This easy homemade Pho Ga recipe (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup), is quick, easy and full of flavour. You will love this authentic dish from Vietnam.
Full disclosure here: I have never had Vietnamese food before. It is not a cuisine that is big here in the UK, not in my city anyway, so it is not something that I have had the opportunity to have. I also sadly have not visited Vietnam (yet).
Being a foodie, obviously my aim is to try every cuisine out there, so when a craving for Asian food hit today, I knew that something Vietnamese had to be on the menu. There were some delicious smells coming from a neighbours house this morning and it had me craving something spicy with garlic and ginger in it. I have also been meaning to make soup all week too, so this seemed like a good combination.
Noodle soup is a bit of a staple in our house. It is quick and simple and seems to have some kind of magical power to make you feel better when you are ill and pick you up when you are feeling down. But, plain chicken noodle soup can become very dull very quickly. This is why I always stress the importance of having a well stocked spice cabinet.
Pho (pronounced fuh) is a Vietnamese noodle dish with meat, broth, herbs and spices. You may have heard of Pho Bo which is a beef noodle soup, but wanting it to be a little lighter, I went with chicken which makes it Pho Ga.
Traditionally, you would simmer beef or chicken bones for a few hours to make the stock. But really, I rarely have time for that and I definitely didn't have time for that today. I didn't even buy a stock to use, I just quickly made my own and it turned out great.
How to make Pho Ga - Serves 2:
Easy Pho Ga recipe (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup)
- 250 g chicken breast cut into thin strips
- 1.25 litre boiling water
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger finely chopped
- 4 cloves
- 1 star anise
- 1 lime (juice only)
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro)
- 2 tbsp fresh Thai basil (or normal basil)
- 1 tbsp red chilli chopped
- 1 red pepper thinly sliced
- 1 carrot grated
- 90 g beansprouts
- 1 small Chinese cabbage
- 100 g dried wholewheat noodles
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Add the oil to a large, deep pan and heat and then add the chicken and cook until done, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Put the same pan back on the heat and add the water, garlic, ginger, cloves, star anise, lime juice, fish sauce, coriander (cilantro), basil and chilli and turn the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes to form the broth. Remove the cloves and star anise - (these can sometimes be a bit tricky to find).
- Add the carrot, red pepper, beansprouts, Chinese cabbage and noodles to the broth and put the chicken back in as well. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until the noodles are cooked and the cabbage has wilted.
- Serve into bowls and then top with a little extra coriander, chopped spring onions (scallions) and a few slices of red chilli.
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