Chicken Pho Soup
1 tbsp oil , vegetable or canola (or other plain oil)
2 onions , halved (skin on fine)
5cm/ 2" piece of ginger , sliced 0.75cm / 1/3" thick (unpeeled)
PHO SOUP BROTH:
2 litres / 2 quarts water
1.5 kg / 3 lb chicken thighs, bone in skin on
1 small bunch coriander/cilantro
5 star anise pods
1 cinnamon stick
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
8 tsp fish sauce
6 tsp white sugar
3/4 tsp salt (Cooking/kosher salt, or 1/2 tsp table salt)
360g / 13 oz dried rice noodles , thin flat (or 600g fresh)
2 green onions stems , finely sliced
▢3 cups bean sprouts
▢1 small bunch EACH Thai Basil, min, coriander/cilantro
▢2 limes , cut into 4 wedges
▢Red chillies , finely sliced (optional)
Char onion & ginger - Heat oil in a 6 litre / 6 quart pot over high heat. Place ginger and onion facedown, leave undisturbed for 2 minutes until they blacken. Turn and leave for another 2 minutes.
Put everything in pot - Add water and remaining Broth ingredients EXCEPT salt. Bring it a simmer, then lower heat so it's simmering VERY gently with the lid on, but open a crack (Note 6).
Simmer gently 1.5 hours. Scoop off scum (dirty foam) that rises to surface once or twice during the simmering.
Strain & measure - Remove chicken, then strain broth into a clean pot - you should have 1.5 litres / 1.5 quarts. If you have more, simmer to reduce. If less, top it up with water.
Salt broth - Add salt, bring broth to a gentle simmer. Broth should be slightly on the salty side - it dilutes when you add the noodles.
Keep broth warm until ready to serve
Shred chicken meat, discard bones and skin.
Place Toppings out on the table.
Reheat chicken (can briefly dunk in broth!).
Prepare noodles per packet directions, just prior to serving. Drain very well (excess water dilutes broth).
Place noodle in bowls. Top with chicken, ladle over 375ml / 1.5 cups broth. Sprinkle with green onion.
Pile on Toppings of choice, add a squeeze of lime into the broth. Consume immediately!