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Daring Cooks

October 15, 2009

One way I am trying to hold myself accountable to posting here is by joining the Daring Kitchen, which is an awesome cooking and baking community.  The Daring Kitchen posts Daring Cooks and Daring Bakers challenges every month, which are revealed on the 14th and 1st, respectively.  Today is the 14th, so…it is my first reveal!

Vietnamese Pho

This month’s host was Jaden of the Steamy Kitchen and the challenge was Vietnamese Pho.  Now, I have had Pho a couple of times, but have wanted to make it for a while. It just so happened that this month’s challenge coincided with both the Canadian and myself getting sick (not with the H1N1, fingers crossed), so it was the perfect chicken soup.

Pho Toppings

Pho can be chicken, beef, tofu, bascially whatever you want or what suits your fancy.  It involves a lot of toppings, so you can indivdualize it to your tastes. Since I was sick, I went a little much on the broth, but usually there are a lot more toppings than what I have shown.

Rice Noodles

I was nervous about making it at first, but this was the shortened, not from scratch version (i.e. not making your own broth, which I want to do at some point, but didn’t when I was a sicko). Also, stay tuned tomorrow because I have another surprise!

Vietnamese Pho
From: The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook

Preparation Time: 45 cooking time + 15 minutes to cook noodles based on package directions

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


  1. To make the Chicken Pho Broth: 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.
  2. In a large pot, add all the ingredients (including the toasted spices) and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes, skimming the surface frequently.
  4. Use tongs to remove the chicken breasts and shred the meat with your fingers, discarding the bone if you have used bone-in breasts.
  5. Taste the broth and add more fish sauce or sugar, if needed. Strain the broth and discard the solids.
  6. Prepare the noodles as per directions on the package.
  7. Ladle the broth into bowls. Then divide the shredded chicken breast and the soft noodles evenly into each bowl.
  8. Have the accompaniments spread out on the table. Each person can customize their own bowl with these ingredients.
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