Sunday, October 30, 2011

Vietnamese Pho Soup

Chicken Pho Soup
We used to live in Bellevue, WA where not far from our home was the most fabulous Vietnamese restaurant. We frequented it often or called in the big order for Chicken Pho Soup.
Now that we have moved to the desert and not one Vietnamese restaurant in town I went on the hunt to recreate it. After pouring over recipe after recipe and making many batches I found what is the closest to our favorite restaurant. Adapted from: Great site with lots of delicious healthy dishes.
For us LCing, we do not use the noodles, we add LOTS of bean sprouts to our bowl of hot soup. You'll never miss the noodles.

1 whole chicken

1 med onion-cut in half (char-see below)
3-inches of ginger-unpeeled (char-see below)

Broth Spices

2 tbl whole coriander
4 tbl whole cloves
2 whole star anise
2 tbl Splenda or sweetener of choice
2 tbl fish sauce 
small bunch cilantro- stems only-tie in bunch

Accompaniments at table
6 cups bean sprouts
4 large sprigs of fresh basil

1 jalapeno, sliced
cilantro tops-leaves and tender stems
1/2 cup shaved red onions
1/2 lime, cut into 4 wedges
Sriracha hot sauce- add to taste
Hoisin Sauce-add to taste
As I began to cook this, I thought I would skip this 1st step as most of the other Pho recipes I read did not included it however I  the others I tried did not quite taste like what I remembered. So I grudgingly did it..... I think this is what made it the winner.

  •  Place ginger and onion on baking sheet. 4" from the heating element. Set to broil on high 15 minutes. Turn them over a couple of times to char. The skin will get dark and the onion/ ginger will get soft. Let cool, rub to get charred skin off the onion.    
    Use a butter knife to scrape the skin off the ginger. Slice ginger into thick slices. 
  • In a large stockpot, fill with water and boil. With a sharp cleaver, carve the chicken breast meat off and reserve. With the rest of chicken whacking hard through the bones to get sections about 3″ big. The more bone that is exposed, the more marrow that gets in the broth (translation: rich, flavorful). You can even whack several places along the bone just to expose more marrow. When the water boils, add chicken sections (not breast) and boil on high for 5 minutes. You’ll see lots of foam and “stuff’ come up to the surface. Drain, rinse your chicken of the scum and wash your pot thoroughly. Refill with about 4 quarts of clean, cold water.
  • Add chicken, chicken breast meat, onion, ginger and all of "Broth Spices" in the pot and cover. Turn heat to high – let it come to boil, then immediately turn heat to low. Prop lid up so that steam can
    escape. After 15 minutes, remove the chicken breasts, shred with your fingers when cooled and set aside (you’ll serve shredded chicken breast with the finished soup). With a large spoon, skim the surface of any impurities in the broth. Skimming every 20 minutes ensures a clear broth. Simmer a total of 1-1/2 hours. Taste and adjust seasoning with more fish sauce and or sweetener.
  • Strain the broth, discard solids. Add shredded chicken breast and ladle broth to into each bowl.
    Have accompaniments set at table for each person to add to their bowl. 

    Serves 4

1 comment:

  1. I Love Pho - this looks like a recipe that I can handle, ha ha. I can't wait to try it!