See How to Do It

Vietnamese Pho

Take the chicken skin off a whole chicken. Then cut the meat off the bones, leaving the bones all connected (this makes them easy to remove later).

But the bones in a stock pot and cover with 3 inches of water.

Roast an onion and ginger over the flame.

And add to the stock pot.

Enclose spices in a spice ball or cheese cloth sac tied with string. Include black peppercorns...

star anise...

green cardomom...



and cinnamon sticks.

Instead of buying all these spices and a spice infuser (or cheese cloth and string), you can buy these pho spices pre-mixed at Asian stores. They come with a little cheese cloth sac to put the spices in.

Once you put the spice sac in the stock pot, go ahead and marinate the meat in ginger, garlic, fish sauce, salt and sugar.

This is the brand of fish sauce Hieu likes.

As the broth cooks over the next couple hours, use a fine mesh strainer to scoop out particles and oil. Rinse the strainer every so often in the sink to clear it. 

These are the rice noodles he used.

Wash all the fixin's and put them out on plates so the soup bowls are easy to assemble.

After the broth has cooked for 1 1/2 hours or so, you remove everything so it's just the broth and poach the meat in the clear broth for 13 minutes. After you take the chicken out, strain the broth one last time to remove the chunks of ginger and garlic that were on the marinating chicken.

Slice up the poached chicken.

Slice lime wedges and get out some hot Thai chilis.

Load each bowl with noodles, scallions, broth, fresh herbs, mung bean sprouts, and then squeeze fresh lime over each bowl.

Hieu's family loves the food as much as he loves the process of cooking this.

Photos: Lindsay Sterling. Use by permission only.