Easy Chicken Pho

If Ramen is winter in a bowl, then Pho is summer – it’s lighter, fresher and spicier. I LOVE it, and turns out that you can make it very easily at home – which is amazing because it means I can slurp to my hearts content.

…fancy something steamy?

If there’s anything positive that came out of 2020 for me (…other than my daughter, obvs!), then it has to be my discovery of Pho (or “Fuh”). It has to be said that this sudden, oh so steamy romance happened very early on in 2020 when my husband took me to a Vietnamese restaurant in Cardiff (called Pho, what else?) for a belated Valentine’s Day treat – ironically our last “date night” for the rest of 2020 and, now that Elsie’s come along, forever quite possibly. I was adamant that nothing could replace Ramen in my book when it came to bowls of slurpy, brothy, noodley goodness – but oh how wrong I was. If Ramen is winter in a bowl, then Pho is summer – it’s lighter, fresher and spicier. Reader, I fell in love, and when I discovered that Blue Dragon made an instant Pho pack and that I could make it relatively painlessly at home, then it was pretty much all I wanted to eat for the rest of the year.

Until my local supermarket pulled the packs. Disaster. I was left with two options; either I could quit my Pho affair (pho-k off), or I could learn to make it myself. Initially I was skeptical; didn’t it take hours and hours to create the broth? Plus, didn’t it require a load of ingredients that were impossible to find in Sainsbizzles? Not so, my friend. Turns out that you can make it very easily at home – which is amazing because it means I can slurp to my hearts content.

I’ve got into the habit of buying a roast chicken most weeks now and clawing as much use out of the carcass as I can; it tends to speed up cooking and add a deeper flavour to my dishes. I use the leftover meat in curries and stir-frys, sprinkle the crisped up chicken skins as a garnish and use the bones to make chicken stock. All these things can be used to make a wicked pho, sure, but you can get almost just as good a result from using a pack of chicken stock and some shop bought pre-cooked roast or rotisserie chicken. Rejoice!

Easy Chicken Pho

serves 2
  • 300g cooked roast chicken, shredded
  • 1l good quality chicken stock
  • 1 banana shallot, sliced
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 tsp ginger paste
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 dried lemon grass stalks
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp palm sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • handful of beansprouts
  • 4 spring onions, sliced
  • rice noodles

to serve:

  • crispy chilli oil
  • fresh chopped coriander
  • crispy chicken skins
  • lime wedge

Welsh Food Bloggers - Easy Pho Recipe - The Cardiff Cwtch
  1. In a deep wok or pot, gently heat the vegetable oil and fry the shallot until golden. Add the garlic and ginger pastes, as well as the Chinese five spice, and then fry until aromatic.
  2. Pour in the chicken stock, then add the star anise, lemongrass, coriander seeds, chilli flakes, palm sugar and fish sauce. Bring to the boil and then cover and allow to gently simmer for a good half hour. While you’re waiting, cook the noodles and then serve them up into two waiting bowls.
  3. Sieve the broth into a fresh pot, then add the carrots, bean sprouts and spring onions. Simmer for 5 minutes, then serve up the pho – pouring it into the waiting bowl over the noodles.
  4. Garnish with crispy chilli oil, plenty of chopped coriander, crispy chicken skins and a lime wedge.
  5. Slurp away! 🙂

Have a pho-nominal week everyone! (…I’m done, promise!)

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