Today I’m sharing my healthy chicken pho soup recipe. I’m always inspired by trying new food when I travel. It’s my favourite way to discover more about where I’m visiting and a great way to get involved in conversations with locals. And then of course I have to try and recreate the dishes I’ve loved when I get back home.
I’ve been to Vietnam twice and absolutely love it, especially the food. In fact, it’s first on my list for when we can travel long-haul again. I have great memories of tucking into a huge bowl of pho on a steamy Saigon rooftop. So that’s where the idea for this authentic Vietnamese chicken pho recipe comes from. Pho is a tasty, spicy broth that’s great for vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. You can make it with any combination of vegetables, herbs or meat. Here’s my choice for today.
Over the weekend I had leftover chicken from my roast which gave me the perfect opportunity to make a pho for Monday’s dinner. I hate wasting food and am always looking for ways to use up leftovers. I’ve only recently started using my roast bones to make stock and it’s made a huge difference to the flavours coming out of my kitchen. I strip the chicken carcass and bones of all the meat, put it in a large saucepan, cover with water and add bay leaves soon after we have eaten. Then I just leave it overnight with a lid on before simmering and adding the other ingredients the next day.
Once you’ve simmered the stock with all its additions, strain it off into a bowl. You will be left with a fragrant, cloudy chicken broth. The perfect base for your healthy chicken pho soup.
Once your stock is done, it’s a quick and easy process to finish your healthy chicken pho recipe. Keep the broth simmering on low and add the pak choi and spring onions.
Finally, add the chicken and stir through. Simmer on low for about another 10 minutes.
Place fresh mint and Thai basil leaves in the bottom of your bowls. Ladle the chicken pho soup over. Top with the remainder of the fresh mint leaves and some quarters of lime for squeezing over.
It’s such a satisfying process making my own stock. And the tasty results make it well worth the effort. If you love this recipe, why not try our homemade game soup here.
Here’s a printable recipe for you.
Healthy chicken pho soup recipe
For the stock
- 1 chicken carcass and bones left after roasting
- 1 litre water
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tsp black pepper ground
- 1 tbsp ginger chopped
- 1 clove garlic peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp soya sauce
- 1 lime juice of
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 chillies dried and crushed
For the pho soup
- 150 g cooked chicken shredded
- 1 pak choi trimmed and leaves separated
- 4 spring onions sliced
- 150 g rice noodles
- 2 handfuls fresh mint leaves
- 1 handful Thai basil leaves
- 1 lime quartered
Making the stock
- Remove all the meat from your chicken, including the carcass and any other leftovers you have (legs etc). Place in a large saucepan. Put the meat aside for adding to the pho later.
- Cover the bones with water. Add the bay leaves. Bring to the boil and simmer on low for 1 hour.
- After an hour add the rest of ingredients to the stock. Bring back to the boil and turn down to simmer for another 30 mins.
- Turn off the heat and strain the stock into a bowl leaving all the bones behind.
Finishing the pho
- Add the chicken, noodles, pak choi and spring onions and simmer on low for about 10 mins until warmed through, with the vegetables still slightly crunchy.
- Place half of the mint leaves and all the Thai basil leaves in the bottom of two bowls. Ladle the pho over the herbs. Top with the remaining mint leaves.
- Serve with lime quarters on the side to squeeze over just before eating.