This Vietnamese-style chicken pho recipe is a tasty twist on the classic. Full of aromatic flavours, it’s great for the winter months.
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Cook the stock mixture for a further 5 mins. Strain into a heatproof bowl. Discard solids. Stir in fish sauce and lime juice. Divide noodles and chicken among serving bowls. Ladle over the soup. Sprinkle with coriander leaves.
Serve with lime wedges, sliced red chilli, bean sprouts, sliced spring onion and mint leaves
Smart swap: You can use 1 tbs lemongrass paste here instead of the lemongrass stems.
Comfort is the word that best describes noodle soups, and the Vietnamese dish, pho, delivers just that plus plenty of aromatic spices to give the beloved dish unforgettable flavour. Beef pho is known to be the “original” pho and is said to have been born in the early 20th century. Traditional pho recipes are made using beef soup bones and other cuts of beef, gently simmered for hours with spices such as cinnamon, star anise and cloves, to name a few. The result is a simple yet richly flavoured broth that’s served with rice noodles and toppings such as bean sprouts, mint, Thai basil, red chilli and coriander. Its equally tasty - and quicker to make - counterpart is the pho ga, or chicken noodle soup, and the broth is made with a whole chicken or cuts of chicken. With a few clever short cuts, you can enjoy this style of noodle soup in no time.
One of the cheats for this pho soup recipe is using good-quality chicken stock, and we’re using 6 cups (1.5L) of salt-reduced chicken stock. Two bruised lemongrass stems, a 5cm-piece of ginger that’s peeled and cut into matchsticks, 3 whole star anise and 1 cinnamon stick are the aromatic ingredients that will give you a wonderful fragrance inspired by a classic Vietnamese pho recipe. If you can’t get hold of lemongrass stems, use 1 tbs lemongrass paste instead. You’ll also need 2 large chicken breast fillets, ½ bunch of coriander, leaves and stems separated, plus 2 tbs fish sauce and 2 tbs lime juice. And no recipe for pho is complete without rice noodles.
Firstly, cook the noodles in a saucepan of boiling water following packet directions. Refresh the noodles under cold water then drain and set aside.
Then combine the chicken stock, lemongrass, ginger, star anise, cinnamon, chicken and coriander stems in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring this mixture to a simmer and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside for 5 minutes to cool, then shred using 2 forks.
If you’re keen to try beef pho, you could substitute the chicken stock for beef, or use a ready- made Vietnamese-style stock, and use thinly sliced steak instead of shredded chicken. Try our quick beef pho for a tasty variation.
To further develop the flavours, cook the stock mixture for another 5 minutes, then strain into a heatproof bowl. Discard the solids. Stir in the fish sauce and lime juice for extra flavour. When you’re ready to serve, divide the noodles and chicken among serving bowls and ladle over the soup. Sprinkle with coriander leaves. Serve some lime wedges on the side to squeeze over the dish, plus some sliced red chilli, bean sprouts, sliced spring onion and mint leaves to garnish.
If you love the freshness of Vietnamese cooking, we’ve got plenty of inspired recipes for you to try. Start with this Vietnamese-style spring roll salad, perfect for weeknights, then prepare an easy lunchtime favourite, chilli chicken banh mi. This light and fresh prawn salad is ready in just 10 minutes, making it ideal for a quick lunch. And get happy hour started with this crowd-pleasing Vietnamese-style iced coffee.
Bowled over by Asian-style noodle soups? Try this very comforting Japanese-style pork noodle soup or this cheat’s-ramen, ready in just 15 minutes. Dumplings and noodles are a winning combo in this Chinese-style long and short soup. And for a delicious fusion for flavours, try this Thai chicken and ramen noodle soup.