Chicken “Faux” Pho

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 30 min

The ultimate Asian dinner soup may well be the popular Vietnamese “pho”. Make this soup from scratch and it takes 2 days. Follow this recipe and it’s done in half an hour. Comfort cooking doesn’t get much better than this.


8 cups (2 L) chicken broth
6 slices ginger, fresh
2 cinnamon stick(s)
4 star anise
1 tsp (5 mL) hot chili sauce
1 tsp (5 mL) sugar
6 mushrooms, large, dried (optional)
1 red onion(s)
1 white onion
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast(s)
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 cups (750 mL) cooked chicken
1 cup (250 mL) rice vermicelli, broken into 3 or 4 inch (7.5 to 10 cm) pieces
1/4 - 1/2 cup (250 mL) basil, leaves
1/4 - 1/2 cup (250 mL) mint, leaves
1 lime, cut into wedges (for garnish)
Thai basil, fresh, for garnish
mint leaves, fresh, for garnish
bean sprouts, fresh, for garnish


1 To make the broth, combine the chicken broth, ginger, cinnamon stick, star anise, hot sauce and sugar in a large saucepan. If using dried mushrooms, add the whole dried mushrooms. Bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile slice onion in half through the root end. Place cut-side down on a cutting board. Thinly slice onions. Add to the simmering broth, separating into strips as you add. Then cover and reduce heat so broth gently boils.
2 Cook, covered, for 10 minutes to develop flavors. Meanwhile slice raw chicken into bite-size strips. After the broth has simmered 10 minutes, taste and if “gingery” enough, remove ginger slices. Stir in the raw chicken. Cover and simmer for another 5 minutes.
3 Once the chicken is cooked and there is enough flavor in the broth, remove the cinnamon stick and star anise. Also if using dried mushrooms, remove from the broth. Cut away the stems and discard. Thinly slice remaining mushrooms and return to the broth.
4 Add the noodles, separating as you add. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Then lower the heat and simmer until noodles are done as you like, about 5 minutes. Before serving, shred the basil and mint and stir in.