Chicken Pho – A true Vietnamese chicken soup

Alongside the Banh Mi Pho is another smash hit that helped put Vietnamese food into the spotlight across America as well as around the world. It’s a simple soup that makes use of inexpensive ingredients, and transforms it into a tasty and fragrant food staple.

This is what I ate as a child in the home, as well as at the restaurant that my parents owned. After I left, I visited several pho places but there were only a handful which are specialized on Chicken (pho ga) in Little Saigon, but nothing is better than a custom-made chicken pho recipe, and getting a taste of my mom’s cooking.

At the restaurant of my parents I’m sure it’s the same at other places, the quality of food is sacrificed to ensure commercial viability This might mean using less chicken, and greater amounts of MSG to increase the flavor. This is the reason why I’m not likely to find pho ga that is better than my mom’s homemade recipe.

The process of making pho is the same like other soups with chicken noodles (like mien ga or sup nui ga) but with variations on the flavoring and aromatics. Of course, you’ll find plenty of Vietnamese herbs that go with the soup as do others Vietnamese dishes. This soup comes with bean sprouts (I prefer it cooked), Thai basil, Ngo gai, lemon and fresh chillies.

Other Vietnames Pho: Phở Bò – Beef Pho

The broth

There are those who believe that clear broth is a crucial quality of pho, but my mom believes it doesn’t matter. The flavor is what counts. For me, a soup that is cloudy but with a killer flavor is superior to a clear, poorly made soup any time. Clarity is a nice benefit however, it is not essential.

The aromatics and spices

The most important thing is the spices and aromas you add to the broth to give it that distinctive flavor of pho. Roasting the onion and ginger increases the flavor thanks to it’s maillard reaction.

Star anise is the principal flavoring ingredient that differentiates pho from other soups and is immediately recognizes it as pho. This is the case with beef Pho as well.

The chicken

I used to consume only white meat with skin when I was a kid. Then, I realized that after college. Dark, fattier and darker chicken is the way to go. It’s essential to choose a good quality (organic whenever feasible) and chicken for this recipe. I suggest breaking or cutting the chicken to make simple eating.

How do you properly eat pho?

There’s been some disagreement about what is the “correct” way to eat the pho. Is it acceptable to include hoisin and Sriracha? A few people have noted that the use of these sauces to the pho dish is due to the increasing popularity of (less delicious) traditional food items at American eateries, as well as problems in locating fresh traditional Vietnamese ingredients, which gives the pho an authentic taste as it is consumed in America.

I’m of the belief that everyone is entitled to be creative when it comes to their food. Personally, I prefer tasting the soup the way it was intended to be enjoyed, and dip meat slices into hoisin in a dish and Sriracha as a side. Make sure to have the sauce punch every now and then and make sure the broth is exactly as it was intended to be.

If you’re looking for guidance on how to eat using chopsticks, take a look at this easy chopstick guide.

What is Pho?

Pho is an authentic Vietnamese soup made of noodles that is made from fine rice noodles different kinds of meats, such as Brisket or chicken, bean sprouts, as well as a handful of herbs.

Does chicken pho have a healthy diet?

Chicken pho is quite healthy, especially if you choose to use only low-processed ingredients, many healthy spices, aromatics, herbs and vegetables. It can be made healthier by selecting leaner cuts of meat and staying clear of processed dip sauces as well.

What does the chicken pho flavor like?

Chicken Pho is like its American counterpart, chicken soup. It’s nourishing, comforting however, it has a distinct mix of spices and aromas. It tastes more fresh since the herbs and vegetables aren’t cooked, but are added right prior to serving.

Do you know Bun Bo Hue?

Chicken Pho (Phở Gà)

This homemade Chicken Pho (Phở Gà) recipe is entirely customizable and easy to follow.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Breakfast, Soup
Cuisine vietnamese
Servings 5
Calories 590 kcal



  • 2 medium yellow or white onions that have been roasted
  • 20 g fresh ginger roasted


  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick about 2 inches
  • 2 star anise pods


  • One whole chicken, cut into half
  • 16 c of water
  • 2 1/2 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 TSP MSG or 2 Tbsp vegetarian seasoning Optional


  • 16oz (1 Pack) dried Pho noodles, small noodle thickness


  • bean sprouts , I prefer blanched
  • Thai basil
  • Lemons cut into wedges
  • ngo gai (culantro) optional
  • sliced jalapenos optional
  • hoisin sauce
  • Sriracha



  • A sheet-pan roast the aromatics on the center of the oven set at 375degF or 400degF for 15-30 mins or until the aromas are dark brown, but not completely blackened.
  • Cover the spices with foil and bake at 350 degrees in 5 mins (or roast in a skillet on at medium-low heat until lightly brown and fragrant).


  • Incorporate the spices, the aromatics as well as the soup's ingredients to an enormous stock pot and bring to a simmer at a high temperature. When it reaches a boil reduce the temperature to an extremely low temperature then cook for between 25 and 40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked to perfection. It is possible to use a thermometer to ensure that the temperature inside is 165 degrees (or the juices are clear after cutting into the meatiest part inside the bird).
  • Once the chicken is cooked, remove it and rinse it under cold water for 1 minute to cool. This will keep the chicken from turning dark. After the chicken is cool cut the meat into pieces bite-sized.
  • Rice noodles should be cooked according to the instructions on the package, but only until you're ready to serve them. Cooking the noodles typically takes around 5 minutes after boiling the water.
  • To put it together, begin by portionsing the noodles into a bowl. After that, put the soup, the chicken shredded, and other accoutrements over it. The amount of ingredients in this recipe are purely a personal one, however, you should refer to the pictures for a reference.
Keyword chicken pho, phở gà, Vietnamese chicken soup

One Response

  1. J.R Raul June 12, 2022

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