Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup)

Total Time:
3 hr
3 hr

4 to 6 main course servings

  • 1 stewing hen, about 5 pounds
  • 2 pounds chicken bones or chicken necks
  • 4 quarts cold water
  • 1 ounce fresh ginger, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 pound rice vermicelli (bun)
  • 1 whole cooked chicken breast (2 halves), thinly sliced
  • 8 to 12 fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnishing soup
  • 4 to 8 fresh basil sprigs, for garnishing soup
  • 4 fresh mint sprigs, for garnishing soup
  • 2 cups fresh bean sprouts, for garnishing soup
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges, for garnishing soup
  • 2 to 3 sliced fresh jalapeno, Serrano, or Thai chile peppers, for garnishing soup
  • Sriracha chili sauce, for serving
  • Fish sauce, for serving

Cut the hen into 8 pieces and discard any excess fat. Rinse chicken bones and necks with cold water and place in a stockpot. Add the water and ginger and bring to a boil. Skim any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for 3 hours; do not allow the liquid to boil to ensure a clear broth.

Remove and discard the hen and bones. Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve or chinois lined with cheesecloth. Return the broth to a large soup pot and continue to simmer until reduced to a volume of 2 1/2 or 3 quarts. Season with salt, to taste, and keep hot while you assemble the remaining ingredients.

Prepare the rice vermicelli according to package directions. Once done, transfer to a colander and drain well. Rinse well under cold running water. Drain thoroughly before using. (The noodles may be prepared up to this point 2 hours ahead of serving.)

When ready to serve the soup, for each serving ladle 2 cups of the hot broth into a large soup bowl. Quickly dip the cooked noodles in the remaining hot broth to rewarm, then place a handful of noodles in each bowl. Divide the sliced chicken breast between the bowls, laying the slices over the top of the noodles. Serve the soup immediately, with the fresh cilantro, basil, mint, bean sprouts, lime wedges and jalapeno peppers in baskets on the table for each person to garnish their own soup, as desired. Add chili sauce or fish sauce, to taste, if desired.

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    I always use patis in my broth... Not a bad recipe, but you can definitely build on it
    Don't waste a perfectly good chicken. Put a whole frozen chicken in a slow cooker with 4qts of water and slow cook it for 6 hours then pick the meat off and put it in the Pho instead of throwing an entire chicken out. Also add some chopped green onion for better flavor. VERY VERY good otherwise.
    I love pho! And this just saved me from doing my weekly stop at my regular pho resturant!
    When the Emeril Green was on T, I was so excited when Emeril was teaching how to made Vietnamese Food and saw him on teaching how to made Pho Ga`.

    I'm sorry but as a Vietnamese, I know for a fact that we don't eat Pho with rice vermicelli. If it is with rice vermicelli, then it is not Pho. You eat Pho with small flat rice noodles (this one or this one and yes, it has to be the small flat noodles.

    With Pho Ga, you serve with ground ginger in fish sauce to kick the chicken's flavor.
    like it with beef or shrimp also
    My family loved this recipe. Great flavors great taste.
    I simplified this by using low lodium chicken stock from the store(Swanson)
    It's really simple but so satisfying.
    Wonderful Flavour !
    _ Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup)
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    Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

    Recipe courtesy of Jeff Mauro