The October 2009 Daring Cooks’ challenge was brought to us by Jaden of the blog Steamy Kitchen. The recipes are from her new cookbook, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook.

Vietnamese Pho Ga for the October Daring Cooks Challenge

Vietnamese Pho Ga for the October Daring Cooks Challenge

Pho (pronounced “fuh”) is a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup typically made with beef. It can also be made with chicken (which is known as pho ga) or seafood. Before this challenge, I had never tasted, much less made, pho. I was a little short on time, so I chose to make the chicken pho using the simple recipe below. I made just a few small changes- I added some shredded baby bok choy and sliced red pepper just before serving, and I used bean thread noodles instead of rice noodles.

I loved the Pho Ga for the Daring Cooks, and now I understand why this soup has so many loyal devotees- I’ll definitely be making it again. Next time, I’m going to make Jaden’s longer version of pho ga, and I’d love to give Jaden’s beef pho recipe a try, as well.

How to Make Pho
Chicken Pho recipe from Jaden of Steamy Kitchen


For the Chicken Pho Broth:
2 tbsp. whole coriander seeds
4 whole cloves
2 whole star anise
2 quarts (2 liters/8 cups/64 fluid ounces) store-bought or homemade chicken stock
1 whole chicken breast (bone in or boneless)
½ onion
1 3-inch (7.5 cm) chunk of ginger, sliced and smashed with side of knife
1 to 2 tbsps. sugar
1 to 2 tbsps. fish sauce

1 lb. (500 grams/16 ounces) dried rice noodles (about ¼ inch/6 mm wide)


2 cups (200 grams/7 ounces) bean sprouts, washed and tails pinched off
Fresh cilantro (coriander) tops (leaves and tender stems)
½ cup (50 grams/approx. 2 ounces) shaved red onions
½ lime, cut into 4 wedges
Sriracha chili sauce
Hoisin sauce
Sliced fresh chili peppers of your choice

Directions for the Chicken Pho Broth:

Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the coriander seeds, cloves and star anise and toast until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.

toasting the spices for the pho broth

toasting the spices for the pho broth

Immediately spoon out the spices to avoid burning.

In a large pot, add all the ingredients (including the toasted spices) and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes, skimming the surface frequently.

Use tongs to remove the chicken breasts and shred the meat with your fingers, discarding the bone if you have used bone-in breasts.

Taste the broth and add more fish sauce or sugar, if needed. Strain the broth and discard the solids.

Prepare the noodles as per directions on the package.

Ladle the broth into bowls. Then divide the shredded chicken breast and the soft noodles evenly into each bowl.

Have the accompaniments spread out on the table. Each person can customize their own bowl with these ingredients.


If you are interested in learning more about Pho, here is a great article on the history/culture of pho with a tantalizing beef pho recipe.

And here’s where you can get Jaden Hair’s new book:


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  1. 1

    Jaden — October 14, 2009 @ 5:40 am

    Oh I love it!!!! Thank you thank you thank you!

  2. 2

    Anna @ moonberryjuice — October 14, 2009 @ 10:56 am

    Really nice Pho!

  3. 3

    Amy I. — October 14, 2009 @ 12:43 pm

    Beautiful! I love the addition of the extra veggies.

  4. 4

    Heather B — October 14, 2009 @ 4:55 pm

    Great job on your pho! It looks delicious!

  5. 5

    Lauren — October 14, 2009 @ 5:52 pm

    This looks amazing! Fantastic job with this challenge =D.

  6. 6

    Frenchie — October 14, 2009 @ 6:43 pm

    This looks fantastic, did you use cellophane noodles?

  7. 7

    drwinnie — October 15, 2009 @ 11:12 am

    Yes, they are bean thread noodles instead of rice noodles…

  8. 8

    chef_d — October 14, 2009 @ 10:12 pm

    Great looking pho!

  9. 9

    Audax Artifex — October 15, 2009 @ 4:20 am

    Great work on this challenge love the pixs. Cheers from Audax in Australia

  10. 10

    Cheri — October 15, 2009 @ 11:13 am

    Looks wonderful! And, I love your additions of bok choy and red pepper.

  11. 11

    SarahKate — October 16, 2009 @ 8:01 am

    I love the photo of your spices toasting- beautiful! I’m sure the pho ga was delicious… it’s one of my all time favourites!

  12. 12

    Lisa — October 18, 2009 @ 1:49 am

    Gorgeous Pho, and bean thread noodles certainly give it a whole new look and clear and beautiful. Very well done!

  13. 13

    Turkey Pho | Healthy Green Kitchen — November 25, 2009 @ 3:18 pm

    […] you may recall from my first experience making pho, pho (pronounced “fuh”) is a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup typically made with beef. It […]

  14. 14

    Vegetarian Pho (Pho Chay) | Healthy Green Kitchen — March 23, 2010 @ 7:31 am

    […] is possible to make pho without the beef, of course. I’ve made both chicken and turkey pho for this blog, and I’ve seen fish and seafood pho recipes, as […]

  15. 15

    Lynn — January 18, 2011 @ 8:49 am

    Your veggie pho (which I also want to make), lead me here. I’m goign to make this this week! Thank you!