This is a beautiful and fulfilling Vietnamese soup…..(my version anyway)……
Yum, yum, yum, yum, Yum!
Vietnamese Chicken Phở
You’ll need a really large pan to cook the chicken in a tasty broth first.
Traditionally you toast the vegetables over a direct flame. (hob or barbeque does it.) You need to hold the veg with a pair of tongs or a fork and keep turning until blackened all over. Roast them in a hot oven if this scares you too much, but this charred flavour from the direct flame is really what you need.
Serves Phở for 4…..with enough to then make a chicken salad for 4 and lots of extra luscious stock to freeze. (makes 2250 ml extra stock which I froze in 350 -500 ml containers) Use to make another Phở or other dish.
1 bulb garlic
1 bunch spring onions
big piece ginger
6 green cardamon pods
4 cinnamon sticks or cassia bark
4 star anise
½ tablespoon fennel seeds
1 whole chicken
2 teaspoons salt
2.5 cm piece Rock or 25 g palm sugar, or light brown sugar (see note below)
5 litres water
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fish Sauce (Nam pla)
Then you’ll add these flavourings at the end…..
Small white onion
4 spring onions
1 bunch fresh coriander (about 75 g with stalks)
1 small bunch fresh Vietnamese basil (about 30g with stalks) (see note below)
100 g beansprouts
Sriracha chili sauce (Here’s a good recipe for this)
1. Peel the onions and stick 3 cloves in each. Sit the onions on the flame and turn frequently until blackened all over. Carefully peel the papery outside off of the garlic, but keep the bulb whole. Do the same thing over the hot flame.
2. Next trim the spring onions and place on the flame, followed by the whole piece ginger, again turning til blackened. Cut the garlic bulb in half across it’s middle and throw into the pot with the charred onions, spring onions and ginger.
3. Crush the cardamon pods and place in a dry frying pan with the cinnamon sticks, star anise and fennel seeds. Heat the spices, tossing frequently til you get a lovely aroma wafting off of them. (don’t let them burn) Tip into the pot and place the chicken on top.
4. Add the salt and sugar then cover with the water. Bring to a boil, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface as it does. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and leave to stand for 30 minutes.
5. Carefully lift out the chicken, (it will still be hot and slippery) and drain. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve. Pour ½ of the stock into the cleaned out pan, place on heat, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes to reduce slightly. Add the whole eggs in their shell 8 minutes before the end. Hook out the eggs and set aside.
6. Whist the stock is reducing, pull the chicken meat from half of the carcass, remove the skin and using a fork in each hand shred the meat into bite size pieces.
7. Add the fish sauce and season to taste with pepper and more salt if needed.
8. Thinly slice the onion, spring onion and add to the stock. Quarter the lemon, pull the leaves from the coriander and basil and chop roughly. Add to the pot with the beansprouts and chicken and reheat. Pop the eggs back in. Stir, season to taste and serve.
What I didn’t add ‘cause I didn’t have them, but add at your pleasure…….
2 red chillies – Add them finely sliced to the broth towards end.
Sawtooth coriander (see note below)
Cooked thin rice noodles – Again add at end just enough to heat through.
Phở – I was thinking of making one, and realised I no longer remembered how to pronounce it.
Here’s a very helpful website for all you Phở loving lovers out there. Loving Phở
See below for notes on ingredients…..
Vietnamese/Thai Basil/ Holy Basil/Sweet Basil
Sriracha chili sauce