Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chicken Pho

This is part of my first Daring Cooks Challenge. I must admit I haven't been unable to participate with the last few challenges (although I have really wanted to) due to what's been going on in my personal life but I am quite pleased with the outcome of this challenge.

Although a huge lover of noodle soups I must admit while I am quite scared that I do not met the level of the other challengers BUT I am pleased that I did attempt this dish. I don't even know if I am posting it correctly.....

Noel really loved the dish and complimented me several times, Oliver gave it a good go and enjoyed whereas it really wasn't Alex's cup of tea. I have never cooked a Vietnamese meal from scratch before although we have eaten it many times.

I made a few additions to the recipe, mainly additional vegetables, however one specification of the challenge is that the base stock cannot be altered and to be perfectly honest no changes were necessary.

The noodle soup itself was quite flavoursome but not that exciting. By serving a plateful of condiments it was up to the individual as to how adventurous their soup could become. Noel added everything I put on his plate and he is still talking about how good it was!!

Anyway as for the Daring Cooks Challenge:
The October 2009 Daring Cooks’ challenge was brought to us by Jaden of the blog Steamy Kitchen. The recipes are from her new cookbook, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook.

The challenge itself had two parts ~ main and dessert. The dessert being Chocolate Wontons, which will feature in my next post and these were an optional component to the challenge.

There was two options available for making the Chicken Pho. The quick version using shop bought liquid stock or the traditional long version. At this stage I took the quick version but will more than likely give the traditional version a go in the near future.

Chicken Pho
(Recipe Source: Jaden of
Steamy Kitchen from her new book The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook)

Serves: 4
Points per serve: TBA

2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
4 whole cloves
2 whole star anise
2 litres (8cups) chicken stock (store-bought or homemade)
3 small chicken fillets (bone in or boneless)
½ onion
1 3-inch (7.5 cm) chunk of ginger, sliced and smashed with side of knife
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 carrot, peeled and sliced thinly on diagonal
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
500 grams dried rice noodles (about ¼ inch/6 mm wide)
200 grams bean sprouts, washed and tails pinched off
1 bunch of Fresh coridaner, ends trimmed
1 bunch of Fresh mint, ends trimmed
½ cup (50 grams/approx. 2 ounces) shaved red onions
1 tomato cut into wedges
½ lime, cut into 4 wedges
Sriracha chili sauce or other hot chilli sauce
Hoisin sauce
Sliced fresh chili peppers of your choice

Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the coriander seeds, cloves and star anise and toast until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Immediately spoon out the spices to avoid burning.

In a large pot, add all the ingredients (including the toasted spices) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes, skimming the surface frequently.

Use tongs to remove the chicken breasts and shred the meat with your fingers or slice thinly, discarding the bone if you have used bone-in breasts.

Taste the broth and add more fish sauce or sugar, if needed. Strain the broth and discard the solids. Return to heat, add the carrot and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and simmer for a furter 2 - 3 minutes or unti broccoli is soft.

Prepare the noodles as per directions on the package. Drain.

Divide the noodles amongst the bowls. Carefully remove carrot and broccoli from stock and place on top of noodles. Top with tomatoe and carefuly ladle the broth into bowls. Then divide the shredded/sliced chicken breast evenly into each bowl.

Have the accompaniments spread out on the table or on serving platters . Each person can customize their own bowl with these ingredients.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)


Patti said...

I like the simplicity of your wontons. I tried to make a few in the "golden bag" style with mine, but they leaked and sputtered and fell apart completely - how did you get them to stay together so well?

Nice work with both challenges. :)

chef_d said...

Your pho looks delicious :) and the little wonton bags sound so yummy!

Rose said...

Great job! Congrats on your first challenge!!!!!!!!!!!

Angelica said...

i love your wontons! and great photos for your pho too, they both look delicious

Lisa said...

Congrats on a first challenge well done! Your pho looks gorgeous, and love the way you arranged everything in the bowl. Also, your wontons look marvelous! Welcome to Daring Cooks! :)