- 5 to 6 pounds whole, all-natural chicken
- 7 quarts water
- 1/4 cup anise
- 1 large onion, peeled, cut into 4 pieces
- 4 inch fresh ginger root, with skin, washed. Use meat mallet to smash ginger flat.
- 2 fresh stalks lemon-grass, washed and trimmed. Use a food mallet to smash. Cut 3 or 4 inch sections
- 1 large head of garlic, crushed, and peeled
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 cube pure palm sugar or 1 tbsp light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup fish sauce (nuoc mam)
- 1 1/2 lb thin dry Banh Pho noodles
- 4 stalks green onion, washed trimmed and chopped
- 14 stalks fresh cilantro, cleaned and chopped
Additions for fresh vegetables to add to the soup
- 1 lb fresh bean sprouts
- 4 to 6 branches Thai basil
- 3 limes, each cut into 10 pieces
- 2 large jalapeno peppers, sliced thin
- Sauces: Hoisin, Sriracha hot chili, ground chili, garlic in oil
- Separate the chicken legs, wings, thighs, back bone and breasts. Clean the chickens pieces and transfer to a large pot. Add 7 quarts of water, salt, and palm sugar. Place pot on top stove and bring water to boil. Skim the foam until the broth becomes clear. Turn heat down to simmer 35 minutes.
- Take the meat out of the pot and let cool down. When cool enough to handle, pull off the skin and separated the meat from the bone. Shred the meat and set aside to add to soup when serving.
- Return the skin and bones to the stock pot. Add anise, onion, ginger, and lemongrass to stock pot.
- Continue to simmer 1 1/2 hours.
- Lay dishtowel or cheese cloth over the colander to strain the stock into another pot. Set aside. Yields approximately 5 quarts.
- Put 6 quarts of water and 1-1/2 tsp of salt in a large sauce pan and bring to boil.
- Drop pho rice noodles into boiling water. Turn heat to medium, cook for 3 minutes. Drain noodles and quickly run them under cold water. Let them sit, using a chopstick to separate the noodles from time to time to make sure the noodles do not stick to each other.
- Bring the pho stock to full boil. Add 1/4 cup fish sauce. Use remaining 1/4 cup as needed to taste.
- Line up soup bowls. Fill each bowl with cooked rice noodles. Top with shredded chicken, chopped cilantro, and green onion . Ladle 2 cups of boiling hot broth into the bowl over the meat. Serve immediately.
- Arrange fresh vegetables on a large platter and place at center of the table, with the sauces, so the guests can add to their own bowl of Pho.
- I often make the stock a day or two early. I refrigerate it so the fat forms on the top. I scoop the fat and discard it. Sometimes I freeze the stock in individual servings. When I want a bowl I just boil the noodles. However, if you intend to freeze, the stock don't add fish sauce until you serve.