Faux Pho

I recently came down with a killer cold and wanted chicken soup. However, I don't really care for traditional chicken noodle soup, especially the canned kinds. It was too late in the evening, and I felt too lousy to make a batch of homemade. What I really wanted was Pho - I adore it! But I didn't feel good enough to do the driving to the nearest restaurant, and the post-Christmas budget is tight.


So after taking stock of what I had on hand, and a quick trip to the grocery store, this is what I came up with. The kids pronounced it amazing, ate 2 bowls apiece (highly unusual), made me promise to add this to the foods we eat more regularly, and said it was even better the next day when we finished it off. We got about 10 regular sized soup bowls from this recipe. My chicken pho inspired, "I have a cold and I want chicken soup" recipe


  • 1 grocery store rotisserie chicken (the pre-cooked ones)
  • 2 - 49 1/2 oz. cans Swanson's chicken broth
  • 2 tsp. Wyler's chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 10 large green onions, chopped at least 1/4 inch thick (use greens), if onions are small, use 12
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 6 smaller inside stalks of celery, with leaves, otherwise 3-4 large outside stalks, chopped at least 1/4" thick
  • 1/2 onion, sliced in paper thin rounds
  • 1/2 of an 8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts, halved (into half moon shape)
  • 1- 14.5 oz. can bean sprouts
  • 1/2 of an 8 oz. can bamboo shoots, sliced in half again lengthwise
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. Morton's Nature's Seasoning
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 jalapeno sliced thin, deseeded if you don't like the extra heat
  • 1 lime cut in chunks
  • 1 package rice vermicelli (I prefer Guilin brand for this as the noodles are thicker than some of the other rice vermicellis. Comes in a 400 gram package)


Remove the skin from the chicken, then remove all the meat from the bones. Coarsly shred or chop in 1/2 inch chunks.

Put the canned broth, powdered bouillon and water in a pot. Add chicken, green onions, celery, garlic, ginger, basil and seasoning salt.


Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add sliced onions and continue to simmer.

Begin cooking noodles according to package directions. When there is 5 minutes left of cooking time, add the water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and bean sprouts to the soup. Continue to simmer until noodles are ready.

To serve:

Place desired amount of noodles in a bowl, then ladle the soup and broth over. Stir in a jalapeno slice and squeeze of lime juice if desired. Add a few drops of sriracha sauce if desired.

Note: Any of our subscribers who may be Vietnamese, I hope I'm not offending anyone by this, calling it faux pho. I truly love your traditional soup, and while this is different, it was pho that served as my original inspiration and was all I could think of calling it.

January 16, 20090 found this helpful

I love Pho so I'm go to try this. Might sneak in a little tripe for my bowl though... :-)

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January 16, 20090 found this helpful

Wow, it sounds amazing, but complicated if you are too sick so I might try it when I am not.

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January 17, 20090 found this helpful

Looks awesome! How about adding a little toasted sesame oil and a few snow peas? I saved this recipe. Thank's so much for posting.

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January 17, 20090 found this helpful

It really wasn't as complicated to make as it sounds, but if I was sick with anything other than a cold, then it probably would've been too much. From start to finish we were eating in less than an hour.

If you like fish oil, that would be a good addition as well. I didn't have any on hand, but believe it is one of the basic ingredients for pho.

Have fun with it. Use it as a base to make an awesome soup of your own, and enjoy. Thanks for your encouraging responses! Happy eating!

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