Phở Gà Khô Hai Tô (Vietnamese Dry Chicken Noodle)


for broth

1 hen (available at Asian market)

1 large piece ginger, peeled, cut into 3 slices

1 onion, peeled, cut into half or

a handful of shallots, peeled

a handful of garlic cloves, peeled

1 rock sugar, about 1 tablespoon

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 packet phở spice

for sauce

3 shallots, thinly slices

4 large cloves of garlic, minced

2 white and light green parts of green onion

1 tablespoon olive oil or annatto oil (recipe here)

1/2 cup Maggi Europe soy sauce

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon paprika, optional

other ingredients

fried pork fat, click here for recipe

2 bags phở noodle

bean sprouts

lettuces, optional

basil leaves

culantro leaves (ngò gai), finely chopped, optional

cilantro, finely chopped

chili peppers, thinly sliced, optional

lime or lemon, cut into wedges

black pepper



Cooking the Chicken and Broth

Discard any excess fat from a hen. Rinse hen with cold water and place in a stockpot. Add the water (just enough to submerge the hen), ginger slices, onion or shallots, garlic, rock sugar, salt, and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, turn off the heat, cover with a lid and let the chicken sits for another 10-15 minutes.

Remove the chicken, let cool, and shred or cut the meat.  You can also cool down the chicken quickly by placing in ice and water. 

Reserve the chicken bones to put back into the broth pot.  Add a tablespoon of fish sauce, and a bag of phở spice.

Simmer the broth for another 15-20 minutes. Skim any foam that rises to the surface. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.  If you like beef meatballs, cut each meatball into half, and add them into the pot. 


Preparing Pork Fat

click here for the recipe


Preparing the Sauce

Heat olive oil or annatto oil in a sauce pan over medium. The purpose of using annatto oil is to give the sauce its distinctive red color. You can skip the annatto seeds if preferred.  Cook shallots, green onion, and garlic, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant. Add sugar, paprika if used, and chicken broth from the broth pot, stirring, until sugar dissolved. Turn the heat off. Add soy sauce last.



First Bowl - Blanch phở noodle in a pot of boiling water for a couple seconds. If you don't like eating raw bean sprouts, blanch both pho noodle and bean sprouts together. Don't blanch it too long as the noodle will be mushy.

Place noodle into a bowl.  Top with shredded chicken, fried pork fat, fried shallots, chopped herbs, and sprinkle some black pepper.

Second Bowl - If you like to have steak in your broth, add thin slices or chopped steak into the bowl, then ladle the boiling broth into the bowl.  I prefer serving phở with chopped steak over sliced steak. Otherwise, ladle broth, with or without meatballs into the bowl. Garnish with cilantro and a dash of black pepper.

Serve  'phở hai tô' with a side of  sauce, bean sprouts, lettuces, basil, lime wedges, hoisin sauce, sriracha hot sauce, or chili peppers for each person to garnish their own noodle as desired.