This Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup is a classic northern Vietnamese dish that is traditionally enjoyed for breakfast – but is just as satisfying for lunch or dinner. Light, yet flavorful, its most important ingredients are a strong, clear broth, rice noodles, and thin slices of chicken. In our recipe, we enhance it with the mild spiciness of the chili pepper and with winter spices such as cinnamon and star anise.
Peel and finely chop shallot. Halve chili pepper, removing the stem and the seeds, and cut it into fine strips at an angle. Open cardamom pods and finely chop seeds.
Remove ends as well as the outermost layer of lemongrass, cut into thirds and flatten using the back of a knife. Peel and finely grate ginger. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper to taste.
In a big pot, heat 2 tbsp. oil and sauté shallot, star anise, cardamom, and chili pepper for 1 minute at medium temperature.
Then add 4¼ cups of water, fish sauce, lemongrass, cinnamon stick and ginger, bring to a boil and season with salt. Add chicken breast and simmer for 11 minutes at medium temperature, covered.
Meanwhile, coarsely chop cilantro with stems. Remove root and tips from spring onion and cut into very thin rings.
At the end of the cooking time, add rice noodles and simmer covered for another 3 minutes.
Take lemongrass, star anise, cinnamon stick and chicken breast out of the soup. Cut chicken breast into thin slices at an angle.
Add spring onions, and take off the heat.
Place Vietnamese pho ga and rice noodles into a bowl, arrange chicken breast on top, and garnish with cilantro.