How to Make Authentic Chicken Pho at Home

Ahoy, my culinary comrades! Today, I have a recipe that will undoubtedly transport your taste buds straight to the exotic and enchanting land of Vietnam. Get ready to sail off in a world of flavors with my traditional Chicken Pho recipe!

Pho (pronounced “fuh”) is a popular Vietnamese noodle soup that warms the soul and fills the stomach with comfort. This soup is rich in spices and aroma, with a broth that’s simultaneously hearty and refreshing. If you’re a fan of Vietnamese cuisine, you’re probably familiar with this beloved dish. But if you haven’t tried it yet, today is your lucky day!

I have handpicked every ingredient in this recipe for an authentic and memorable dining experience. From fragrant lemongrass to crunchy bean sprouts, from succulent chicken to aromatic ginger, every bite is an explosion of flavors that will tantalize your senses. And don’t forget the fresh coriander, lime wedges, and sliced chili peppers that add a touch of zest and color to this dish.

But hold on tight because we’re just getting started! Whether you’re new to the kitchen or an experienced cook, I’ve got you covered with some easy-to-follow instructions that guarantee perfection every time. And if you have an instant pot or pressure cooker, this recipe will be ready in a snap!

Are you ready to indulge in some authentic Vietnamese cuisine? Leave behind the mundane flavors of bland food forever and come aboard my ship for an unforgettable journey through your taste buds!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Chicken Pho
Chicken Pho

Friends, have I got a recipe for you. If you’re a fan of Vietnamese cuisine and you haven’t tried chicken pho yet, then boy howdy are you missing out! Let me tell you why this recipe is the bee’s knees.

First off, folks, it’s all about those flavors. This soup is packed with all sorts of exotic spices like lemongrass, ginger, and star anise. And don’t even get me started on the savory chicken broth.

But that’s not all, oh no sirree. We’ve got some serious texture game going on here, too. Crunchy bean sprouts and tangy lime wedges are just the tip of the iceberg. You can even toss in some ginkgo nuts or fresh coriander if you’re feeling fancy.

And here’s the kicker: this recipe is just plain easy. Don’t let those complex flavors fool ya – with an instant pot or pressure cooker, you can whip up a batch in no time flat. Plus, with simple ingredients like raw chicken, garlic cloves, and fish sauce, you won’t break the bank either.

So trust me on this one, folks – if you’re looking for something traditional and delicious to serve up to your dinner guests (or just to enjoy on a chilly night), this authentic Vietnamese chicken pho noodle soup is the way to go.

Ingredient List

“Get ready to slurp up the goodness with a hot bowl of chicken pho!”

Here’s what you’ll need to make Vietnamese Chicken Pho:

Broth Ingredients

  • 1 whole raw chicken or 1 rotisserie chicken
  • 2 yellow onions, halved and charred
  • 3 garlic cloves, charred
  • 2 ginger roots, sliced lengthwise and charred
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 dried scallops (optional)
  • 10 cups of water

Seasonings and Garnishes

  • fish sauce (for seasoning)
  • salt (for seasoning)
  • sugar (for seasoning)
  • fresh lime wedges
  • fresh coriander/cilantro leaves and stems
  • bean sprouts
  • sliced spring onions/scallions
  • sliced red chili pepper

Noodle Soup Ingredients

  • rice noodles, soaked in warm water for at least an hour before using

Note: For a faster version, use an Instant Pot to pressure cook the chicken broth within half the time of the traditional stove-top method. Be careful not to overcook the chicken which can dry it out.

The Recipe How-To

“Experience a taste of Vietnam in every spoonful!”

Alright folks, it’s time to get cooking! Before we dive in, I want to remind you of one thing: the key to a successful Chicken Pho is in the broth. Take your time with it and you’ll be rewarded with a bowl of a warm, flavorful and comforting noodle soup!

For the broth:

  • 1 whole raw chicken
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and charred
  • 4 garlic cloves, peel on and charred
  • 3 inches of gingerroot, sliced and charred
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 dried scallops (optional)
  • 1 cinnamon stick or some ground star anise
  • 1-2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Salt to taste

For the toppings:

  • Bean sprouts
  • Fresh coriander leaves
  • Spring onions, sliced diagonally
  • A handful of ginkgo nuts (optional)
  • Lime wedges
  • Red chili pepper

For the noodles:

400g dried rice noodles, cooked according to package instructions

Step 1. Clean the chicken

Remove the giblets from the chicken cavity (if any) and rinse it under cold water until the water runs clear.

Step 2. Char the aromatics

Set your oven to broil. Place onion halves, garlic cloves with peel on and ginger slices on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Broil them for about 5 minutes or until they start to blacken. Flip everything over and broil for another 5 minutes.

Step 3. Add all broth ingredients into your pot

Add the charred onions & ginger into your Instant Pot along with fresh water, coriander seeds, cinnamon stick or star anise, dried scallops (if using), fish sauce & salt.

