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Vietnamese Pho Ga

Vietnamese Pho Ga or Oriental Hot Pot Soup

I call it Oriental Hot Pot Soup, but this is my version of Pho Ga (pronounced “fuh-gah”) – Vietnamese chicken noodle soup – except sometimes I make it with tofu. It comes into my kitchen when I need to truly nourish myself. The idea of a gingery chicken broth that caresses bite size morsels of fresh aromatic vegetables and herbs, interlaced with silky rice noodles, and then embraces my palate with it’s rich collection of comforting textures and flavors – it makes me feel good just thinking about it. I love that this noodle bowl can become its lovely self within 30 minutes, and it comes from my normal refrigerated pantry. Fresh ginger, carrots, onion, chicken broth, bites of leftover chicken (or tofu as shown in the video), rice noodles. If you enjoy healthy Asian dishes, these are items to have on hand.

Here is my version. Not fussy or complicated. Flexible depending on what is in my fridge.


Enjoy the recipe and the video and nourish yourself as often as possible!



Vietnamese Pho Ga - or Chinese Hot Pot Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup will caress your palate at the table. The trick is to have everything "mise en place" or - ready and on hand - when you begin cooking. It cooks quickly and should be served as soon as it is done. The ingredients are flexible - you can substitute tofu for the chicken, cabbage for the spinach, and zucchini or other green vegetable for the asparagus. I recommend using whatever is in season or that you happen to have on hand.
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: 4 servings
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • ¼ medium Sweet Onion, thinly sliced
  • 2" piece of Fresh Ginger, thinly sliced into "matchsticks"
  • 1 c. Carrot slices, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 tsp. Asian Soy Sauce
  • 1 qt. Chicken Stock (homemade or packaged organic broth)
  • 2 c. poached of cooked Chicken, thinly sliced or cubed. - or - cubes of tofu.
  • 1 c. Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced (not too thin)
  • 1 c. Asparagus Spears, sliced into ½" slices on the diagonal
  • ½ tsp. Sea Salt
  • Dash of Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 pkg. Fresh or dried Rice Noodles
  • Garnish
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Sriracha
  • Lime Wedge
  1. In a heavy stock pot, warm the peanut oil and add the sliced onion and ginger to begin to sweat. After two minutes, add the carrot and celery and continue to saute for two more minutes.Add the dark soy sauce and stir to coat the vegetables.
  2. Add the chicken broth to the pot and bring to a simmer. Add the cooked chicken and simmer for two minutes.
  3. Add the shiitake mushrooms and asparagus to the pot. Simmer for two more minutes.
  4. Add the rice noodles and simmer for two more minutes.
  5. Add the spinach just before serving, stirring into the soup just long enough to wilt the spinach and maintain it's vibrant green color.
  6. Season the soup pot with sea salt and red pepper flakes.
  7. Serve the hot soup into shallow bowls garnished with fresh cilantro leaves and a wedge of lime and a dash of sriracha, if desired,
The protein choice here is yours to make. Sometimes I use tofu with great results - especially if you follow the marinade/cornstarch method (see my video of this recipe using tofu).

Asian noodle salad with carrot ginger soup

Carrot Ginger Soup with Soba Noodle Salad

It seems I have a bit of a ying/yang situation going on with my food cravings during this time of year. I really look forward to the season that draws us close in to comfort foods and foods that are a celebration in and of themselves.  Thanksgiving with the roast bird, creamed vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy, pumpkin pie. We love these foods so much.

But to set them apart, it’s nice to balance the celebration with foods that nourish.

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