Updated: Sep 6, 2021
This is a soup base with substance. The best part about making this broth is once you get a handle on the herbs, its a one pot deal with left overs. The broth is so delicious and can be used to make different soups (let me count the ways).
Herbs & Spices & Recipe -
4 x Cloves (whole)
2 tsp Fennel seeds
2 tsp Coriander seeds & bunch of fresh coriander
5 Star anise
1 Stick of cinnamon
8 tsp fish sauce
6 tsp white sugar
3/4 tsp salt
couple of pepper corns & some chilli flakes (optional)
(these herbs infuse the broth with the distinct Pho flavour)
1 x Chicken (whole organic)
2 x Brown Onion & BIG KNOB of Ginger ( These are aromatics that are charred first to add a hint of smokiness to the broth. A traditional and mandatory inclusion)
The magic of Pho is that while the broth looks completely unassuming, it’s actually full of complex-yet-delicate spice infused flavours. That special something-something that makes it unforgettable, and you just can’t stop eating it.
If you’re a Pho fan, you will love this chicken version because is easier to make than beef pho, no need to hunt down specific bones, just use a whole organic chicken.
This magical Pho soup broth is made the traditional Vietnamese way, using chicken and infused with spices. Using store bought stock just isn’t the same!
Essentially, there’s 3 steps:
Char onion and ginger – this provides a subtle smokey fragrance to the broth that is a signature feature of Pho. So char them well!
Simmer everything gently for 1.5 hrs to infuse the water with all those incredible broth flavourings; and
Strain, shred chicken, serve with Toppings!
See how clear the soup broth is? Beautiful! (And if only you could smell it…. those spices! It’s intoxicating!)
Char onion & ginger - Heat oil in a 6 litre over high heat. Place ginger and onion facedown, leave undisturbed for 2 minutes until they blacken. Turn and leave for another 2 minutes.
Put everything in pot - Add water and remaining Broth ingredients EXCEPT salt. Bring it a simmer, then lower heat so it's simmering VERY gently with the lid on, but open a crack
Simmer gently 1.5 hours. Scoop off scum (dirty foam) that rises to surface once or twice during the simmering, t
Strain & measure - Remove chicken, then strain broth into a clean pot - you should have 1.5 litres / 1.5 quarts. If you have more, simmer to reduce. If less, top it up with water.
Salt broth - Add salt, bring broth to a gentle simmer. Broth should be slightly on the salty side - it dilutes when you add the noodles.
Keep broth warm until ready to serve
Shred chicken meat, discard bones (use the left over chicken for salads or sandwiches, snacks or fried rice or Poke Bowls with lots of veggies.
This is a beautiful soup base for so many dishes.