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Chicken noodle pho

25 January 2016

Pho is a Vietnamese chicken noodle soup. It's quick and easy to prepare and low in fat.

Chicken noodle pho
Chicken noodle pho is a popular Vietnamese soup

Preparation time

10 minutes

Cooking time

10 minutes




  • 200 g/8 oz/1¼ cups thread-thin rice noodles
  • 200 g/7 oz/1¼ cups chicken, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tbsp grated root ginger
  • 2 cm/1 in length of lemongrass stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil, such as rapeseed oil
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 200 g/7 oz/about 2 cups mixed vegetables such as pak choi, carrots, bean sprouts
  • Green leaves of 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 800 ml/1¼ pints/3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce, or to taste
  • Juice of 1 lime, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp chopped fragrant herbs, such as coriander, mint and chives


Thread-thin rice noodles are the thing to eat if you want some energy but you are feeling a little delicate. Pho is a fragrant, nutritious soup, South-East Asian street food at its best, containing a small amount of fish or meat with a variety of vegetables depending on the season. 

Place the noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to soak for 5 minutes, then drain. Set aside.

Slice the chicken and place it in a small bowl with the ginger, lemongrass and 1 tbsp of the oil. Season and mix well.

Prepare the vegetables: chop the carrots into matchstick-like strips and slice the pak choi.

Heat the remaining oil in a wok and gently sweat the spring onion tops and pepper until soft. Add the marinated chicken, with its marinade, and stir-fry briskly until the chicken begins to colour. Pour in the stock, fish sauce and lime juice, and bring it to a simmer.

Add the vegetables and cook for about 8 minutes until they are soft but retain some ‘bite’.

When there are 4 minutes before serving, add the noodles to the wok. Taste the pho and season with soy sauce, fish sauce and a little more lime juice if required. Serve in bowls scattered with fragrant herbs.

Cooking tips

Make this suitable for vegetarians by substituting the chicken with tofu and omitting the fish sauce.

Cook the chicken on a griddle to create charred lines and develop its flavour.

Cooking for the Sensitive Gut

In this recipe, we have chosen vegetables that are low in FODMAPs (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols) and added just a little marinated chicken. Pho usually contains chillies, but we left them out as they can trigger symptoms in some people. Make your own stock or use just a small amount of a ready-made stock that you trust not to upset you. If in doubt, use water instead and flavour your pho with just a little soy sauce, fish sauce and lime juice.

Recipe from Cooking for the Sensitive Gut by Dr Joan Ransley and Dr Nick Read, published by Pavilion, RRP £16.99. Recipe photography by Dr Joan Ransley.

Visit our Soup and stew recipes section for more delicious meal ideas, including a sweet potato noodle bowl, pork chilli ramen and vegetarian ramen.


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