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Recipe
Pho Ga (Chicken Pho)

Pho Ga (Chicken Pho)

This Vietnamese-inspired soup is a nod to the prevalence of Vietnamese food in New Orleans. Both Chef Emeril and Chef Slater love Vietnamese food. Therefore, hints of this cuisine often appear on the menu at Emeril's.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 1/2 hours
  • Yield: 4 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • Southeast Asian broth

  • One 4-pound chicken, cut into quarters
  • 3 pounds chicken backs, necks, or bones
  • 2 small yellow onions, quartered
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • One 1-inch piece fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 whole star anise
  • ¼ cup Vietnamese fish sauce, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar, or to taste
  • Pho

  • 6 ounces cellophane noodles
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced, submerged in a bowl of cold water
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 2 heads baby bok choy, cut into bite-size pieces
  • For serving

  • Fresh mint sprigs
  • Fresh Thai basil sprigs
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs or thinly sliced fresh cilantro leaves
  • Lime wedges
  • Thinly sliced serrano peppers
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sriracha sauce

Directions

  • To make the Southeast Asian broth, rinse the chicken quarters and the chicken parts or bones under cool running water. Place all the chicken in a 6-quart pressure cooker and add water to cover. Close and lock the lid, and set to “low pressure” for 3 minutes.

  • Open the pressure release valve, allow the steam to escape, and carefully unlock and open the lid. Drain the chicken in a colander, discarding the liquid, and rinse any remaining scum or residue off the chicken. Clean the bowl of the pressure cooker of any residue.

  • Return all the chicken to the pressure cooker and add 2 quarts of water. Add the onions, carrots, garlic, ginger, coriander, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick, cloves, and star anise. Close and lock the lid, and reset the pressure cooker to “low pressure” for 35 minutes.

  • While the broth is cooking, soak the cellophane noodles in hot water in a medium mixing bowl or saucepan for at least 20 minutes. Once the noodles are soft, drain them in a colander and set them aside until ready to use.

  • Strain the Southeast Asian broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large pot. Remove the meat from the chicken, discarding the skin and bones, and set it aside. Discard the vegetables and aromatics. Add the fish sauce and palm sugar to the broth, adjusting to taste.

  • Divide the noodles equally among individual bowls, and top them with the reserved chicken. Drain the yellow onion, and add onion slices and green onions to each bowl.

  • Heat the broth over medium-high heat, add the bok choy, and simmer gently for 5 minutes or until the broth is hot and the bok choy is tender. Ladle the broth over the ingredients in the bowls. Serve immediately, with the mint, basil, cilantro, lime wedges, serrano peppers, hoisin sauce, and Sriracha sauce alongside for guests to add to their bowls as desired.

  • Note:  If you don't own a pressure cooker, you can easily make this in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. You will just need to adjust the cook times accordingly.