Our Founder’s Pho

Our Founder’s Pho


  • 1 whole celery
  • 4/5 carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 2/3 spring onions
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A couple of thumbs of ginger
  • ¾ garlic cloves
  • Bunch of mint, coriander and parsley
  • I whole chicken
  • Bouquet garnet
  • Star anise
  • 3 tbsn Fish Sauce
  • 1 tbsn Soy
  • 2 tablespoons Brown sugar (or palm sugar)
  • 2 Chilli’s
  • 1 lime (lime leaves only if you can get them too)
  • Flat Rice Noodles
  • Siratcha sauce
  • Salt and white pepper


Season and roast the chicken on a bed of 3-4 celery sticks, 2 carrots and an onion roughly chopped with half a litre of water at 180 degrees for 20 minutes then turn down to 140 and slow cook until the skin is brown (at least a further hour depending on the size). Note -you can boil the chicken but I often prefer it roasted andonlyuse half for the Pho and save the other for lunches.

In the meantime, grate the other onion, 3 celery sticks, the peeled ginger and the rest of the carrots into a v large saucepan (with seasoning). Add a splash of oil and fry with the bay leaves, star anise, lime leaves and chopped garlic. Cook until soft. (Add the chopped chilli now if you like spicy pho like me or at the end if not). Add a decent splash of fish sauce, sugar and soy.

When the chicken is cooked and chilled slightly, strip the meat from the carcass and keep the breasts to one side. I slice the crispy skin and add that too at the end as an extra garnish (if my friends haven’t stolen it all when I am not looking). Add the meat, the jus from the roast tin (and the bigger bones if you are happy to fish them out later) to the saucepan. Add a litre and half of water (or enough to well cover the meat and veg in the saucepan with the bouquet and bring to the boil. Turn to simmer once boiling for an hour (a great opportunity for a Keith Floyd cheeky glass of Chablis).

Skim when necessary and taste the stock every now and then to ensure its full of flavour, sweet and savoury. Add a sprinkle of finely chopped mint coriander and parsley (but not all of it) and simmer adding more fish sauce and soy if needed. The soup should simmer for 40 minutes at least.  When you are happy with the broth take the bones out, bouquet and discard.

Add the noodles to some boiling water and cook until soft (a minute or so). Add some cooked noodles to a bowl, chop half a Chicken breast per bowl and ladle in the broth with some of the vegand herbs. Garnish with chopped spring onion, lime mint, coriander and parsley. Add Siratcha as desired and enjoy. The pho can be cooled and reheated in portions for a couple of days.