30-Minute Chicken Faux Pho: A Cozy, Winter Recipe
Pho is one of the most delicious meals out there. The broth bursts with rich flavors, the noodles are light and delicious, and the vegetables are fresh and nutritious.
On a cold winter’s day, a warm bowl of pho just can’t be beat.
But pho is one of those dishes that is actually incredibly difficult to make. If you’re making it from scratch, the broth could take up to an entire day to complete.
That’s why we have faux pho! With this recipe, you can make a version of pho that takes much less time and is still super delicious and flavorful. It’s definitely a great meal option to keep in mind, so let’s get into the recipe.
What Is Chicken Faux Pho?
Chicken faux pho is a dish that is quite similar to traditional pho. It uses the same ingredients as regular pho. However, this method speeds up the cooking process to make it more easily accessible for the average person in their home kitchen.
Chicken faux pho will have chicken broth, spices, noodles, bean sprouts, and rich umami flavor just like you’d find in traditional pho.
What Exactly Is Pho?
Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup. The thin rice noodles are placed in a rich broth and topped with vegetables like bean sprouts, cilantro, carrots, and more.
But the real star of pho is the broth. Let’s take beef pho as an example. To make the broth, you would have to simmer beef bones, onions, star anise, fish sauce, ginger, and salt for six hours minimum. To get the best result, you’ll want to simmer for at least ten hours.
Throughout the process, the excess fat is skimmed from the top. This creates a rich, but light broth that pairs well with the soft, thin rice noodles.
Because of the rich flavors, thin noodles, and fresh vegetables, pho is one of the most well-beloved Vietnamese dishes, and it has grown extremely popular throughout the world.
What Ingredients Do I Need To Make Chicken Faux Pho?
Chicken faux pho is a fairly easy dish to make. With a few simple ingredients, you can have delicious, warm pho with ease. Here are the different things you’ll need to get this dish into your kitchen.
Instead of making our own chicken broth from scratch as with regular pho, we’re going to use a basic, pre-made chicken broth. It will have all of the essential chicken flavors we need, and we can spice it up with other ingredients.
Ginger is one of the more important spices used in pho. It brings a bright peppery zing to the mix, along with a subtle acidity. Ginger brightens the dish up in a fantastic way.
Make sure you use fresh ginger as this is the best way to achieve the flavor we’re looking for.
One of the things that makes pho so warm and delicious is the spice. For this recipe, we’ll be using Thai green chilies to raise the heat.
These are going to be much more flavorful and spicier than other peppers, like jalapenos. If you’re sensitive to spicy foods, you can use a little less, but try not to take out this ingredient if you can avoid it. Pho already packs so much flavor!
Fish sauce is one of the most important ingredients for the classic pho taste. Fish sauce is salty and has a rich, fish aroma. You can omit fish sauce, but keep in mind that you won’t achieve the same umami flavor.
We’re going to use just a touch of white sugar to balance the whole dish. Between the savory flavors of the beef, the spiciness of the chili, and the punch of ginger, there’s so much to savor in this faux pho recipe.
Obviously, we’re going to need chicken for our chicken pho. Get whatever cut of chicken you prefer. We’re going to use chicken breast for lean meat that won’t sit so heavily. It will complement the other ingredients quite well.
You’re going to need a little bit of cooking oil to cook your chicken. Use a neutral oil with a high smoke point like vegetable oil, canola oil, or avocado oil. Avoid oils that have a little bit of flavor to them like olive oil or coconut oil.
What’s pho without the noodles? The lovely rice noodles are soft and light, making them perfect for this soup. Erawan rice noodles are commonly used in pho, so we’ll stick with tradition.
For a little variance in texture, we’re going to add some bean sprouts. The crunchy sprout of the mung bean is full of good nutrients, and it pairs great with the broth.
With pho, herbs are some of the best parts. Some cilantro could brighten up your soup. Basil or Thai basil could offer a little more depth of flavor. Star anise can add a beautiful fragrance and a mild flavor.
