Credit: Diana Warrings |

Diana says: “Pho became very popular in post war Vietnam. It is traditionally made with beef or chicken broth and is actually eaten for breakfast in some parts of Vietnam, so an all-day winner. Making a deliciously fragrant chicken broth is a quick affair and gives you lovely lunches, dinners and for those who like it even breakfast.”

Serves 2-3


  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 small cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium-hot chilli, pierced or cut in half for more heat (remove seeds to control the heat of the chilli)
  • 1-2 stalks lemon grass, outer leaves removed and cut lengthways
  • 3 inches ginger, finely chopped or grated
  • 4-6 organic chicken thighs, skinned
  • 1-2 whole star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1-2 tsp Chinese five spice (alternatively, make your own: 1 tsp coriander, ½ tsp fennel, 1/2 tsp dried ginger, 2-3 black pepper corns, 1 clove, 1 tsp coconut sugar)
  • ½ tbsp fish sauce
  • ½ tbsp tamari sauce
  • 5-2 litres organic chicken stock
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish (per person):

  • ½  carrot, finely sliced or shredded
  • 1 Jerusalem artichoke, finely sliced or shredded (add some lemon juice, so it keeps its colour)
  • 1 spring onion, sliced
  • 1 cup of Cavlo Nero or cabbage (chopped and blanched with boiling water)
  • 1-2 tbsp mung bean and alfafa sprouts
  • ¼ fresh lime
  • 1 cup of brown rice vermicelli noodles or courgetti (optional)
  • Extra chili sliced (optional)
  • A handful of fresh mint, coriander and Thai basil


  1. First heat the oil in a large pot and cook the garlic, ginger and shallots on a low to medium heat until golden brown. Add the spice mix and cook for a minute or two to enhance the flavour. Keep stirring to mix spices and other ingredients well.
  2. Add the chicken thighs and cook for a couple of minutes before adding hot chicken stock, fish sauce, lemongrass, star anise and the cinnamon stick. Cover with a lid and simmer on a low heat for 1.5-2 hours. The soup is ready when the chicken easily comes off the bone.
  3. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the soup and strain the broth through a sieve. Return the clear broth to the pot and add the tamari, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for another few minutes before serving.
  4. Shred the chicken with a fork, cover and set aside whilst you prepare the brown rice vermicelli noodles as per the instructions on the packaging.
  5. Prepare the other vegetables 10 minutes before serving.
  6. Serve the piping hot broth in a deep soup bowl on top of the fresh vegetables, shredded chicken and noodles. A side of kimchi salad adds a nice spike kick.