This is not precisely an authentic recipe, but it works for me.


1 yellow onion

2 raw jalapenos

2 inches of ginger root or ginger powder

2 cans broth

2 chicken breasts (or leftovers from a roasted chicken breast)

1 package rice noodles, any size



fish sauce

1/2 circle of palm sugar/rock sugar/white sugar

fresh basil leaves/optional, but tasty

bean sprouts/optional, but tasty

toasted cumin seeds or coriander seeds

green onion

1 tablespoon canola oil

lime slices

Hoisin sauce

Srirracha sauce (hot garlic chilli sauce)


1. Peel and slice yellow onion in half. Cut top off garlic bulb. Place both on baking dish with oil. Add jalapenos and ginger root (if possible). Coat onion and jalapenos in the oil. Broil until blackened on top, turning to ensure that 75% of the skin is blistered and/or black. Remove from oven. Place jalapenos in plastic sack and sweat them until the skin loosens (around ten minutes.) Peel peppers and ginger root. Squeeze garlic cloves out of bulb. They should be fairly soft.

2. Use DRY skillet to toast seeds. I usually use 3 teaspoons for 4 people, but you may want more flavoring than that. Just remember, chicken pho should be delicate in flavor. Remove from heat when lightly browned and fragrant.

3. Boil enough water to cover rice noodles. Pour over bowl of rice noodles and let sit for about fifteen minutes, until noodles are soft. Do not boil noodles. Set aside.

4. Pour broth cans into large pot. Add chicken breasts, toasted seeds, charred onion, ginger root, at least three cloves garlic (more if you want, or as garnish before serving. It's tasty as hell in this.) Set it to a high boil. When soup is boiling, the chicken will start to contribute a greyish foam to the pot. Skim this off until it disappears, then turn down soup to simmer. Add fish sauce (usually about 2 teaspoons) and palm sugar. When chicken is finished cooking, pull it out and let it rest for 5 minutes before thinly slicing it. Set chicken aside until broth is done.

5. The longer the broth has to boil, the better. I'd advise at least an hour and a half, tasting and adjusting. Fish sauce for salt, palm sugar for faint sweetness, adjust as necessary. When you deem the soup tasty enough, fish out the ginger root and onion. The broth should be fairly clear.

6. Portion out noodles into bowls. Add chicken slices. Cover with broth. Add jalapenos. Garnish with cilantro, basil, green onion, sprouts.

7. You can add hoisin and Srirracha to taste.

This soup is awesome for head colds, homesickness (it's chicken noodle soup, but awesome) and cold weather. It's also good for hot weather, because you will sweat.

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