I frequently claim I don’t like pho- which is true most of the time. When I am forced to go, I usually order chicken pho because I like the broth slightly better than the beef one. However, one of the main reasons I don’t like it is pho noodles. I just don’t like the texture or the weird after taste of them. But when I had Turtle Tower for the first time, it changed my life! Apparently they are more of a Northern style pho, with fresh flat noodles instead of the dried skinny ones. Fresh flat noodles are similar to Chinese chow fun noodles, which I grew up eating anyway. And Turtle Tower’s broth is similar to plain chicken soup, which is perfect for the soul. So when I became sick, I immediately craved the TT chicken pho, but obviously I can’t get it here because no Viet place in SD serves it like TT does. So I set out to make my own. I have heard stories about the broth being cooked for hours, sometimes even all day to achieve that delicious broth. And believe me, after making it, that’s very much true! Time is essential in creating this broth. I suggest making it at night, and letting the chicken simmer for hours into the night, when you sleep. Therefore, the next day at lunch, you can have a hot bowl of pho! 🙂 I have to say that this recipe’s broth actually comes pretty close to the taste of TT. You can always adjust the salt (or msg) if you want :). Happy eating!
1 whole chicken (4 lbs)
1 yellow onion, sliced in large chunks
3 chunks of ginger
2 star anise
2 tbsp whole coriander seeds
1 tbsp fish sauce
Cilantro stems, a few
salt (I used about 3 tsp of salt in my broth)
1-2 packages of fresh flat rice noodles
lime or lemon
cilantro, chopped finely
green onions, chopped finely
1. Char the onions and ginger until it turns brown using the broiler in the oven.
2. In a large pot, cover whole chicken with water. (You can cut the chicken in large chunks if desired).
3. Toast the spices for a minute or two on med-high heat. (This is to release the flavor)
4. Once onions/ginger is charred, slice the ginger into smaller slices.
5. Add the onions, ginger, and spices to the chicken pot.
6. Cover the pot and turn on high heat. When it comes to a boil, turn to low simmer heat. Let broth simmer for 1 hour.
7. Take chicken out and immediately put it in an ice bath (This will stop it from cooking). Cut the chicken into smaller chunks/pieces. Take out the chicken breasts and set aside. The rest of the meat and bones go back into the pot. Let broth simmer for another 3-4 hours.
8. Add fish sauce and salt to taste when simmering comes to an end. (You can strain the broth in a fine mesh sieve if you want to get rid of ‘impurities’-i.e. fat/proteins/marrow)
9. Boil fresh flat noodles for 1-2 minutes. Strain.
10. Pour hot broth over it. Garnish with onions, cilantro, bean sprouts, chicken, lime/lemon, and jalapenos. ENJOY!!!!
***Tip: You can refrigerate or freeze the broth for later use. Its always good to have on hand available broth for those sneaky sick days!