Vietnamese Chicken Pho (Pho Ga)

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5 from 29 reviews

An easy Chicken Pho recipe (Pho Ga), just like my mother’s recipe. Make an authentic and delicious Vietnamese Chicken Pho in less than 30 minutes with your Instant Pot or pressure cooker! Instructions for stovetop, Instant Pot and pressure cooker.


For the broth

To serve


Instructions for Stove Top

  1. Place the chicken in a large pot.
  2. Add just enough cold water to barely cover the chicken.
  3. Bring the pot to the boil and then reduce to medium heat or a gentle simmer.
  4. Meanwhile, chargrill the shallots (or onions) and ginger in a grill pan on high heat until they are slightly charred. You could also char the vegetables over an open flame if you have a gas stove, or under the grill (broiler) in the oven.
  5. Add the chargrilled onions and ginger to the pot, as well as the cinnamon stick and star anise.
  6. Simmer for about 1 to 1.5 hours, or until the chicken is tender and the meat falls away easily from the bones. The cooking time depends on the size of your chicken.
  7. During this time, regularly skim off any impurities which come to the surface of the stock, and top up with boiling water if the broth has reduced a lot. I try to maintain the same water level from start to finish.
  8. Once the chicken is tender, remove the chicken to a large bowl, and let it cool a little before shredding the meat.
  9. Strain the broth through a fine sieve into a clean pot and return to the heat.
  10. Season the broth with the salt, sugar and fish sauce.
  11. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes.
  12. Taste for seasoning. If the broth is too strong or concentrated, add some boiling water.
  13. Divide the noodles between 4 large bowls with a handful of shredded chicken on top of each.
  14. Ladle the hot broth into each bowl and serve with the fresh herbs and accompaniments.

Instructions for Instant Pot

  1. Follow the instructions as for the stove top until Step 5.
  2. Press the Manual button and cook under high pressure for 15 minutes.
  3. Turn off the Instant Pot and let the pressure decrease naturally for 10 to 15 minutes. If the pressure hasn’t been completely released after this time, turn the valve at the top to release any remaining pressure.
  4. Skim off any excess fat.
  5. Follow Steps 8 to Step 14 as for the stove top.

Instructions for Pressure Cooker

  1. Follow the instructions as for the stove top until Step 5.
  2. Make sure that there is enough water to just cover the chicken, but that the liquid not does reach the 2/3 level mark, i.e. the pot should not be more than 2/3 full.
  3. Cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions, but it should take about 15 minutes at high pressure.
  4. After this time, carefully release the pressure before removing the lid.
  5. Skim off any excess fat.
  6. Follow Steps 8 to Step 14 as for the stove top.

Kitchen Notes

You will need roughly 200 g (7 oz) of fresh rice noodles per person, but use more or less as you wish.

If you cannot find fresh rice noodles, you can also use dried rice noodles and rehydrate them as per the packet instructions. Make sure they are the flat noodles (not round).

To ensure that you have a flavourful broth, use a pot which will comfortably fit the chicken and pour in enough water so that it is only just covering the chicken.

If you later find that the broth is too concentrated, simply dilute with some water. Usually, my method creates a fairly concentrated broth, but it is much easier to dilute a strong broth than to add flavour to a weak broth.

For more details and information on serving pho, please see my post on Vietnamese Beef Pho Noodle Soup.