I’ve work with one of my closest friends at the same company for the past almost two years. We’ve been friends for two-thirds of our lives (over 20 years). I’m his kids’s god mom and he was my bridesman at my wedding. He’s basically promoted to my work-husband at this point. I joked that he only took me out on pho lunch dates since we went at least once a week. But now we’re stuck at home and I haven’t seen any of my friends (in person) for over 100 days. God, I miss those damn pho dates.
Yes, I can order pho delivery and I have. But I’m not a huge fan of MSG dry mouth. MSG stands for monosodium glutamate and is a pantry staple throughout East and Southeast Asian kitchens. Honestly, I know pho tastes so good because of MSG. MSG has become synonymous with pho but there’s one pesky side effect: dry mouth. I get so thirsty after eating a bowl of pho that I’ll guzzle water for hours afterwards. Which leads me to want to make my own at home – minus the MSG. Gasp, the horror. There are huge debates whether you can even call it pho if you don’t put MSG into it. I think it should be!
A tradition pho ga broth takes over two hours to simmer for that delicious flavor to develop. This hack is so simple. I use a pre-made chicken bone broth as the base of my noodle broth and add aromatics to it. Bone broths are so prevalent and accessible at markets these days that I don’t see why we can’t use them to hack our way to faster and just as tasty meals! I order my bone broth from Belcampo because they have quality products and they ship directly to your door. Their meat products are mighty tasty too but I’ll post about that on another day. Use my special code, SANDYEATS10, for 10% off your Belcampo purchase! Or just click on this link!
Pho Ga Hack
- 2 bags of 24 fl oz Belcampo organic chicken bone broth
- 2 chicken breasts, whole
- 1 medium onion, cut in half without skin
- 2 slices ginger, about 1/2 inch knob, lightly crushed
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1-2 cloves
- 1 inch piece of rock sugar, optional
- Salt, to taste
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 pack 14 oz dry rice stick noodles, I used Three Ladies Brand
- Assorted fresh herbs and garnishes like onion slices, green onions, mint, perilla, basil, jalapenos, lime, and bean sprouts
- Step 1 In a 5 quart pot, add bone broth with onion, ginger, coriander seeds, and cloves and bring to a gentle simmer over medium high heat. Turn heat down to medium low heat. The broth should be simmering but now too intensely.
- Step 2 Add chicken breasts and cover the pot. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove chicken breasts and shred into thin long strips. Set aside.
- Step 3 Turn the heat to low with the pot uncovered. Remove aromatics from broth with a sieve and skim off any impurities that are floating in the liquid. Add fish sauce and rock sugar (if using). Keep the broth warm over low heat while preparing the noodles.
- Step 4 Soak dry rice stick noodles in hot tap water for about 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, add about 10 cups of water to another pot and bring to a boil.
- Step 5 Drain the noodles and cook them in the hot water for 30 seconds. Do not cook them too long or they lose their chewiness and will break apart!
- Step 6 Place cooked noodles at the bottom of a bowl. Top with shredded chicken breast, onion slices, and green onions.
- Step 7 Gently ladle hot broth on top of the noodles.
- Step 8 Garnish with your favorite fresh herbs and add a squirt of lime.