Getting some fresh herbs into your pho is an important part of the dish, so make sure you get nice, fresh herbs and not dried ones. This will make the flavor and experience much better.
Salt and Pepper
Of course, you’re also going to need some salt and pepper. These two classic seasonings will help to establish the flavor of the chicken during the cooking process.
How Do I Make Chicken Faux Pho?
So you’ve got all your ingredients together. Now it’s time to put it all together. Here’s a step-by-step process for how to make your chicken faux pho.
Bring Broth to a Boil with Seasonings
First, you’re going to want to get your broth prepared. Pour your chicken broth into a pot. Turn the heat up to high to get it up to a boil. While it's getting up to heat, put in all of your other ingredients for the broth.
Put in your ginger slices, fish sauce, sugar, star anise, and you can even add roasted onion halves for extra flavor if you want.
Once all of the ingredients are in, bring the pot to a gentle simmer, and let the broth sit for about 30 minutes.
Boil Water To Cook Noodles
Get some water in a pot and bring it to a boil. This will cook your noodles. Most rice noodles cook very quickly. In fact, some only need a few seconds on the boiling water to be fully cooked, so make sure to read the instructions on the packaging of your noodles before you cook them.
Season and Sear Your Chicken
Next, you need to season and sear your chicken. The broth alone will bring plenty of flavor, so you don’t need to worry about seasoning the chicken. Just salt and pepper will work really well.
Season your chicken, add the oil in a pan and put the stove to medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, place your chicken in and sear both sides. This will start the cooking process and seal in some of those juices.
After your chicken is seared, place your whole chicken breast into the broth and let it simmer for about 15 minutes or until cooked all the way through. Once the chicken is cooked, place it in a bowl, and pull the chicken apart with a fork.
Garnish Your Broth As Desired
Now you’re ready to serve everything up to your diners. Take your bowl of noodles, place some of your pulled chicken in a small pile on the side. Pour the broth and add a few of your garnishes to the bowl.
Before you add the broth, strain out all the solids. It's best to get a skimming spoon and scoop them out or pour the broth into a bowl with a mesh strainer.
Once that’s done, pour the rest of your garnishes on the top. Give yourself a nice pile of bean sprouts and maybe some carrot strips or some green onions. You can also top with some slices of limes for a little extra citrusy goodness.
Add Sauce As Desired
Now’s the time to add your sauce. Many people like to add hoisin or sriracha for a little extra punch of flavor or spice. You can add soy sauce or a bit of extra fish sauce for some added richness.
How Do You Properly Eat Pho?
If you want to really eat pho the right way, you’ll eat it for breakfast. Pho is commonly eaten for breakfast in Vietnam to get people’s days started with a good amount of nutrients.
To really eat pho the right way, you’ll need chopsticks and a spoon.
Mix some hoisin and sriracha in a small dish on the side, grab some noodles and meat with your chopsticks, dip them into your sauce, and then eat. Between bites, take a slurp of some broth with your spoon.
Can I Make Pho Broth From Scratch?
You can absolutely make pho broth from scratch, but you’ll need a lot of time and the right ingredients. The best type to make at home is chicken and beef pho.
To make the broth, you simmer chunks of beef neckbones and oxtail bones along with some onions, spices, and fish sauce. The ingredients need to simmer together in water for around six hours so that the broth extracts as much flavor from the beef, vegetables, and spices as possible.
But there’s nothing wrong with making a bowl of faux pho! It’s much easier and will still yield you a delicious result!
What Other Meats Can I Make Pho With?
We’ve already mentioned how you can make pho with beef. But you can make it with other meats too.
There are loads of options out there. Get some ideas from your local pho shop if you want to experiment with more varieties of this classic Vietnamese dish.
The Bottom Line
Now you’re ready to cook yourself a delicious bowl of chicken faux pho right at home. This simple, healthy dish will warm your heart and lift your spirits, so get out there and make some pho!
If you need to find your pho ingredients but are having some trouble, try out Umamicart.
They have Asian groceries delivered right to your door so that you can make pho, along with other Asian recipes, at home with ease.