Chicken Pho


Charles Phan and his children adore this soup, called pho, which has an intense chicken flavor accented by aromatic roasted onion and ginger — they eat it for breakfast or lunch at least four times a week. Like his mom, Phan adds a large pinch of sugar to the broth to balance the pungent fish sauce.

Chicken Pho

Diana Chistruga

Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 30 mins
6 servings


  • 2 unpeeled yellow onions, quartered

  • 3 (1/2-inch-thick) slices of fresh ginger, smashed

  • 4 quarts cold water

  • 3 pounds chicken bones or chicken wings

  • One 3 1/2-pound chicken, quartered

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 1/4 cup fish sauce

  • 1 pound dried rice noodles

  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced

  • 1 pound mung bean sprouts

  • 1/2 cup torn basil leaves

  • 2 limes, cut into wedges

  • 2 jalapeños, thinly sliced

  • Chile-garlic sauce and hoisin sauce, for serving


  1. Chicken Pho

    Diana Chistruga


  2. Chicken Pho

    Diana Chistruga

    Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put the onions and ginger on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned.

  3. Chicken Pho

    Diana Chistruga

    Fill a large stockpot with the water and bring to a boil. Add the roasted vegetables and the chicken bones, quartered chicken, salt, and sugar and bring to a boil.

  4. Chicken Pho

    Diana Chistruga

    Lower the heat to moderate and simmer until the chicken is cooked, about 30 minutes.

  5. Chicken Pho

    Diana Chistruga

    Using tongs, transfer the quartered chicken to a plate and let cool slightly. Remove the meat from the bones and refrigerate.

  6. Chicken Pho

    Diana Chistruga

    Return the skin and bones to the stockpot and simmer for 2 hours longer.

  7. Chicken Pho

    Diana Chistruga

    Strain the chicken broth into a large soup pot and cook over high heat until reduced to 12 cups, about 15 minutes.

  8. Chicken Pho

    Diana Chistruga

    Stir in the fish sauce.

  9. Chicken Pho

    Diana Chistruga

    In a large bowl of warm water, soak the noodles until pliable, about 20 minutes.

  10. Chicken Pho

    Diana Chistruga

    Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Drain the noodles, then add them to the saucepan and boil over high heat until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain well. Transfer the noodles to 6 large bowls and sprinkle with the scallion.

  11. Chicken Pho

    Diana Chistruga

    Add the reserved chicken to the broth and simmer until heated through. Ladle the broth and chicken over the noodles.

  12. Chicken Pho

    Diana Chistruga

    Serve with the bean sprouts, basil, lime wedges, jalapeños, chile-garlic sauce, and hoisin sauce.

Make Ahead

The recipe can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

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