Introduction: Gluten-Free Comfort Food: Chicken Noodle Pho
To me, comfort food is something that not only warms your tummy but also warms your heart. This is my go-to gluten-free dish when I am yearning for a hearty, flavorful, and warm meal. It does require some preparation and cooking time. Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat (beef or chicken). I will be showing you how to make chicken Pho in 3 steps.
The following steps will ensure that your Pho dish will be a winner in your home. Most ingredients you will find in your local grocer and Asian store.
Step 1: Make the Broth
• 2-3 medium yellow onions
• 1 medium-sized ginger
• 3 to 5-lb chicken
• 20 c water
• 1 tsp of whole black pepper
• 2 tsp of green or black cardamom
• 7-9 star anise
• 1-2 cinnamon sticks
• 1 small cheesecloth bag
• 2 tbsp of white sugar
• 2 tbsp of salt
• 2 tbsp of fish sauce
Remove the ginger and onion skins. In a bowl, microwave the ginger and onions for 3 minutes. Add black pepper, cardamom, star anise and cinnamon sticks to your cheesecloth bag. Leave aside. Clean the chicken and add it to a large pot with 20 cups of water. Add the ginger, onion and spice bag to the pot. Put on high heat on stove. After 10-15 minutes, reduce to medium low heat and skim the scum off until the broth looks clear. Add the sugar, salt, and fish sauce to the pot. Cover and let simmer for 35 minutes.
After 35 minutes, remove the chicken carefully and let cool. Once cooled, separate the meat from the bones. Set the meat aside. Put the bones back into the pot and continue to cook the broth. Taste the broth, you can add a little bit more fish sauce or sugar if you prefer a saltier or sweeter flavor. Simmer for another 2-3 hours under low heat.
Step 2: Prepare the Herbs and Noodle
• 1 package of Pho rice stick
• hot pepper (optional)
• Thai basil
• bean sprouts
• 1 lime
• 1-2 yellow onions
• 1/2 c green onions
• 2 tsp oil
While the broth is cooking, cook the noodles according to the package's directions. These noodles come in different sizes, from small to extra large. Any size will do. Wash the hot pepper, basil, cilantro, and bean sprouts. Cut the lime in wedges. Set aside. Cut your yellow and green onions. Sauté the onions with oil. Set aside.
Step 3: Assemble the Dish
Once you are ready to eat, slice the chicken pieces into thin slices. Turn off the heat to your broth. Add the noodles to your bowl, place the chicken slices on top and add the broth. Top it with sautéed onions. Add your favorite herbs and veggies. You can add the hot pepper and a little black pepper if you like more of a spicy flavor.
Optional: Pour some fish sauce in a small dish with hot pepper. Use it as a dip for your chicken while you are eating your noodles.
I hope you enjoy this hearty noodle dish the next time you have a craving for some ethnic food that is gluten-free!
From my home to yours,
♥ The Monge
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