Place your whole pot chicken and add more water until it covers the chicken.

Step 4. Pressure cook the broth

Set the Instant Pot to PRESSURE COOK for 35 minutes. When it has finished cooking, let it naturally release pressure for 15 minutes.

Step 5. Remove chicken and strain broth

Remove the chicken and let it cool before shredding. Strain the liquid through a sieve or cheesecloth and discard any solids.

Step 6. Assemble your Pho Bowls!

Cook your noodles according to package instructions. Divide them into bowls, add shredded chicken on top, then pour hot broth over noodles and chicken.

Top with sliced spring onions, bean sprouts, fresh coriander, and ginkgo nuts (if using). Squeeze lime wedges over the top of everything.

Now you can enjoy the warmth of this traditional Vietnamese soup in no time!

Substitutions and Variations

“Warm your soul with this hearty and healthy chicken pho.”

When experimenting in the kitchen, substitutions and variations can be your best friends! Here are a few ways to switch up this Chicken Pho recipe to make it your own:

– Meat Variations: If you’re not in the mood for chicken, you can use beef or even tofu instead. For beef, you could try thinly sliced steak (eye of round or sirloin work great), or brisket. And for tofu, I recommend using firm or extra firm tofu that has been marinated in soy sauce, garlic, and ginger before adding it to the soup.

– Vegetarian Broth: For a vegetarian version of this dish, you can swap out the chicken broth with vegetable broth. Add some extra veggies to the mix to make sure you’re getting plenty of nutrients and flavor.

– Spicy Level: If you’re not a fan of spicy food, you can omit the red chili pepper altogether. Or if you like things really hot, try adding some Sriracha sauce on top of your finished bowl.

– Noodle Variations: The noodle is a crucial element of any pho dish. But if rice noodles are not your thing, try using noodles made from sweet potato starch, mung bean starch or even spaghetti! Though keep in mind these substitutions may alter the overall flavor and texture of the soup.

– Broth Flavor Enhancements: To enhance the flavor of the broth use spices like star anise, cinnamon sticks, or dried scallops. These ingredients will add an extra dimension of flavor that’ll make your Homemade Pho Recipe more authentic.

Whichever substitutions or variations you decide to go with, remember to have fun with it and experiment until the recipe tastes exactly how you imagine it will be!

Serving and Pairing

“A Vietnamese classic that’s a must-try for all foodies out there!”

Ah, the moment of truth has arrived! With your steaming hot bowl of delicious Chicken Pho in front of you, you may begin to wonder what would perfectly complement this traditional Vietnamese dish. Fear not, my dear foodie, as I’ve got some recommendations that will make your taste buds dance a jig.

Firstly, it’s imperative to have an assortment of fresh herbs and veggies on standby. These do wonders to elevate the flavors of your Chicken Pho soup. Bean sprouts, lime wedges, fresh coriander, and thinly sliced red chili peppers are perfect for adding a refreshing crunch and a pop of vibrant colors to your soup.

Additionally, don’t forget to pour some fish sauce over the soup as it puts the extra oomph in Vietnamese cuisine. The salty umami flavor will balance out any sweetness and acidity from the broth. While typically not a go-to condiment for some folks, I implore you to try it at least once- it’s amazing!

When it comes to pairing beverages with Chicken Pho soup, there are various options available. For instance, iced coffee with condensed milk is a popular drink in Vietnam and pairs nicely with slightly sweet soup dishes. However, if caffeine isn’t your thing or if you’re trying to cut back on it for some reason- coconut water, iced tea (either plain or sweetened), or even ginger ale all work wonderfully.

I hope these recommendations have inspired you to explore your creativity when it comes to pairing side dishes and drinks with this delicious Vietnamese recipe. Don’t be afraid to try new things as there are no rules in culinary exploration except that food cooked with love always tastes better!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“The perfect dish to warm up on a chilly day, made with love and fresh ingredients.”

Now, let’s talk about one of my favorite parts of cooking – make-ahead tips! I’m a big believer in meal prep and it’s great to know that you can make this chicken pho ahead of time for your next busy week.

Here’s what I recommend: after making the recipe, separate the broth and chicken from the noodles and veggies. Store them separately in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days. This makes reheating and serving a breeze!

When you’re ready to eat, simply reheat the broth and chicken together in a pot over medium heat until heated through. You can also reheat the noodles and veggies using the microwave or by dipping them quickly in hot water.

One thing to keep in mind is that pho tastes best when it’s made fresh, so don’t store it for too long or it may become less flavorful. However, if you do have leftovers or want to meal prep, this make-ahead tip will save you time and energy during the week.

So go ahead, make a big batch of this delicious Vietnamese chicken pho and enjoy it throughout the week without any worries!

Tips for Perfect Results

“Satisfy your cravings and spice up your dinner with this flavorful chicken pho recipe.”

