Anytime I’m sick or just craving something to warm me up on a cold winter day I go for pho. If you haven’t yet tried this phenomenal Vietnamese noodle soup, then make that your goal for the weekend. Ask around, read reviews, and find yourself the best pho spot you can!
Since I’m a DIY person through and through, I of course wanted to try a homemade version. The only problem is that traditional pho broth can sometimes take 6-8 hours and in some cases.. an entire day! I definitely don’t have that kind of time in my life right now so I set out to make a speedy version without sacrificing flavor. Not only did I get this down to a cool 30 minutes, but inadvertently made the dish gluten-free as well. Pho is made with rice noodles traditionally, but since the store was out, I picked up mung bean noodles instead. They’re thinner than rice noodles, but similar consistency and flavor.
With these slight changes and sped up process, I didn’t feel right naming it pho, hence the “Noodle Bowl” title instead, but this is a damn close recipe! It’s hearty, yet lean, full of rich flavors and spices, and can easily be adapted for pork or beef instead. And it didn’t take six hours to make!
(makes 5-6 servings)
3 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 Tbs minced shallot
2 stalks of green onion, diced
3 tsp of fresh minced ginger
6 cups of chicken broth
4 dried Japanese chili peppers
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 Tbs soy sauce
Juice from half a lime
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper to taste
1 package (6oz) of mung bean noodles
1 large jalapeno, sliced into thin rings
2-3 stalks of green onion, diced
3 Tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
3 Tbs fresh basil, chopped
3 Tbs fresh mint, chopped
8-10 lime wedges or slices
1 package of mung bean sprouts
Sriracha and/or fish sauce
In a large stock pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add garlic, shallot, green onion, and ginger. Saute for 1 minute or until fragrant.
Add chicken broth, chili peppers, cinnamon stick, fennel seed, soy sauce, and lime juice. Bring to a boil over medium to high heat and cover for 10 minutes. Adjust heat or occasionally stir to keep from boiling over.
In a large skillet heat remaining two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Pound chicken breasts down until they’re even in thickness so they cook quicker and evenly. Season with salt and pepper. When skillet is hot, add chicken breasts. Cook about 4 minutes on each side or until thoroughly cooked. Transfer to a plate to rest for 3-5 minutes before cutting into small bite sized pieces.
Okay now let’s get back to that delicious broth! After about 10 minutes remove the lid and add mung bean noodles. I typically break off about half and it’s plenty for 5-6 servings and save the rest for the next time I make it.
Submerge until completely covered with broth. Cover and boil for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. While waiting on the noodles to cook, you can prep your remaining serving ingredients.
When finished cooking, stir in chicken.
Using a pasta claw or large fork, add a few heaps of noodles to bowls, ladle broth and chicken over the top, top with as many or as little fixings as you like, top with some Sriracha or fish sauce, and serve!