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) and 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.
Chicken Broth Ingredients:
- raw chicken scraps/bones
- charred onions (roast onions in advance until blackened)
- roughly chopped fresh ginger
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 2-3 carrots
- 2-3 celery stalks
- 1-2 cinnamon sticks (keep whole)
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 1 tsp whole cloves
- 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 2-3 star anise
- 3-4 cooking solid sugar blocks
protein (I used shrimp/prawns, fish balls)
Pho add-ins when Serving / Garnish:
fresh basil leaves
fresh cilantro leaves
white onion ringlets
chopped green onion
On the side: sriracha hot chilli sauce and hoisin sauce.
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!)
4. Chop some broccoli and carrots and add to the broth when heating up
5. 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
6. Prepare rice noodles separately according to package directions – make sure to drain and rinse with cold water before serving
7. 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
8. 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.
Please make this at home and comment below how it goes, I would love to hear from you.