Original name: Pho Ga
Ingredients (serves 6 people)
2 star anise
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 whole chicken (with skin)
1 ginger (bigger piece)
1 large onion
200g rice noodles (Asia store)
At least 3 tablespoons of (preferably Vietnamese) fish sauce
1 bunch of spring onions
1 bunch of fresh thai basil
1 bunch of fresh mint
1 bunch of fresh coriander
perhaps some fresh sprouts
Put the cloves, star anise and coriander seeds into a frying pan and put on medium heat. Do not burn the seeds but roast them until they start to release their smells.
Cut the ginger in two halves (cut surface should be maximal so cut the smaller side into two) and the onion into two halves. Roast in a pan or directly over a gas flame until the outer part is partially burnt.
Put seeds, onion and ginger into a large pot and fill up with cold water (to cover the chicken). Cook with a lid for about 50mins. After the chicken is nicely cooked through, leave in the liquid to cool down.
When cold, take out the chicken. Put the stock again on the fire, bring to a boil and reduce down to intensify the flavor of the chicken stock. Perhaps reduce by a quater or even half of the amount (taste and continue as you like it).
Meanwhile, peel off the meat of the chicken and separate from skin and bones.
Just before serving: Bring the chicken stock to a rolling boil. Add the rice noodles, the chicken pieces, 2 chopped chillis. Season with at least 3 tablespoons of Vietnamese fish sauce and add salt if needed.
When the rice noodles are tender (they cook very quickly!) serve the soup:
Put some noodles into a bowl, add some chicken pieces on top of the noodles. Add plenty of stock on top into the bowl.
Top with thin slices of spring onions, some fresh leaves of thai basil, mint and coriander, some fine slices of fresh chillis and some sprouts.
Serve with quater pieces of limes to allow to flavour the soup indivually with some lime juice.