Food, Vietnamese Food

How to Make Phở in 30 Minutes

February 24, 2016


Today was one of those days when I craved a good bowl of steaming phở, but the Turtle Tower on Geary is closed because it is a Wednesday. So I had to resort to making a quickie phở in 30 minutes. Ok, it was more like an hour because I was watching the Warriors - Heat game (Go Dubs!!!)

Here are what you need:

Ingredients for 30-minute Phở

Ingredients for 30-minute Phở, missing the fish sauce and the star anise because I forgot to put them in here. And no, the white Phalaenopsis orchid blooms are not part of the ingredient list.

  • 2 chicken thighs. If you have leftover steamed chicken, that should work too
  • 4 quartz (1 Litter) Chicken broth. I use the Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base, but you can use any low sodium brand you have on hand
  • Half a bag of dry Rice Stick, any brand
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 piece of ginger
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 clove of star anise
  • 1 Tbsp Fish sauce
  • Salt
  • Green onions, cilantro, lime, hot chilli pepper or Sriracha sauce for garnish

First, wash and dry the chicken thighs, place in 4 quartz of water with a pinch of salt and the peeled ginger and shallots. Bring to a boil. Once the water boils, add in 2 Tbsp of bouillon base, the cinnamon stick, the star anise and 2 Tsp salt to the water and continue simmering the chicken for another 20 minutes.
If you use chicken broth, just replace the water with the broth and boil the thighs for 20 minutes with the rest of the seasoning.

You can also lightly toast the ginger, shallots, cinnamon stick and star anise for additional flavor, but I was lazy so I skipped this step.

Once the chicken thighs are cooked, remove from the broth and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing them into bite-size pieces.

Phoga_Boil Phoga_Stock

Submerge the rice sticks in cold water to soften. Bring another pot of water to a boil, and cook the rice sticks according to the instruction on the packaging. When it is slightly more tender than al dente, rinse with warm water.

The cooked rice sticks should be slightly more tender than al dente. We Vietnamese don't like al dente noodles, even pasta. Don't ask me why.

The cooked rice sticks should be slightly more tender than al dente. We Vietnamese don’t like al dente noodles, even pasta. Don’t ask me why.

Thinly slice the green part of the onions and a few sprigs of cilantro. Slice the white part of the onion into quarter pieces, lengthwise.

Assemble the bowl: Add some noodles, then a few pieces of chicken, sprinkle on the onions and cilantro.

Add 1 Tbsp fish salt to the broth at the last minute. Make sure the broth is boiling hot before adding to the bowl. Garnish with hot chilli peppers or Sriracha, squeeze on some lime, and if you’re like me and have some frozen kaffir lime leaves, sprinkle on a few julienned pieces in the bowl to bring it to a whole new level.

The finished product. No, I didn't not eat both of those chilli peppers.

The finished product. No, I didn’t not eat both of those chilli peppers.

Happy slurping! Let me know if you have any question.