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Inspired by the rainy weather and wishing for the sun

Yesterdays’s weather was like the weather of my childhood in the Willamette Valley:  dark, drizzly,  and windy.  It made me want soup and sun.  Luckily, I had some chicken stock boiling away on the stove, some cilantro & basil in the fridge, and some star anise in the drawer.  Pho night was born!

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And while I was rummaging around in the cabinet looking for the rice stick noodles, I came across spring roll skins hiding in the back of the cabinet and summer rolls walked into our dinner.  Please summer rolls, bring the summer weather with you!

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Recipe for Pho Ga (chicken Pho)

From fun website Love & Olive Oil

1 lb dried rice noodles

2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
4 whole cloves
2 whole star anise
2 quarts chicken stock (store bought or homemade)
1 whole chicken breast
1/2 onion
1 3-inch chunk of ginger, sliced and smashed with side of knife
1-2 tablespoons sugar
1-2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 cups bean sprouts, washed and tails pinched off
fresh cilantro tops & thai basil leaves
1/2 cup shaved red onions
1/2 lime, cut into wedges
sriracha chili sauce
sliced fresh chili peppers


To make the 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 remove from pan to avoid burning.

In a large pot, add spices, chicken stock, chicken breast, onion, ginger, sugar, and fish sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes, skimming the surface frequently. Use tongs to remove the chicken breasts and shred the meat, discarding the bone (if you used a bone-in breast).

Taste broth and add more fish sauce or sugar if necessary. Strain the broth and discard solids.

Prepare the noodles as per directions on the package.

Ladle the broth into bowls. Divide the shredding chicken breast and noodles evenly into each bowl. Top with bean sprouts, cilantro, red onion, and other accompaniments as desired and enjoy.


ps- for those following this blog – no angry rash from the nuggets of potato happiness yet… nor from the PF changs experience.  Happiness abounding!