer and let it be for the 90 minutes. After finished, remove chicken and strain broth through a sleeve or cheesecloth. If needed add a tsp of fish sauce to taste. I also add a little chicken bouillon to add more chicken flavor to the broth. The broth may taste a little bland but once you add all of the toppings, it will be much more flavorful
  6. Soak rice noodles in cold water for 30 minutes before placing in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. The noodles are best al dente.
  7. Chop cilantro leaves, scallions, basil, red onion and slice lime. Cut chicken meat into bite sized pieces.
  8. Add noodles, chicken, bean sprouts, red onion to bottom of bowl. Fill with broth, top with scallions, cilantro and basil. Squeeze juice of a lime wedge in soup then add a few drops of hoisin and sriracha chili sauce, mix together and ENJOY!

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