Now, we all know that every great chef has a few tricks up their sleeves. So, let me share with you some tips to help you make the perfect chicken pho – whether you’re a seasoned pro or a novice in the kitchen.

First and foremost, always use fresh ingredients. This is especially important when it comes to the herbs and spices that create the distinct flavors of Vietnamese cuisine. Don’t skimp on the lime, fresh coriander, and red chili pepper. And make sure that your lemongrass, garlic clove, and gingerroot are all fresh to create that fragrant base for your broth.

Secondly, don’t be afraid to add your own twists on this traditional dish. While chicken pho typically includes bean sprouts and ginkgo nuts as toppings, feel free to experiment with different garnishes like sliced jalapeno or thinly sliced cucumber for a refreshing crunch.

Thirdly, if you don’t have time to make a homemade broth from scratch, use store-bought chicken stock as a shortcut. It will work just fine in a pinch.

Fourthly, if you have an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, you can speed up the cook time significantly without sacrificing flavor. Add your raw chicken, onions, gingerroot, garlic cloves, coriander seeds and dried scallops to the pot with water and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Then add star anise, cinnamon stick, fish sauce and soy sauce – let it simmer for another few minutes for even more flavor depth.

Lastly, when serving your chicken pho soup be generous with the fresh herbs and lime wedges. They will help cut through the richness of the broth while adding brightness and freshness.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to whip up an authentic Vietnamese chicken pho that is easy and delicious every time!


Now that we have walked through how to make this delicious Chicken Pho recipe, let’s take a moment to address some frequently asked questions. From the best substitutions for ingredients to how to store and reheat your leftover soup, this FAQ section will provide all the answers you need to get the most out of your Vietnamese Chicken Pho experience. So let’s dive in!

What are the secret ingredients in pho?

The inclusion of dried peanut worms, also known as sa sung, has been known to elevate the flavor profile of pho dishes.

What gives pho its distinct flavor?

When it comes to pho, the essence of its flavors can be boiled down to a few key ingredients. Charred onions and ginger add a touch of sweetness, smokiness, and pungency, while star anise, cinnamon, and cloves provide a fragrant aroma. These spices are complemented by the savory umami qualities of fish sauce and the sweet notes of sugar. The dish is then customizable with a variety of stir-ins.

Is chicken pho broth good for you?

Pho, a popular Vietnamese dish, contains ingredients that are packed with crucial nutrients like calcium, iron, and phosphorus. These elements play a vital role in preserving healthy dentin and tooth enamel. Some proponents of pho also believe that it can assist in the remineralization of teeth.

Is pho broth the same as chicken broth?

Crafting a flavorful pho broth follows a similar process to making chicken or beef stock, but involves specific Vietnamese components such as star anise, cinnamon, ginger, soy sauce, and fish sauce.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this chicken pho recipe is not only delicious and easy to make but also authentic and traditional. It captures the essence of Vietnamese cuisine with its use of fresh ingredients such as lemongrass, ginger, and star anise. Moreover, it offers a variety of substitutions and variations to cater to your taste preferences. Whether you are using raw chicken or rotisserie chicken, this recipe makes for a flavorful and satisfying soup that can be enjoyed on any occasion.

So why settle for less when you can indulge in an authentic Vietnamese chicken noodle soup right in the comfort of your home? With the help of an instant pot or pressure cooker, you can have a steaming bowl of pho ready in no time. The addition of lime, fresh coriander, bean sprouts, and red chili pepper will elevate the flavors and allow you to enjoy a wholesome meal that is both fulfilling and nutritious.

All things considered, this chicken pho recipe is definitely worth a try. Its blend of fragrant spices and savory broth will leave you coming back for more. So go ahead and give it a go – whether you are an experienced cook or just starting out, this recipe is sure to impress!

Chicken Pho

Chicken Pho Recipe

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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Calories 111.5 kcal


  • 2 ounces rice noodles
  • 1 piece gingerroot
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
  • 3 pints low-fat chicken broth
  • 4 ounces raw chicken, sliced in strips
  • 1 red chili pepper, finely sliced
  • 2 ounces bean sprouts, blanched in boiling water
  • 1 ounce ginkgo nuts, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 lime


  • Cook the noodles in boiling salted water for four minutes.
  • Strain and set aside.
  • Sauté the ginger on a low heat for 15 minutes.
  • Cool and slice.
  • Add the ginger, garlic, spring onions, fish sauce and lemon grass to the stock and simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Strain and reserve.
  • Add the chicken pieces to the strained stock and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Reheat the noodles by pouring over boiling water.
  • Drain and divide the noodles between the soup bowls.
  • Pour over the soup.
  • Garnish each bowl with some of the sliced chili, bean sprouts, nuts, coriander and a wedge of lime.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 76gCalories: 111.5kcalCarbohydrates: 11.5gProtein: 4.2gFat: 5.6gSaturated Fat: 1.6gCholesterol: 15.1mgSodium: 727.5mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1.6g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Chicken, Meat, Poultry
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