An embarrassing amount of time has passed since I last blogged a recipe and that definitely needs rectifying asap. I guess it was after doing the whole ‘GBBO Showstopper Challenge’ for an intense 10 consecutive weeks that I realised I needed to give myself a break from blogging recipes so I could claim back my weekends and get back to my normal routine/life.
However, that break then became a whole fricking year. *hangs head in shame*
Anyways, we’re now in 2018, and a new year makes for the perfect excuse to give myself a good kick up the butt to get back into blogging! *flexed bicep emoji*
I don’t know about you, but it seems like everyone I know and their mother got taken down by some sort of flu/cold over the Christmas holidays. So, to help keep warm and toasty whilst I’m getting rid of my pesky cough, I figured I‘d make a Speedy Chicken Pho, packed with spices, fresh veg, chilli and ginger to help my immune system do it’s thing. Because nothing beats a steamy bowl of chicken noodle soup when you’re ill. Except maybe medicine… and bed. But also Pho.
Now, as a traditional Vietnamese chicken pho broth normally takes hours/days to simmer chicken carcasses/bones to impart their flavour, I opted for the speedier approach of using a decent store-bought chicken stock instead. Hey, shortcuts happen when you’re ill! And tbh, I was pretty pleased with how aromatic and flavourful my speedy broth tasted!
(For a vegetarian alternative, you can use vegetable stock and sub out the chicken for some shitake mushrooms. Just fry them off for a few minutes in an oiled pan till they turn brown, before adding to the broth.)
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 2 inch piece ginger, thickly sliced
- 3 whole garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 stick lemongrass, smashed
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 star anise
- 1tsp coriander seeds
- 1tsp black peppercorns
- 4 whole cloves
- 2l chicken stock
- 500g chicken breasts
- salt and pepper
- 300g instant rice noodles
- 4 spring onions, sliced
- 1 red chilli, sliced
- handful of bean sprouts
- pak choi, sliced in half
- 1 lime, quartered
- a large handful of coriander, roughly chopped
- In a large dry pot, cook the onion, ginger, garlic, and lemongrass on a medium high heat for 5 minutes till they start to brown/toast.
- Once browned, add the spices and continue to toast for a few minutes till they begin to sputter and give off an aroma.
- Pour in the chicken stock and bring to the boil.
- Once boiling, add the chicken breasts and cover with a lid. Bring back up to the boil, then reduce to a low heat and simmer for 15 minutes until the chicken breasts are just cooked.
- In the meantime, wash and prep the veg. (I actually added the coriander stalks to the broth too.)
- Cook the rice noodles as per the package instructions. Rinse under cold water to prevent them sticking together. Drain and divide between 4 bowls.
- Once cooked, remove the chicken breasts from the broth and shred using two forks. Divide between the 4 bowls.
- Strain the broth through a sieve to remove the whole spices and veg, and pour back into the pot. Bring back to the boil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Ladle the hot broth over the noodles and chicken.
- Serve as desired with the fresh veg, and a squeeze of lime.