Steamy Kitchen Recipes | RSS Feed Steamy Kitchen Food Blog: fast recipes, simple recipes, with fresh ingredients to create delicious meals. Fri, 24 Apr 2015 17:13:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Vietnamese Pho Pressure Cooker – Paleo Friendly Mon, 10 Mar 2014 15:45:10 +0000 It’s been a loooong time since I’ve made home made pho – much too long! Normally I make beef pho the long and slow way – either in the slow cooker or barely bubbling on the stovetop: Slow Cooker Vietnamese Pho Recipe Vietnamese Beef Pho Recipe Chicken Pho Recipe (Pho Ga) But a very persistent reader has been emailing me ...

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It’s been a loooong time since I’ve made home made pho – much too long! Normally I make beef pho the long and slow way – either in the slow cooker or barely bubbling on the stovetop:

Slow Cooker Vietnamese Pho Recipe
Vietnamese Beef Pho Recipe
Chicken Pho Recipe (Pho Ga)

But a very persistent reader has been emailing me about creating a Pressure Cooker Vietnamese Pho recipe for the past 2 years. If you can make awesome Pho in the slow cooker, why not a pressure cooker?

Vietnamese Pho Pressure Cooker (Noodle Soup)

The only limitation of using a slow cooker or pressure cooker is space. Both appliances aren’t that big, and if I’m going to take the time to make Vietnamese Pho, I want to make a BIG BATCH of it! Well, enough to serve 4 people and some broth for the freezer too (freeze in quart containers or bags to make the best “instant noodle” broth ever.)

My solution for Pressure Cooker Pho is to treat the pressure cooker as a “pho broth concentrator” – the ingredients in the recipe are sufficient enough to create such a rich pho broth concentrate. You can add water to adjust after the broth is complete.

Vietnamese Pho Pressure Cooker (Noodle Soup)

Paleo Friendly Vietnamese Pho!

Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 9.11.47 AM

Here’s a bonus. The recipe is Paleo friendly.

Big thanks to Nom Nom Paleo Food for Humans Cookbook by my friends Michelle Tam and Henry Fong for another stellar recipe. LOVE this cookbook, I can’t recommend it enough and have purchased copies for my friends.

If you’re non-Paleo, don’t worry. I’m creating notes for Paleo and non-Paleo recipe the Vietnamese Beef Pho using the pressure cooker.



20 Minute Sriracha Sauce Recipe

20 Minute Sriracha Sauce Recipe – Paleo Friendly –

Cauliflower Fried Rice Paleo Recipe

Cauliflower Fried Rice Recipe – > – Paleo Friendly

Non-Paleo Notes: Vietnamese Pho is generally Paleo friendly, as-is. The only ingredient substitution is the type of oil and noodles. Paleo grain-free “noodles” can be Shirotaki noodles (slippery little noodles made from Asian mountain potatoes – found in refrigerated section next to tofu at the store), Zucchini noodles (watch my video reviewing different gadgets to cut zucchini noodles), Kelp noodles made from seaweed.

Traditional Vietnamese Pho Ingredients

If you’re regular eatin’ folk, the traditional Vietnamese Pho noodles are rice noodles. You can find fresh rice noodles at Asian markets or you can get dried rice noodles at your grocery store. They come in different widths, just get one that you like. Generally, I can easily find the 1/4″ thick noodles very easily.

Dried rice noodles cook differently from the regular wheat-based Italian style pasta that you’re used to. The great news its that it’s faster! Dried rice noodles cook in as quickly as 1-3 minutes! If you overcook the noodles, they become mushy and pretty much inedible.

Here’s the best way to cook the dried rice noodles:

  1. Soak the dried noodles in hot water (not boiling water, just hot water from tap) for about 10 minutes. This will soften up the rice noodles. Drain.
  2. Bring a small pot of water to a simmer. You don’t really need a ton of water (like you do for pasta) – just enough so that all the noodles can be submerged in the hot water. Turn off heat.
  3. Add drained rice noodles to the hot water. Let it sit for 1 minute. Very thin noodles will be ready after 1 minute. Thicker rice noodles will need a couple of minutes. Drain.

Cooking noodles in the Pho broth?

I know you’re gonna ask me: why not cook the noodles directly in the Pho broth? I never do this. Here’s why:

  1. Because the rice noodles cook so darn quickly, it’s so easy to over cook them. I don’t want to ruin a batch of hard-earned broth with overcooked noodles!
  2. Cooking any type of noodles releases starch. For example, when you cook noodles, the water becomes cloudy from the extra flour. I don’t want that in my Pho broth!
  3. Related to #1 is that because the rice noodles can get mushy if submerged in boiling water too long, I add the noodles to each personal bowl first. When everyone is ready to eat (at the table, all staring at me, impatiently tapping their chopsticks on the table) – I will pour the Pho broth INTO the bowls one by one and serve immediately. Basically, I make the bowls to-serve.

No Pressure Cooker? No problem!

