It’s Pho time

My friend Thu Yen will forgive me if I’m making a Pho pas, but that’s my interpretation of my favourite Vietnamese soup – I also hope she’ll forgive the easy puns!

I work on a basis of chicken broth and noodles, but I like adding vegetables for colour and taste. I usually include a green – pak choi, spinach, kale, watercress -, and then carrots and peppers. I serve with soy beans sprouts, lime, fresh coriander, spring onions, fresh grated ginger, and fresh chilli.

It’s an all-in-one meal dish – meat, carb, veggies – and it’s very lean as the only fat there is comes from the chicken in the broth, which is nutritious.

2 people

  • 2 carrots
  • noodles of your choice
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 2 mushrooms
  • 1 pepper
  • 1 star anise

For the broth

  • chicken carcass with wings
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 celery stick
  • salt and pepper


  • 1 handful coriander
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 lime
  • a small bowl soy beans
  • fresh ginger
  • fresh chilli or hot sauce

You need to start with the broth. I do mine in the pressure cooker but you can cook it in a big pot. Use a chicken carcass with wings if you can, the more meat you get, the better the broth will taste. Add the roughly sliced carrots, celery, one clove garlic and whole onion and salt and pepper. Simmer until the meat falls off the bones. When cooked, remove the carcass and let cool down a bit. Then pick the meat and set aside. Strain the broth.

TIP: whenever I buy a whole chicken, I remove legs and breasts and then make a broth with the carcass and freeze it for Pho.

Slice the mushrooms and pepper, and grate the carrots. In the boiling broth, add the star anise, pepper and noodles. Let the noodles cook 5 to 8 minutes depending on type.

Meanwhile prepare your toppings: chop the coriander and spring onion, slice the lime in quarters, slice the chilli – careful there, protect your fingers – and grate the ginger. Arrange them in bowls.

Finally add the chicken, spinach, carrots, mushroom to your broth, boil for a few minutes and serve in big bowls.

Now it’s Pho time, enjoy!


2 responses to “It’s Pho time

  1. Wow, it looks so good, warm and lovely to have when it is snowing outside! And I really won’t mind! You are talented cook! And Pho adding vegetables is exactly the way of Pho in the South of Vietnam.

    • thank you Thu Yen! great to know I have your seal of approval! I’ll have to finally go to Vietnam one day, the food is one of my favourite. If the weather continues like this there will be plenty of Pho this year.

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