Pronounced fuh this enticing aromatic soup is positively addicting. The fun of pho is that everyone gets to customize his own soup. Eating pho is definitely a two-handed affair: chopsticks or a fork in one hand to pick up the noodles and a soup spoon in the other to scoop up the broth and goodies.
Suggestion: Shrimp is also delicious in this soup. Grill or broil shrimp on skewers, place one skewer across each bowl.
You can also grill the onions and ginger, which then gives the broth the most wonderful smoky flavor (this is my preferred way of preparing the onions and ginger for the broth) —ChristineQ
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
vegetable or canola oil
Chicken Pho Broth & Accompaniments
large yellow onions, quartered
2, 4-5 inch pieces
whole coriander seeds
3 whole star anise
(16 cups) store-bought or homemade chicken stock
dried rice noodles (about 1/8 inch wide) or vermicelli
vegetable or canola oil
each cilantro , Thai basil & mint leaves, cilantro & basil coarsely chopped
red pearl onions; or 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
To marinate the chicken, combine all ingredients except chicken and mix well. Put chicken breasts and marinade in a resealable plastic bag. Toss to coat the chicken. Marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or refrigerate for about 2 hours or longer.
To prepare the broth, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put onions and 1 piece of ginger on a baking sheet; roast for 30 minutes until onions are softened and browned. Remove from oven; when cool enough, remove skin from both onions and ginger.* Next, peel the remaining ginger and coarsely chop both pieces.
Add coriander seeds, cloves, and star anise to a large pot over medium heat; toast until fragrant, about 3–4 minutes. Add roasted onions and ginger, chicken broth, fish sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper, and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Place a fine mesh strainer (or a colander lined with cheesecloth) over a large bowl or another large pot. Strain the broth. Discard the solids. Return broth to the pan and set aside. (The broth can be made up to 3 days ahead and then refrigerated until ready to reheat and serve.)
To grill the chicken, prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire, or preheat a gas grill or grill pan to medium. Grill chicken on a lightly oiled grill until good grill marks appear on the first side, 4–5 minutes. Flip chicken and continue to cook until firm to the touch and completely cooked through, 5–6 minutes more (check by making a slice into one of the thicker breasts). Remove from heat and wrap in foil to keep warm.
To prepare the noodles, place them in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Swish noodles with a fork or chopsticks. Set aside while preparing remaining ingredients. Soak at least 15 minutes until softened enough to eat but still firm, as they will finish cooking later. Rinse well in a colander. If not using immediately, toss noodles with oil.
To serve the soup, preheat large deep serving bowls in a 200-degree oven. Cut chicken into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Arrange accompaniments on platter and place in center of table.
Bring broth to a simmer. Place cooked noodles in each of the warmed bowls. Ladle broth over the noodles, top noodles with chicken slices, and serve.