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Vietnamese cuisine with Tram – Pho Ga / Chicken Pho

Pho Ga – Chicken Pho 

serves 4 XL bowl or 6 L bowl 

INGREDIENTS: ts = teaspoon tbsp = tablespoon 

Kraft / Broth General guideline: 1 kilo bones pr 3L water for a good broth

1 whole free range chicken (1 – 1,5kg),

500 gr chicken neck (can be replaced with wings)

1 chicken carcass (500gr wings if cannot find carcass)

Charcoal ginger and onion is an important step
2 pcs onion (3-4 if very small), split in half, peel if skin is dirty, else leave it on

1 pcs 7-8 cm ginger, split in half lengthwise

1 pcs 7-8 cm peeled daikon (white radish) – optional, to be added last! 

Cut in 6 cubes or disks (1 for each bowl of soup) 

Pho Spices – boil spices only for 30 min if you want a milder Pho broth

10 pcs nellikspiker / cloves

2-3 pcs stjerneanis / star anise

1 pcs black cardamom (not green)

1 tbsp black peppercorns

1 pcs 4-5 cm cinnamon bark (or stick if cannot find bark)

1 tbsp coriander seeds

Flavouring the Pho soup – fish sauce enhances umami flavour 

2 tbsp coarse salt

  1. 1 dl (or less) fish sauce (good quality from Phu Quoc) 

40 gr rock sugar (more flavour than regular sugar)

For the soup toppings 

Chicken meat shredded or sliced chicken breast and leg meat (from the chicken used in broth preparation)

400gr pho noodle – 5mm thick best (XL size)

Herbs optional 

1 tsp of each : thai basil, spring onion, coriander

1 large white sweet onion, cut in thin rings soaked in
cold water (30 min)

100 gr bean sprouts (boiled)

Serving on table (“table salad” is optional)

200 gr raw bean sprout for crunch – optional

1 pc lime wedge (1-2 pieces per pers)

1 pcs red eye thai chili, finely sliced

6 pcs sawtooth coriander twig (typical for pho) – 1 for each bowl

3 eggs (optional) for ramen inspired, add soft ½ boiled egg per bowl (soft = boiled for 6 min) 


TIPS: if you want a milder soup, add spices to the broth  later, or remove the spices after max 30 min in the broth






  • Put all bones and chicken in a big (steep) pot and cover with 4 L COLD water and bring to a boil – do not put lid on, reduce the heat and boil gently 
  • When the broth boils (may take 10-15min?), add 1,5L VERY COLD water – different water temp will help separate the fat and impurities – to be skimmed and discarded 
  • While it boils, charcoal grill onion and ginger -> 250gr grill element in the oven approx 10-20 min (the more burnt, the more depth, colour and sweetness to the broth)
  • While the ginger & onion are charcoaled in the oven, dry roast the spices in a dry mini pan on medium heat to release the aroma -> max 3-4 min – do not let it burn (
  • Add grilled vegetable and spices (container/cloth poach) to the broth, reduce heat and boil for another 30 min – skim off regularly for a clear broth
  • After 1 hr boiling, remove the chicken, chill and shred or cut meat from the breast and legs. Put back the bone/carcass to the broth
  • Add the daikon pieces (if using), add 1L water and boil for another 30 min 
  • Strain carefully the broth to a new clean pot and discard the rest -> your PHO soup is now ready for flavouring – you should have clear broth 


Pho soup flavouring


  • Add rock sugar and fish sauce – remember to taste (fish sauce quality varies, some brands saltier than others). If the broth has been reduced too much, it may be too salty to add full measures. Dilute with hot water if too salty. If you want less strong Pho, you can reduce fish sauce


Noodle preparation 


  • Soak dry noodle in cold water for 30 min


When ready to serve


  • Bring water in a big pot to a boil
  • Blanch the noodle quickly (I like mine al dente, so 1 min, else longer) and drain in hot water
  • Divide the noodle in BIG serving bowls. 
  • Top each bowl with a bit of bean sprout (optional), shredded chicken, onion rings, spring onion, coriander, fresh ground pepper
  • Bring the broth to a boil and pour the hot PHO broth over the noodle. Needs to cover the noodle because the broth is the star of this dish, hence you need a big bowl 🙂
  • Add half boil egg if desired – optional


Garnish / How to eat PHO


  • Squeeze lime, tear herbs usually served on table and add it to the soup, add fresh chili slices (if you like it hot), add raw bean sprout if you want crunchiness.


Sawtooth coriander is a typical herb for PHO soup

Dipping sauce for the meat (more common for Beef Pho) – optional


  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce diluted with 1 tbsp of hot pho broth
  • Sriracha (chili sauce)                            



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