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.
Recipe by Spicie Foodie ™ at