I was very excited about this month’s challenge…Pho Soup. I do love this soup but I do not normally crave it because soup, in restaurants, do not fill me enough. Even a bog bowl. But now I could control what was in it. I also have a friend who always raves about this type of soup so I invited her over for the making of it. Johanne arrived promptly on time and excited to make this recipe. We were later joined by my out of town friend Christine for the meal.

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We were amazed by how quick and simple it was to make. Well the short version with chicken. The bouillon was heavenly. I did personally find it a bit salty so I would maybe do 6 cups of broth and 2 cups of water. While the bouillon was simmering we prepared the accompaniment plate and drinking lots of wine lol. I used half the noodle amount too otherwise there would not be much bouillon left

Finally we got to eat. It was a success all around. I love adding chili to it, I like it spicy. And I was happy to have a bit of leftover as now I am sick with a cold. Nothing like chicken soup!

Thank you to Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen for this month’s Challenge. The recipe is from her new book The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook.

You can either make the quick version listed below, or, if you’re feeling particularly daring, you can make the longer version listed here: http://steamykitchen.com/139-vietnamese-chicken-noodle-soup-pho-ga.html or the beef version listed here: http://steamykitchen.com/271-vietnamese-beef-noodle-soup-pho.html


Vietnamese Chicken Pho

Preparation Time: 45 cooking time + 15 minutes to cook noodles based on package directions

Servings: Makes 4 servings


For the Chicken Pho Broth:
2 tbsp. whole coriander seeds
4 whole cloves
2 whole star anise
2 quarts (2 liters/8 cups/64 fluid ounces) store-bought or homemade chicken stock
1 whole chicken breast (bone in or boneless)
½ onion
1 3-inch (7.5 cm) chunk of ginger, sliced and smashed with side of knife
1 to 2 tbsps. sugar
1 to 2 tbsps. fish sauce

1 lb. (500 grams/16 ounces) dried rice noodles (about ¼ inch/6 mm wide)


2 cups (200 grams/7 ounces) bean sprouts, washed and tails pinched off
Fresh cilantro (coriander) tops (leaves and tender stems)
½ cup (50 grams/approx. 2 ounces) shaved red onions
½ lime, cut into 4 wedges
Sriracha chili sauce
Hoisin sauce
Sliced fresh chili peppers of your choice


  1. To make the Chicken Pho Broth: heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the coriander seeds, cloves and star anise and toast until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Immediately spoon out the spices to avoid burning.
  2. In a large pot, add all the ingredients (including the toasted spices) and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes, skimming the surface frequently.
  4. Use tongs to remove the chicken breasts and shred the meat with your fingers, discarding the bone if you have used bone-in breasts.
  5. Taste the broth and add more fish sauce or sugar, if needed. Strain the broth and discard the solids.
  6. Prepare the noodles as per directions on the package.
  7. Ladle the broth into bowls. Then divide the shredded chicken breast and the soft noodles evenly into each bowl.
  8. Have the accompaniments spread out on the table. Each person can customize their own bowl with these ingredients.

There was a second challenge to this month, Chocolate Wontons, which was a failure for me as I did not find wonton squares and I really tried to improvise with soy wrappers and accidently bought asian chocolate CANDY instead of chocolate and I suck at frying. But sharing one pic for the humor HA HA and the recipe.


Chocolate Wontons


1 large egg
1 tbsp. water
12 wonton wrappers, defrosted (keep wrappers covered with damp towel)
12 pieces or nuggets of chocolate (use any type of chocolate you like)
High-heat oil for frying (i.e., vegetable oil, corn oil)
Confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar) for sprinkling


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water to make an egg wash.
  2. On a clean, dry surface lay 1 wonton wrapper down with a point toward you, like a diamond.
  3. Place 1 piece of chocolate near the top end of the wrapper.
  4. Brush a very thin layer of the egg wash on the edges of the wrapper.
  5. Fold the bottom corner of the wrapper up to create a triangle and gently press to remove all air from the middle. Press the edges to adhere the sides. Make sure the wrapper is sealed completely.
  6. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and chocolate pieces.
  7. Keep the folded chocolate wontons covered under plastic wrap or a damp paper towel to prevent them from drying.
  8. In a wok or medium pot, pour in 2 inches (5 cm.) of high-heat oil.
  9. Heat the oil to 350º F (180º C) and gently slide a few of the chocolate wontons into the hot oil. Make sure you don’t crowd the chocolate wontons.
  10. Fry the wontons for 1 ½ minutes, then flip over and fry another minute until both sides are golden brown and crisp.