The only grocery store that is within walking distance also did not have any limes, so I had to substitute with a lemon instead. I did also manage to pick up some mint leaves at the grocery store. I can't really imagine having Pho without mint leaves, so although the recipe doesn't call for them, I added them into my list of accompliments. I also used some fresh packaged rice noodles instead of buying the dried version.
Servings: Makes 4 servings
For the Chicken Pho Broth:
- 2 tbsp. whole coriander seeds
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 whole star anise
- 2 quarts (2 liters/8 cups/64 fluid ounces) store-bought or homemade chicken stock
- 1 whole chicken breast (bone in or boneless)
- ½ onion
- 1 3-inch (7.5 cm) chunk of ginger, sliced and smashed with side of knife
- 1 to 2 tbsps. sugar
- 1 to 2 tbsps. fish sauce
- 1 lb. (500 grams/16 ounces) dried rice noodles (about ¼ inch/6 mm wide)
- 2 cups (200 grams/7 ounces) bean sprouts, washed and tails pinched off
- Fresh cilantro (coriander) tops (leaves and tender stems)
- ½ cup (50 grams/approx. 2 ounces) shaved red onions
- ½ lime, cut into 4 wedges
- Sriracha chili sauce
- Hoisin sauce
- Sliced fresh chili peppers of your choice
- Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the coriander seeds, cloves and star anise and toast until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Immediately spoon out the spices to avoid burning.
- In a large pot, add all the ingredients (including the toasted spices) and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes, skimming the surface frequently.
- Use tongs to remove the chicken breasts and shred the meat with your fingers, discarding the bone if you have used bone-in breasts.
- Taste the broth and add more fish sauce or sugar, if needed. Strain the broth and discard the solids.
- Prepare the noodles as per directions on the package.
- Ladle the broth into bowls. Then divide the shredded chicken breast and the soft noodles evenly into each bowl.
- Have the accompaniments spread out on the table. Each person can customize their own bowl with these ingredients.