Making pho from scratch is easier than you may think, it just needs some time. I made the broth for this pho with a combination of chicken and pork bones, and I thought it came out beautifully flavorful and light. Fish balls are my favorite pho topping, but thin slices of chicken or beef poached in the broth would also be delicious. Definitely experiment with your favorite type of broth and toppings to find your favorite bowl of pho!
Chicken Pho Recipe
Active time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 3.5-4 hours
For the broth:
2.5 pounds chicken and pork bones (or just chicken bones)
1 onion, peeled and halved
1 stick cinnamon
1 tbsp coriander seds
1/2 tbsp black peppercorns
5 star anise
1 carrot (about 2.5oz)
3 stalks celery (about 5oz)
1 daikon radish cut into rounds or 5 small round daikon radishes, halved (about 1 pound)
3.5 quarts filtered water
Sugar (preferably chinese rock sugar, see picture below)
For the toppings:
1 package dried rice noodles (banh pho kho)
Vietnamese fish balls or meat balls, or thinly sliced poached chicken or beef
Thinly sliced onion
Sliced green onion
1. Add bones and enough water to cover to a large stock pot (the water doesn’t need to be filtered). Bring to a boil over high heat, then pour out into a colander, discarding the water. Clean the pot and place the boiled bones back in.
* This step ensures a nice clear broth at the end, but is not strictly necessary.
2. Meanwhile, heat a large cast iron pan or grill over high heat and char the onions and ginger on all sides until blackened, about 10 minutes.
3. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and add the cinnamon, coriander seeds, peppercorns, and star anise. Toast the spices, moving the pan constantly, until very fragrant, about 5 minutes.
4. Add the onions, ginger, toasted spices, carrot, celery, and daikon to the bones. Add enough filtered water to cover; for me, this was about 3.5 quarts. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and simmer 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
5. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer into another clean pot, discarding the solids. Season the broth to taste with fish sauce and rock sugar.
6. To assemble the pho, prepare the rice noodles according to the package directions. Add desired amount of noodles to a large bowl, and ladle in the hot broth. Top with fishballs or meat as desired, and serve with plates of cilantro, thai basil, onions, green onions, bean sprouts, lime wedges, fish sauce, and hoisin sauce.
Pile on your favorite toppings and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Rasa Malaysiaby