Chicken Pho (cheat version)

Course Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Vietnamese
Keyword Chicken Pho
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Scruff


  • 2 L low sodium liquid chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 kg chicken drumstick / thigh or 2 breasts, cleaned
  • 30 gm ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • cracked pepper, to taste
  • 2 - 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 500 gm dried rice noodles (generous servings) or 1 kg of fresh rice noodles


  • 4 star anise (whole)
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds

To Serve

  • 2 stalks spring onions, finely chopped
  • 125 gm bean sprouts
  • 1 lemon or lime, cut into wedges (optional)
  • 10 sprigs coriander (optional)
  • 10 sprigs Thai basil (optional)
  • 2 birds eye chilli or jalapenos finely chopped (optional)


  • chilli sauce (optional)
  • hoisin sauce (optional)


  1. Prepare all your ingredients.

  2. Add the chicken stock and 1 cup of water to a large pot on high heat. Allow the pot to come to a boil.

  3. Optional Step: Char the ginger slightly by putting it over a gas stove or in the oven at 200 C / 392 F on grill setting.

  4. In a small fry pan on medium heat, add the coriander seeds and whole star anise. Toast the aromatics until fragrant.

  5. Once the stock is boiling, add the chicken, ginger, sugar, pepper and toasted aromatics. Give the pot a stir and wait for stock to come back to a boil. Once boiling, turned down the heat to medium low and let the pot simmer partially covered for 20 minutes.

  6. After 20 minutes, take a piece of chicken out and check if its done. If yes then take it out the rest of the chicken and let it cool. If not, leave the chicken in the pot until done.

  7. Add the fish sauce to the pot and taste check. Adjust the seasoning or amount of stock according to your taste. (Note 1)

  8. Tear up the chicken into bite sized pieces and leave in a closed container until needed. Prepare all your herbs / veg and the noodles as directed on the packaging.

Bowl Assembly

  1. Turn up the heat to medium high on the stock pot and fish out the star anise and ginger.

  2. Divide the noodles into the bowls and put the chicken pieces on top. If using fresh noodles, please refer to note 2.

  3. Ladle over the boiling stock and add all the garnishes on top.

  4. Serve

Recipe Notes

  1. If you want to add more salt and flavour to the stock then use fish sauce. If you need to dilute the stock to make more or toned down the flavour then add boiling water. However, the stock will be diluted further once you add the noodles and herbs. So, it is perfectly fine for the stock to be on the saltier side at this stage. 
  2. If you are using fresh rice noodles, then divide the noodles into bowls. Pour boiling water into the bowl and move the noodles around for 10 seconds and then strain. The noodles are now ready for the stock.