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Recipe: Chicken Pho

Recipe: Chicken Pho

Oh. My. Pho. Have you ever had Chicken Pho before? Prounounced “Fuh,” it is an aromatic Vietnamese soup made with rice noodles and chicken, and it's a great dish for a gluten-free diet. The flavor combination is so simple — onions and ginger are added while cooking the chicken, and the kids get to garnish it with limes, mung bean sprouts, and fresh basil leaves. Promise me you won’t turn up your nose to the fish sauce — it’s the secret ingredient that adds a wonderful depth of flavor. (And it’s naturally gluten-free as well!)

This soup takes about 10 minutes to prep but a few hours to cook, so it’s great to make on the weekend when you’re around the house. And by the way, if you’ve never visited Charles Phan’s famous restaurant “The Slanted Door” in San Francisco, it’s worth the trip just to try his Chicken Pho recipe!


2 unpeeled yellow onions, quartered
3 1/2-inch thick slices of fresh ginger, smashed
3-4 qt cold water
2 lbs chicken wings
1 whole chicken (about 4-5 lbs), quartered
1 tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
1 lb dried rice noodles (I like the really skinny ones)
1 scallion, thinly sliced
2 cups mung bean sprouts
1 bunch basil leaves, torn
2 limes, cut into 4 wedges each
2 jalapenos, thinly sliced (optional for the kids!)



Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the onions and ginger on a baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes, or until the onions are just browned. Place the ginger and onions in an 8 qt. stockpot, and add the water, chicken wings, chicken, salt, and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Use tongs to remove the chicken from the pot and allow it to cool until it’s easy to handle with your hands. Remove the meat from the bones and refrigerate it. Return the skin and bones to the stockpot and simmer for 2 more hours. (Trust me: this is where all of the flavor comes from in the broth!) Strain the chicken broth through a fine mesh strainer into another stock pot and discard the bones. Cook over high heat until reduced to about 12 cups, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in the fish sauce. (You can make the soup ahead of time through this point and refrigerate for up to 3 days.)

Fill a large bowl with warm water. Soak the rice noodles for about 20 minutes, or until they’re pliable. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drain the noodles, then add them to the boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes. Drain the noodles and place them in 6 large bowls. Sprinkle with the scallions. Add the reserved chicken to the broth and simmer until the chicken is reheated. Ladle the broth and chicken over the noodles. Serve with the bean sprouts, basil, lime wedges, and jalapenos for the adults.

(For more ideas from Amanda on the gluten-free kitchen, see 4 Tips for Gluten-free Meals.)

Amanda Haas is a cookbook author, teacher, cooking video host, and the founder of One Family One Meal, a website that helps families menu plan, grocery shop, and cook on a budget. She's also on Twitter and Facebook.

Image Source: Courtesy of Amanda Haas

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

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