Phở Gà – vietnamese chicken noodle soup

Phở Gà

when i was in college,
maybe 18 or 19,
i dated a beautiful boy
(dated is probably too strong a word, ahem)
one with almond shaped eyes
hair silkier and blacker than mine
and he had a tendency to ignore me at the parties
where i would impatiently wait for him to look my way
but his eyes always shifted anywhere and everywhere else
to say the least,
it was a complicated relationship
one studded with embittered arguments
huffy silences
really mean answering machine messages
(yes, it was that long ago)
until one night,
middle of the night soon after the start of my 3rd year,
during a period in time when
i had gotten myself ridiculously entrenched
in yet another complicated relationship,
one that got me kicked out of the house,
i told him enough already
it was 3am
i was half asleep
and goddamnit, i had to report to work
in two and a half hours
and i put the phone back on the cradle
turned off the ringer
and washed my hands of that soap opera

Phở Gà

the thing about phở is that
it seems complicated
the broth is spice laden
you add things
you subtract things
it is never the same bowl
i myself would prefer to go out for phở
than to make it
but i found myself with a whole chicken to use
and it being soup season & all
i decided to uncomplicate it
in its most simplest
it’s chicken broth that’s been infused with
some exotic spices
maybe i’m oversimplifying
but in a time where i don’t have time
for convoluted bs
this is exactly what i can handle

Phở Gà

phở gà
adapted from wandering chopsticks

package 1-lb of Banh Pho (Vietnamese Flat Thin Rice Noodles)
1 whole chicken, about 3-4lbs
1 onion, studded with about 15 cloves
2 2″ knob of ginger
2 sticks of cinnamon
6 star anise pods
4 cardamom pods
head half a of garlic
4 carrots, scrubbed and chunked, keep the skin on
2 tsp salt
fish sauce to taste

in a small frying pan, dry fry the spices

with a creme brulee torch char the clove studded onion, garlic and ginger knobs

in an 8 quart pot add the chicken and charred vegs, and carrots

in a small spice bag add the spices and then put into pot

add water until everything is just about covered

season with salt

bring to boil and then lower temp to simmer for about 45 min – 1 hour

remove chicken and allow to cool, then shred, putting bones back into pot. cover chicken until ready to eat

meanwhile, allow soup to simmer for another hour or so (i let it go for about 3 hours)

when ready to eat, cook up noodles according to package instructions and divvy into bowls

top with shredded chicken, garnish with thinly sliced onions and scallions

carefully ladle soup into bowls

it’s even better the next day, and then the next

serves 8 – calories: 366 | fat: 6g | carbs: 41g | protein: 37g

phở gà

other noodle bowl concoctions:
morestomach – vermicelli noodle bowl
whisk & knife – beef noodle soup
i am a food blog – oxtail pho
my darling lemon thyme – spicy noodle salad with pickled vegs
use real butter – chinese soy sauce chicken
angry asian creations – wonton noodle soup
angry asian creations – shrimp pad thai
angry asian creations – singapore noodles

26 thoughts on “Phở Gà – vietnamese chicken noodle soup

  1. I do prefer going out for pho than make it at home. Never made it at home. Your pictures look so warm, the kind that makes you go under a blanket and ask for soup 🙂
    Beautiful boys never make good dates if “being beautiful” is the only thing they have. Oh how we grow! 🙂

  2. The pretty boy I dated kept trying to get me to do his homework, even though he went to school 2,000 miles away! And then he said I should buy him things since he bought me things ie. a bowl of pho! Which, at the time, only cost $3.95 in Oregon, with no sales tax. Needless to say, I did not see him again.

  3. A life lesson learned well, most all of life’s complications can be simplified. And often when they are, they’re that much more meaningful and give back. This is by far our favorite soup, and I have been searching for a simple version we can make as often as we eat it.

  4. Ah, beautiful boys get me every time too. I’m learning, though!

    This is gorgeous (maybe more so than whoever that boy was), and simplicity is best.

  5. Ahhh — a brulee torching step! So smart. Love your simple version of this soup. This sounds delicious and much easier than starting with bone broth. I always keep my chiles in the freezer, too! Do you use a 50mm? I’m looking for a new fixed lens. Hmmmm. That boy sounds like a turd. The prettiest ones maybe always are? Is it cause they know?

    1. honestly, if we had a gas stove i would’ve done it that way, cus the brulee torch got old quick.
      i use a AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D lens, it is on the cheaper side, compared to the other lenses i was looking at last year and it has really revolutionized my photography, forcing me to manually focus. i love it. (though the first few days i almost chucked it against the wall)

  6. Pho is one of my favorite things to go out for this time of year – I find it warms me to the bones, and I love the aromatic broth.

    Oh boys…why are they so ridiculous? Sometimes I’m not sure what exactly they look for, when you’ve been standing there, waiting for them to notice you, all along. Sigh…

  7. Oh, those tumultuous college days…some days I actually miss them, although I think I just wish I could go back for a complete redo. This soup is beautiful, Lan! Chicken soup never looked to stunning.

  8. LOVE this. All of it. The writing and the recipe. I don’t think you could possibly oversimplify pho enough where I wouldn’t still be enormously impressed with it — it is one of those mysterious dishes that I feel I can only get out and never recreate myself. But maybe now you’ve inspired me to try. 🙂 We’ll see. Love your blog and glad I found you!

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