Vietnamese chicken noodle soup

Many moons ago in Boston whilst suffering from a bit of a hangover I was recommended a wee Vietnamese restaurant near where I worked called Pho Pasteur. “Order the Chicken Pho,” I was told, “and you’ll be right as rain.” How true. This has been my comfort food ever since.

One whole chicken will easily make 15–20 bowls of broth


For the chicken broth:

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 100g fresh ginger
  • 200g fresh mint, chopped
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • Water, to cover the chicken (about 3–5 litres)

For the soup filling (per bowl):

  • 50g cooked egg noodles
  • 50g cooked chicken
  • 20g beansprouts
  • 1 water chestnut, sliced
  • 4 bamboo shoots, sliced
  • ½ scallion, sliced diagonally
  • 1 chilli, sliced diagonally (optional)
  • 1 handful picked coriander leaves


  1. Place the chicken in a large heavy-based pot. Peel and slice the ginger and add to the pot along with herbs and celery. Cover with cold water, bring to the boil and then simmer for two hours or until the legs and thighs are falling off the bone.
  2. Remove the chicken and set aside to cool enough to pull the meat apart. Set aside.
  3. Strain the broth and season to taste.
  4. Serve in a deep soup bowl, adding the soup filling ingredients in the order listed. Top up with hot broth.


If the chicken is still hot when removing from the pot, use plastic gloves to avoid getting burned.

Recipe Series: A Bird in the Hand

From the classic to the innovative, Gary O'Hanlon from Viewmount House shows us the versatility of poultry with some of his favourite recipes.
Recipes in this series:

Gary O'Hanlon

Gary O'Hanlon