Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup: Pho Ga

Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup: Pho Ga Recipe by @SpicieFoodie | #phosoup #pho #chicken #soup #vietnamese

To me there is nothing quite like a big warming bowl of soup on a chilly autumn day. From classics such as chicken noodle to Korean jjigae and simple blended soups, I love them all. One soup that sits on my top 5 favorites is Vietnamese Pho. This soup has a clear broth that is made from aromatic spices and either beef or chicken bones. There are many variations but most commonly the broth is served with rice noodles, fresh fragrant herbs, chili peppers, been sprouts, limes wedges and sliced or shredded meat. In the case of beef pho, it is thin raw slices of beef that are served on top of the soup. Chicken pho is topped with cooked and sliced or shredded pieces of chicken.

Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup: Pho Ga Recipe by @SpicieFoodie | #phosoup #pho #chicken #soup #vietnamese

The first time I tasted pho was on a cool spring day in Paris. We had been out exploring the famous Latin Quarter and were in need of food to warmup our bodies. After weaving through quiet streets away from the tourists we stumbled upon a quaint Vietnamese restaurant. Had it no been for a small window, where we could see a young girl enjoying a big bowl of soup, we might not have noticed the door lead to a restaurant. I had never eaten Vietnamese food but my husband had and he was eager to have me try a new cuisine. Of course I didn’t hesitate and was rather excited to try it out.

Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup: Pho Ga Recipe by @SpicieFoodie | #phosoup #pho #chicken #soup #vietnamese

It is safe to say that with that first sip of pho I fell in love. I like it so much that for a period that’s all I wanted to eat when we ate out. My poor husband got so burned out on pho that I had to give up eating it for a few months. Luckily now I know how to make my own pho so whenever the craving strikes I can whip up a huge pot. Here’s my recipe and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup: Pho Ga Recipe by @SpicieFoodie | #phosoup #pho #chicken #soup #vietnamese

5.0 from 6 reviews
Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup: Pho Ga
Warm up with this aromatic Vietnamese soup that is good for your body and soul.
Recipe type: Soup, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Serves: 4
Broth Ingredients:
  • 1 chicken carcass
  • 2 chicken wings
  • 2 chicken breast, skinless
  • water
  • large pot
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut in half and do not peel
  • 1 large piece of fresh ginger, do not peel
Broth Spices:
  • 1 tsp. coriander seed
  • 2 green cardamom pods, bruised
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 whole cloves
Additional Ingredients and Garnishes:
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. fish sauce
  • rice noodles cooked according to package instructions
  • lime wedges
  • fresh cilantro leaves
  • fresh mint leaves
  • scallions sliced
  • sliced chile
  • bean sprouts, I don't usually add them
Start the broth:
  1. Place chicken pieces and water in a pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Use a colander to drain the chicken and discard the broth. Set the chicken pieces aside. Rinse/wash the pot out or have a new clean pot ready to use. Next rinse off the chicken pieces then place back inside the pot.
Charring the onion and ginger:
  1. The ginger and onion need to be charred. Place them both over an open flame/gas stove flame, or on top of a very hot griddle, or they can also be charred under the broiler setting in the oven. Turn the onion and ginger to char evenly throughout. (I used an open flame and it took me about 8 minutes.) Set aside to cool down.
Toast the spices:
  1. In a clean pan dry roast the spices to bring out the scents and flavors. Roast for 2 minutes stirring often to prevent burning. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
Now back to the charred ginger and onion.
  1. Peel the onions, and using a knife gently scrape away the charred ginger skin. Cut the ginger into 4 chunks and use the flat edge of the knife to bruise the ginger.
The final broth:
  1. Place the ginger, onions, cooled spices into the pot with the chicken pieces. (Alternatively the spices may be placed inside a spice bag before putting in pot.) Add 2 liters or about 8 cups of water to the pot. Then add the 1 tsp granulated sugar and 2 tbsp. fish sauce. Cover and bring to a boil, once boiling reduce heat down to medium low and leave a small crack to allow steam to escape. Simmer the soup for at least an hour, longer if time allowed. I simmer my pho for about 2-3 hours. The longer the better.
  1. Once the soup has finished simmering, strain and discard the spices and carcass -- NOT THE BROTH. Thinly slice or shred the chicken breast. Add some cooked rice noodles to the soup bowls then ladle the chicken broth over the noodles. You can either serve the additional garnishes on the side so everyone can add their own or top the soup with them.


Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup: Pho Ga Recipe by @SpicieFoodie | #phosoup #pho #chicken #soup #vietnamese

Don’t be intimidated by the long ingredient list and steps involved, it’s much easier than it looks in the recipe. Once you’ve done it you’ll see how fast and easy it is. The most effort on your part will be having to wait until the broth has finished simmering. But trust me it’s worth the wait.

Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup: Pho Ga Recipe by @SpicieFoodie | #phosoup #pho #chicken #soup #vietnamese

Have a great day and stay warm with a big bowl of pho!


Yummy Pics: A Food Blogger's Guide to Better Photos, Photography eBook by Spicie Foodie



  1. says

    This is such a flavourful soup! Loved the herbs that went into it. The first photograph is so beautiful! Thanks for sharing the recipe Nancy

  2. says

    I have to tell you that I am usually so taken aback by the stunning photos..I look at them first and then go read..These photos are sublime.
    I love these types of soup..Thank you.

  3. says

    What a good looking and healthy soup. I know the ingredients can get intimidating but I know it’s something we all have in our pantry and it’s always nice to make it home. Thanks for the reminder, ofcourse pinning it.

  4. says

    This is one of my very favorite soups, and it’s the one I go to whenever I have a sniffle. (The spicier, the better!) Yours makes me want a bowl right now! :)

  5. says

    I was in Vietnam in April and this post brings back great memories of such good food. Pho is so simple, but so very delicious! Your version looks absolutely perfect! Wonderful post, Nancy!

  6. says

    I actually like eating this dish at home… I cook all the ingredients. I am not a big fan of putting the raw beef into the soup (like at the restaurants)… freaks me out even though I know it gets cooked. I’m a big fan of all the garnishes. :)

  7. says

    There are very few dishes that I can remember the first time I tasted it, but like you, I do remember the first time I had pho. It was in California and I was hooked on the first bite. Once the weather gets cold, I could eat it every day. I’ve never made it so I’m thrilled that you shared this wonderful recipe! It’s a keeper!

  8. Sassandsoul says

    I am a lover of Vietnamese food. Always have been I was soooo excited when I came across this recipe. Currently have the broth simmering on the stove. Garnishes are ready. Can’t wait for dinner!

  9. lola says

    Have you ever been to the Sapa Market in Praha? There is a huge Vietnamese community there and a pho restaurant that offers one of the best bowls of beef pho I’ve ever had in my life (im Vietnamese and often go back to visit). The pho in this restaurant is far better than the ones I’ve had in Ho Chi Minh city. The restaurant is called Pho Quynh Anh it’s located all the way in the end of the market.

  10. jamie says

    We made this recipe last night. Followed the directions closely but not exact and it was delicious. We cooked it for about 2 hours and made somen noodles to put the broth over. We added a little salt and some extra water.

    • says

      Hi Jamie! That’s great that you made my pho and added your personal touch — cooking is not a precise science and it’s all about making dishes our own. Thank you!

  11. Shanti says

    So good! Even my picky 9-year-old son said it tasted like real pho!!! I actually used homemade chicken broth I already had and started with the last step, adding the spices and charred onion and ginger.
    Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful recipe!!!

    • says

      Hi Shanti! I’m glad to hear my recipe received the approval of a 9 year old.:) That’s great that you used your homemade chicken broth, it saved you some time.

  12. says

    Making this right now and it’s smelling heavenly. I’ve experimented with lots of recipes for this soup, so excited to try yours! Gorgeous photos as usual. :)

  13. louise says

    I made this yesterday and It tasted so delicious. I am going to make this again tomorrow for our new years day dinner…Thanks for sharing the recipe! :)


  1. […] During the course of the 5-6 hour lesson, I learnt how to make pho ga (chicken pho), steamed rice rolls with meat, barbecued pork skewers and fried spring rolls with pork and shrimp. I actually learnt to appreciate pho more than I already do… The number of steps you take to achieve the rich, complexity of the broth is absolutely maddening. I remember having to grill onion, shallots, ginger (with skins on) over a direct flame until the skins are charred, toasting spices (cloves, star anise, cumin seed, cardamon, cinnamon stick) on a dry pan to release their fragrances, adding them to a spice bag, and submerging them in boiling hot water with a chicken carcass, among other steps… I found a pretty detailed online recipe if you’re interested, from Spicie Foodie! […]

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