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Quick Chicken Pho (pho gà nhanh)

Time 50 minutes
Yields Serves 2
Quick chicken pho (phở gà nhanh)
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
1

Peel and then slice the ginger into 4 or 5 coins. Smack with the flat side of a knife or meat mallet and set aside. Thinly slice the green parts of the green onion to yield 2 to 3 tablespoons, and set aside to use as a garnish. Cut the leftover sections into 2- to 3-inch lengths, bruise, then add to the ginger.

2

Coarsely chop the leafy tops of the cilantro to yield 2 tablespoons; set aside to use as a garnish. Set the remaining cilantro sprigs aside.

3

In a 3- to 4-quart pot, toast the coriander seeds and clove over medium heat until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the ginger and bruised green onion sections. Stir until aromatic, about 30 seconds.

4

Remove the pot from heat for about 15 seconds to briefly cool, then pour in the broth. Add the water, cilantro sprigs, chicken and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to gently simmer for 30 minutes.

5

While the broth simmers, soak the rice noodles in hot water until pliable and opaque. Drain, rinse and set aside.

6

After 5 to 10 minutes of simmering, the chicken should be firm and cooked through (press on it and it should slightly yield). Transfer the chicken to a bowl, flush with cold water to stop the cooking, then drain. Set the chicken aside until cool enough to handle, then cut or shred into bite-size pieces. Cover loosely so the chicken does not dry out.

7

When the broth is done simmering, strain it through a fine-mesh strainer into a 2-quart pot; line the strainer with muslin or cheesecloth for super clear broth. Discard the solids. You should have about 4 cups broth. Season with fish sauce and sugar, if needed, to create a strong savory-sweet note.

8

Bring the strained broth to a boil over high heat. Put the noodles in a noodle strainer or mesh sieve and dunk in the hot broth to heat and soften, 5 to 60 seconds. Lift the noodles from the pot and divide between the 2 bowls.

9

Reduce the heat to keep the broth hot while you arrange the chicken on top of the noodles and garnish with the chopped green onion, cilantro and a sprinkling of pepper. Taste and adjust the broth’s saltiness one last time. Return the broth to a boil and ladle into the bowls.

Adapted from a recipe in Andrea Nguyen’s upcoming ”The Pho Cookbook.”

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