Aromatic, Fresh and Tasty Chicken Pho Broth

This dish is so comforting, it is full of flavour and the fresh lime, herbs and chilli really pack a punch. You can add any greens to this I just happened to have spinach in the fridge, it is the same with the herbs you could use mint or even parsley. I tend to make this after we have had a roast chicken as I use the carcass to the make the stock. I always seem to have shallots, ginger and garlic lying around I then just raid the spice cupboard for some aromatics. For this stock I used a chicken carcass (leftover from roast), sliced ginger (inch piece), 3 garlic cloves (crushed), 2 shallots quartered, 2 star anise, 1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns, chicken stock pot and a bay leaf, it’s really easy you just chuck everything in pot bring to the boil then simmer with a lid for 4 hours. Strain into a jug and leave in the fridge overnight (this way you can spoon off the fat solids on the top). It does make the flavour that bit more asian.

Ingredients (serves 2)

For the chicken

  • 2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp mirin (can use rice or Shaoxing wine)
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp kecap manis (can use 1 tbsp soy and 1 tsp honey)
  • 1 tbsp cornflour

For the broth

  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 plump garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 thumb piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 ltr of good quality chicken stock (recipe above in intro)
  • 1 bunch of noodles (I used udon)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp kecap manis
  • seasoning if needed

To serve

  • 2 handfuls of spinach leaves
  • 2 handfuls of beansprouts
  • 15g dried chinese or porcini mushrooms (soaked in warm water for 30 min)
  • small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
  • small bunch of basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 red chilli, de seeded and sliced
  • 1 lime, quartered


  1. Start by marinating the chicken, add all of the marinade ingredients into a bowl give it a good whisk or stir to combine. Add the chicken and rub all over using your hands so the chicken is covered and submerged, cover with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (or as long as you can)
  2. Pre heat oven to 200 degrees fan. Place some baking paper in an ovenproof dish (saves washing up) add the chicken breast and roast for 30-40 minutes depending on thickness until juices run clear. Cover with foil and leave to rest for 15 mins before slicing.
  3. While the chicken is baking prepare the broth. Heat a small drizzle of oil to a large saucepan, add the chopped spring onions, garlic and ginger cook over a medium heat for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Add in the stock and bring to the boil, reduce to a low simmer, add the kecap manis, soy and fish sauce, taste and add seasoning if needed.
  4. Next prepare the serving bowls, add a handful of spinach leaves and beansprouts into each bowl. Drain the mushrooms and share between the 2 bowls. On a side dish add the chopped basil, coriander, chilli and lime quarters. Set aside.
  5. Add the noodles to the broth, increase the heat slightly and simmer for 5 minutes until soft.
  6. Slice the rested chicken and add to the serving dishes. Remove the cooked noodles from the broth and share between the serving bowls.
  7. To serve, Bring the broth back to a bubbling simmer pour over the prepared serving bowls (it should wilt the spinach). Serve along with the garnish side dishes. Enjoy.


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