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Soup is my passion. 



A Cooking Adventure with Thom

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Chicken Pho

by Jennifer Phan

Servings: 4



Chicken soup holds power in many cultures. And when it’s your mother’s chicken soup, it can take on almost mystical qualities. That’s what beauty pro Michelle Phan's mother's chicken pho is to her: comforting, healing, and crave-worthy.



1 3.5-4-lb. chicken 
2 large pieces fresh ginger (about 2” each), 1 sliced, 1 one left whole
1 red onion, peeled 
2 32-oz. boxes chicken broth (Phan likes Swanson brand)
1 packet pho spice
Black pepper, to taste
Fish sauce, to taste (Phan likes Phu Quot brand)
3 spring onions, white parts finely chopped, green parts reserved for garnish
1 14-oz. package fresh or dry banh pho rice noodles
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
1 bunch cilantro leaves
1 package bean sprouts (a couple handfuls)
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced crosswise
1 lime, cut into wedges
Hoisin sauce

Cooking Method

Using kitchen shears, remove the skin and fat from the chicken and discard. Break down the chicken: remove the legs, and cut the breasts from the breastbones. Set aside the breast meat.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the chicken legs, carcass, and sliced ginger and cook about 10 minutes. (This first cooking step is to boil away any extra fat and “clean” the chicken.)

Meanwhile, “burn” the red onion and whole ginger over an open flame, turning every so often until the outer layers are slightly charred. Slice the ginger and set both aside.

Thinly slice the chicken breast and place in a bowl. Add black pepper, fish sauce, and chopped spring onion and stir to combine. Marinate about 15 minutes.

Transfer the boiled chicken pieces to a clean pot. Add the chicken broth, pho spice, red onion, and ginger and simmer until fragrant, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, ladle about 2 cups broth into another small pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add chicken breast slices and cook through, about 3 minutes.

Rinse fresh pho noodles under hot water and then cook according to package instructions. If using dry, cook according to package instructions.

Distribute noodles and then chicken breast among 4 bowls. Ladle broth over each and garnish each with green onion tops, basil, cilantro, and bean sprouts. Serve with jalapeños, limes, Sriracha, and hoisin.

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