Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup
Pho Gâ or Vietnamese chicken noodle soup is made with tons of aromatic spices like cinnamon sticks, star anise and cloves. It’s not a soup that you can necessarily substitute with other ingredients. You need thosearomatics. The other thing you need is time. It’s all about the broth! It’s almost like BBQ – slow and low.
It’s one reason why pho gâ works so well in the slow cooker. However the slow cooker doesn’t allow a few steps to allow for a deeper flavor profile to develop and a clearer broth. With the slow cooker, you dump in go. With the stove top, you roast the onion, ginger and garlic to develop more flavor. Then you boil chicken for about 10 minutes. This helps remove the impurities from the chicken allowing for a clearer broth. Other than that (and maybe a few hours less cooking time) it’s pretty similar to the recipe I use in the slow cooker.
Cooking Tip: Be patient with the broth as you are simmering it. For the first couple hours it’s not going to to taste like much. However, at some magical point, it just turns into amazing tasting pho. At that point, which is usually about 3-4 hours into the cooking time, it’s ready.
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Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup (Pho Gâ)
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 large yellow onion, quartered
- 2 carrots, cut in 4's.
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons of fish sauce3 inch piece of ginger
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 8 star anise
- 2 cloves
- 2 black cardamon pods
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 6 pieces of fresh cilantro
- kosher salt
- Box of rice noodles. The thick kind, not the vermicelli.
- Oyster or Housin sauce
- Fish sauce
- Turn your oven on to 400F.
- Take the onion, ginger, garlic and place in the oven for about an hour. You can either wrap in aluminum foil or just place on top of the baking sheet for a more charred flavor. Just make sure you toss with some olive oil. Place in the oven for about an hour.
- While the vegetables are roasting, place the chicken in a stock pot or a large Dutch oven. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Let boil for about 10 minutes. Strain and place back into the pot.
- Once the vegetables are roasted, place in the pot with the chicken. Add water until just covered. Then add in the rest of the ingredients for the broth. Cover and simmer for 3-4 hours. At about 3 hours, go taste. At some point between 3-4 hours, you'll get the flavor you want. Then at the end of simmering, you might want to add more fish sauce for a salt flavor or more brown sugar for sweetness - or you might just want to leave it all alone.
- Once you have the flavor you want, strain the broth. I like to use cheesecloth as it helps make the broth even clearer, but it's not 100% necessary.
- The you'll want to pull apart the chicken once it's cool enough.
- Serve with rice noodles and season with whatever spices, herbs and onions you like.