Vietnamese Homemade Pho with Chicken Broth Base

Vietnamese Homemade Pho with Chicken Broth Base
Vietnamese Homemade Pho with Chicken Broth Base

Vietnamese Homemade Pho with Chicken Broth Base

I always thought that pho in Vancouver was one of those dishes that I could only enjoy commercially bought since the broths are always perfectly balanced and so packed with flavour. More so now that I’ve tried making my own broth 4 times already and been unsuccessful in recreating that perfect flavour composition. Well, on broth number 5 I proved myself wrong and exceeded my own expectations!! This Vietnamese homemade pho was OUT OF THIS WORLD! So good that for the first time ever, I didn’t need to add the hoisin sauce and sriracha to enjoy it.
This Vietnamese homemade pho recipe combines tender chicken, crisp carrot ribbons, and soft noodles in a delicate chicken and spice-infused broth. For this broth, I had bought chicken breasts with the bone in; I trimmed the chicken breast and used the leftovers for the pho. You could also use only vegetables to make a vegetable broth. Because this is a broth, vegetables can be roughly chopped with peels on (well washed first). Also, whole cloves/star anise/seeds can be used as it will be strained. When adding spices, taste the broth when it’s simmering and adjust to your liking. This bowl of pho is sure to warm you up and satisfy your appetite and taste buds.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 4 people


For the chicken broth

  • raw chicken scraps/bones
  • charred onion roast onions in advance until blackened
  • fresh ginger roughly chopped
  • 3-4 glove garlic
  • 2-3 unit carrot
  • 2-3 unit celery stalk
  • 1-2 unit cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 unit bay leave
  • 1 tsp whole clove
  • 1 tbsp whole black peppercorn
  • 1 tbsp coriander seed
  • 1 tbsp fennel seed
  • 2-3 unit star anise
  • 3-4 unit cooking solid sugar block

For the pho

  • broth
  • broccoli
  • carrot
  • protein I used shrimp/prawns, fish balls
  • rice noodles

For the pho add-ins when serving and garnishing


For the chicken broth

  • 1. Put everything in a big pot, fill it up with cold water, and allow it to reach a boil.
  • 2. Once it boils, turn down the heat to low and let it simmer for at least 4 hours. I pretty much forget about it until I start smelling all the beautiful aromas and then check on it once in a while. You want the colour of the water to turn brownish.
  • 3. Once ready, strain it and discard solids (don't forget, bones are compostable!).

For the pho

  • 1. Chop some broccoli and carrots and add to the broth when heating up.
  • 2. Once vegetables are parboiled, add the fish balls and prawns. This doesn’t take long – you don’t want to leave the prawns for long because they’ll get chewy.
  • 3. Prepare rice noodles separately according to package directions – make sure to drain and rinse with cold water before serving.
  • 4. Assemble with rice noodles in a bowl, add broth with vegetables and protein then add in pho extras to your liking - I like to add a bit of each with lots of bean sprouts and fresh basil leaves.
  • 5. TASTE before adding in the sriracha and hoisin sauce, trust me!!!


Notes: Once broth is finished, you could either make the pho right away, put it in the fridge to use it in the next 2-3 days, or you could freeze it. Keep in mind that the broth will lose some of its goodness in time; so when you’re reheating it, add some fish sauce, Worcestershire sauce and a small piece of solid cooking sugar to give it a kick and revive it.
Broth Tips:never use salt, never use hot water – you want the ingredients to naturally flavour your broth, not the salt. Also, if you use hot water, your broth may not have enough time to develop and bring out the flavours of each ingredient - so the key here is to start with cold water and let the broth heat and develop slowly.
The next time you have a pho craving, try making this at home instead of going to a restaurant and comment below how it goes. I would love to hear from you!
Keyword chicken broth, pho, vietnamese

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