Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup: Pho your Health

Posted by on Feb 4, 2016

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  • 1 whole chicken
  • 11 or 12 cups of water

Seasonings:

  • 4 to 6 shallots, cut into thin slices
  • 6 slices of ginger, about the size of a quarter, smashed with the flat side of a knife
  • 5 whole star anise
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 1 or 2 american ginseng root or astragalus root chopped finely

Other ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of fish sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces flat rice stick noodles or vermicelli, softened in hot water by covering for 20 minutes

Accompaniments:

  • 2 cups of bean sprouts, rinsed
  • 7 minced scallion greens and stalks
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup Thai holy basil or sweet basil leaves, rinsed and shredded
  • 1 lime cut in 6 wedges
  • 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, cut into thin slices
  • Other veggies that would complete the soup

Preparation:

  1. Put the chicken, water, and seasonings in a large pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling turn the heat down to simmer and cook for 1-2 hours or until the chicken is done and falling off the bone. Remove the chicken and let it cool in an alternate bowl. Strain and discard the ginger, star anise and cinnamon sticks. Add the fish sauce, black pepper, and white scallion stalks– leaving the heat on at a low simmer.
  2. In another large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to boil. drop the noodles into the water and stir to prevent them from sticking together. Heat until boiling and cook for 1 minute, or until just tender. Drain in a colander and rinse under warm water, removing any starch.
  3. Using your hand or a knife remove the chicken from the bones and cut or shred into strips or large bite size pieces. Ladle equal portions of the noodles into bowls. Add bean sprouts, chicken, and ladle broth into the bowls. Sprinkle the scallions, cilantro, and basil on top. Serve with lime wedges and hot pepper for added flavor and zest!

This soup serves six and is a powerful immune stimulant, nourishing elixir, and warming health tonic. Tofu can be substituted for the chicken and tamari/soy sauce for the fish sauce for vegetarians. Enjoy!!!

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