Turkey Pho

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I had plans to do a Thanksgiving recipe round-up earlier today but with parent-teacher conferences to attend, the kids home from school, and all the cooking and cleaning that needed to happen before tomorrow, a recipe round-up was not in the cards.

I’m guessing that by now, you’re pretty settled on what you’re making tomorrow, so it’s kind of late for a recipe round-up anyway!

In fact, even though Thanksgiving hasn’t happened yet, I see some of my fellow bloggers are already posting their recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers. Kalyn from Kalyn’s Kitchen is way ahead of the game (she’s already posted at least 2 recipes for leftovers to my none) and Elise from Simply Recipes posted this really interesting turkey soup recipe. I am certain there are many many more leftover ideas floating around the blogosphere…and Food52 has an entire contest going on for this theme right now!

So here is my contribution to the pool of turkey leftovers recipes: Turkey Pho.

As you may recall from my first experience making pho, 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), seafood, or in this case, turkey (which is definitely not traditional).

Apart from toasting the spices (very important…don’t skip this step), this is very simple to make, particularly if you use store-bought chicken stock. It’s a little austere with just the kale (perfect for the days after Thanksgiving as far as I’m concerned, though), and you are welcome to add additional vegetables. Traditional pho uses rice noodles but I prefer it with cellophane (bean thread) noodles.

This recipe was inspired by Jaden Hair’s recipe for Chicken Pho (if you aren’t familiar with Jaden, she’s the genius behind the blog Steamy Kitchen and the author of The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook: 101 Asian Recipes Simple Enough for Tonight’s Dinner).

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Recipe for Turkey Pho

Makes 2 big bowls of soup


  • * 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • * 4 whole cloves
  • * 4 whole star anise
  • * 1 cinnamon stick
  • * 1 quart homemade turkey stock or homemade or store-bought chicken stock
  • * 1 bunch green onions green top parts only chopped
  • * 1 3-inch chunk of ginger sliced and smashed with side of knife
  • * 1 teaspoon brown sugar or more to taste
  • * 1 tablespoon fish sauce or more to taste
  • * 1-2 cup kale chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • * 1/2 pound leftover turkey breast shredded
  • * 1 bunch approx. 2 oz. cellophane/bean thread noodles (or enough flat dried rice noodles to serve 2)
  • * 1-2 tablespoon cilantro chopped- for garnish (optional)
  • * 1-2 tablespoon chopped green onions white parts only, minced- for garnish (optional)
  • * 1/2 lime cut into wedges
  • * Sriracha chili sauce to taste


  • 1. Heat a cast-iron skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add the coriander seeds, cloves, star anise, and cinnamon stick and toast until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Immediately spoon out the spices into a bowl to avoid burning them and set aside.
  • 2. In a large pot, add the toasted spices and all ingredients from stock through fish sauce and bring to a boil.
  • 3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes, skimming the surface frequently.
  • 4. Taste the broth and add more sugar or fish sauce, if needed. Strain the broth and discard the solids. Add the kale and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Remove from heat.
  • 5. Add the shredded turkey and the cellophane noodles. Allow to sit for a few minutes while the noodles soften.
  • 6. Ladle the broth into bowls. Divide the kale, shredded turkey and the noodles evenly into each bowl.
  • 7. Sprinkle on the garnishes and add sriracha to taste. Squeeze lime juice to taste over the top of your bowl before eating.

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