Kitchens of Faith: a Vietnamese pho soup for Thanksgiving!

Recipe for Chef Han Lien’s Pho Soup


All the ingredients are available in an Asian Market and in many supermarkets.

-1/2 whole chicken (2 lb)
-1/2 beef muscle…boneless beef shank (1/2 lb)
-3 qt chicken stock (homemade) OR – 2qt-(College-Inn chicken broth)+1q water
-1 bag rice-noodle (banh-pho) size-s, soak in cold water for 2 hours. [Banh-Pho is a dried rice noodle.]
-1 medium onion, peeled, char onion on top of a gas burner (low-heat)
-1 oz fresh ginger, unpeeled (one piece)…if you would like a more garlicky flavor, add more garlic, and
char it on top of a gas burner (low heat)

-1/8 cup Vietnamese fish sauce (subst. for salt) [Fish sauce is an amber color, salty liquid used as a salt substitute in Vietnamese cooking.]


-4 whole star anise [Star Anise is a star-shaped pod with a brown seed in each segment that has a smoky licorice flavor.]
-4 whole cloves
-1/2 cinnamon stick
-1 whole nutmeg (cracked in half)
-1/2 whole garlic, cut in half
-beef balls or fish balls (optional) [Beef balls are made of beef that has been finely pulverized. They are a common food in Southern China and overseas Chinese communities. Fish balls are usually made of Pollock or hake that has been pulverized.]



-2 tsp Hoisin sauce
[Hoisen Sauce is a sweet Chinese dipping sauce made from sweet potato, wheat or rice starches, water, sugar, soybeans, vinegar, salt, garlic, red chili peppers, and sometimes preservatives or coloring agents.]

-1 head of scallions, slice, cilantro (optional)
-1/2 bunch Thai basil [Thai Basil is a type of Sweet Basil native to Southeast Asia] or regular basil
-1/4 lb bean sprout


Place chicken and beef muscle in a large stockpot. Add chicken broth, spice bag, charred onion, and ginger, and bring to a boil for 10 min. Turn the heat to med-low and simmer for 45 min.

Skim the surface to remove the foam and fat.
After 45 min, the chicken is cooked, remove and let it cool.

Next, add 1/2 Quart of water to the soup and continue to simmer for 30 min more. When it is done, remove the beef and let it cool then reserve in the refrigerator (for later slicing).

Next, strain the soup through a strainer (fine hole).
Season the soup w/ fish sauce and bring it to a boil then turn it down to a low-low simmer.
In another pot bring 5-Q water to a boil. Drain the noodles, then drop the noodle in boiling water and cook for 2 min then DRAIN immediately.

SERVING (makes 4 servings)

Divide the noodles among 4 large soup bowls. Top the noodles w/ the sliced beef, shredded chicken, basil, bean sprout, scallion, and 2 tsp hoisin sauce. Hot sauce (optional).

Bring the soup to a rolling boil and ladle the soup directly into a bowl of noodles. You also can add little lemon juice if you want.

The recipe was submitted by Mr. Han Lien, a member of Covenant of Grace Presbyterian Church in Briarwood, Queens at 143-55 84th Drive.

Thursday, 11/24 @ 10 am – Thanksgiving Day Service (with testimonies of thanks) 感恩節崇拜.

For more from Kitchens of Faith:

Harlem-Jamaican BBQ Chicken for Labor Day!

For July 4th cook delicious Jamaican Black-eyed peas and rice from a Harlem recipe!

Kitchens of Faith for Easter: German Caraway Eggs at St. Thomas Lutheran Church & African Tartale at Vineyard Christian Center!

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