Noodle soup in bowl with chopsticks and side plate

Vietnamese chicken noodle soup

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(9 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 25 mins


Serves 6

Make our comforting bowlful of chicken noodle soup with warming Vietnamese spices. This easy 'pho ga' recipe makes an ideal low-fat supper for a crowd

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal442
  • fat4g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs68g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre5g
  • protein31g
  • salt1.5g
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  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 shallots, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, chopped
  • 2½ cm piece ginger sliced



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 3 star anise
    Star anise

    Star anise

    star an-eese

    Star anise is one of the central spices in Chinese cooking. It has a strong anise flavour, with…

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • ¼ tsp Chinese five spice
  • ¼ tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
    Fish sauce

    Fish sauce

    A seasoning often used in Vietnamese and Thai cooking. In Vietnam it is usually made from shrimp…

  • 1¼ - 1½ litres good quality fresh chicken stock
  • 3 large chicken breasts (about 500g)

To serve

  • 450g rice noodles
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced on an angle
  • 1 carrot, shredded or peeled into ribbon with a vegetable peeler



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 2 large handfuls (150g) mung bean sprouts
  • large bunch coriander, chopped
  • small bunch mint, leaves chopped



    There are several types of mint, each with its own subtle difference in flavour and appearance.…

  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 2 tbsp crispy fried shallots (optional)
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf, tough central stalk removed, very finely sliced, (optional)
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges



    The same shape, but smaller than…


  1. Heat the oil in a small frying pan on medium heat and gently cook the shallots and garlic until caramelised and golden brown (about 4-5 mins).

  2. In a large saucepan, add the caramelised shallots and garlic, lemongrass, ginger, star anise, cinnamon stick, coriander seeds, Chinese five-spice, peppercorns, sugar, fish sauce, chicken stock and chicken breasts. Cover with a lid and bring to a very gentle simmer for about 15 mins.

  3. Meanwhile, cook the noodles, following pack instructions, until just cooked through (do not over-cook). Rinse under cold water to prevent them sticking together. Drain and divide between serving bowls.

  4. Strain the soup through a sieve. Discard the spices. Shred the chicken and keep to one side. Return soup to the pot and bring to a boil. Season to taste with more fish sauce if needed.

  5. To serve, ladle piping hot soup into bowls of noodles and chicken, and top with spring onion, carrot, bean sprouts, and herbs, plus the chilli, crispy shallots and kaffir lime leaf if using. Serve with a lime wedge to squeeze over, and more fish sauce and chilli to taste.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Lynne Lawson's picture
Lynne Lawson
11th Oct, 2019
Absolutely delicious. Recipe is spot on. The only thing I did different was I blanched the bean sprouts, carrots and spring onions in the liquid for a couple of minutes. So authentic. I ve kept the sieved ingredients to stuff in a piece of pork. Thought it was a shame to throw them away.
Oldfashioned 1989's picture
Oldfashioned 1989
26th Sep, 2019
It was absolutely amazing. I luckily had all the spices and herbs required, and it was so good. I had to add one more tablespoon of fish sauce, but other than that I wouldn't change a thing. I highly recommend it especially for the cold days ahead of us.
12th Jan, 2019
Made this 3 times now, love it!
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