Just follow all instructions and simmer the broth for 4 hours on your stovetop. Put all ingredients into a large pot. Fill with 2-1/2 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat so that the water is BARELY simmering – just tiny bubbles here and there. Simmer slightly covered for 3-4 hours. Skim surface of fats and stuff that floats frequently.

Vietnamese Pho Pressure Cooker (Noodle Soup) Recipe Video


Vietnamese Pho Pressure Cooker (Noodle Soup)

Servings: 6 Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 2 hours
vietnamese pho pressure cooker noodle soup recipe featured-0888

Adapted from Nom Nom Paleo Cookbook by Henry Fong and Michelle Tam. This recipe makes a Vietnamese Pho Soup concentrate.

A tip for the Beef Eye of Round. The key to this is to very thinly slice. These slices will be added to each person's bowl RAW. When you pour the simmering hot pho broth into each bowl, it will cook the beef perfectly! To slice very thin, space the Eye of Round roast into the freezer for 20 minutes. This will firm up the roast and make it easier to slice very thin.

OR - sometimes you can find already-sliced beef at your grocery store. My store sells pre-sliced beef that you use for cheesesteak sandwiches. Even if it's not eye-of-round roast, just use what they are selling pre-sliced!


3 whole star anise
2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
1 green cardamom pod
2 tablespoons butter, divided (Non-Paleo version: cooking oil)
8 slices fresh ginger, unpeeled, 1/2 inch thick
1/2 large yellow onion, peeled
2 pound beef cross shanks, 1-1/2 inches thick
1-1/2 pound oxtails
1-1/2 pound beef brisket
3-1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 pound beef eye of round roast, very thinly sliced (keep refrigerated until ready to serve)
8 cups shirotaki noodles (Non-Paleo version: dried rice noodles)FOR THE TABLE:2 limes, cut into wedges
2 jalapeño peppers, sliced
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 bunch fresh Thai basil (or regular Italian basil)
1 bunch fresh mint
2 cups bean sprouts
Sriracha sauce (store bought or 20 Minute Sriracha Recipe)


1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add all spices and toast until they become fragrant. Take care not to burn them! Place them in a coffee filter or piece of cheesecloth and tie it up. Place the sachet into the pressure cooker pot.
2. In the same sauce pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon butter (or oil) and add onion and ginger pieces. Brown until there is a nice sear on them. Remove them from the pan and place them in the pressure cooker.
3. Sear the meat in batches: add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the pan and sear the shank, oxtail and brisket. You'll do this in batches, all in a single layer. Give everything plenty of space so that they SEAR and brown. Crowding the pan will not brown the meat. Sear each side, remove each meat from the pan and add them to the pressure cooker.

4. Cover the contents of the pressure cooker with water or up to the fill line. Set your pressure cooker to cook for 60 minutes. This means it will cook under pressure for 60 minutes. It will take time to build up pressure (usually 30 minutes) and additional time to release pressure after cooking (usually 30 minutes).
Approximately: 30 minutes to build up pressure + 60 minutes under pressure + 30 minutes to release pressure. Exact timing is really not that important - and also depends on your pressure cooker system. Follow manufacturer instructions.

5. Once finished cooking and safe to open, open the pressure cooker and using a fine mesh or ladle, remove the top layer of fatty liquid that has accumulated on the surface of the broth and discard (there will be lots of it.) Remove the onion, ginger and spice sachet and discard. Remove the meat to your cutting board. Shred the brisket using two forks. Remove any other meat from bone.

6. The resulting broth is a concentrate. Dilute the pho concentrate with 4-6 cups of water. Season the Pho broth with fish sauce. Taste and add additional fish sauce if needed. Bring to a simmer on stovetop right before you are ready to serve.

Assemble the Pho Bowls:
Serve to order. In a large bowl for each person, add shirotaki noodles and meat (including the sliced eye of round). Pour the just-simmering hot broth into each bowl. Hot broth will cook the sliced eye of round. Serve with the remaining sides a la carte so each person can add whatever they'd like to their soup.

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Crawfish Boil Sat, 23 Jul 2011 13:56:22 +0000 When I first started food blogging 4 years ago (wow, has it been that long already!?) many of us bloggers looked to slick, glossy magazines like Gourmet, Bon Appetit and Food and Wine for recipe inspiration and to get lost in the glamorous and exotic food stories. These days, there are so many top-notch sites that I’ve cancelled all of ...

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When I first started food blogging 4 years ago (wow, has it been that long already!?) many of us bloggers looked to slick, glossy magazines like Gourmet, Bon Appetit and Food and Wine for recipe inspiration and to get lost in the glamorous and exotic food stories. These days, there are so many top-notch sites that I’ve cancelled all of my subscriptions except for a precious few, and instead immerse myself in my favorite blogs (yes, it’s a looooong list!), new websites (have you seen Gilt Taste?!) and online food magazines (check out Sweet Paul!) 

The newest online food mag is maché, co-created by Ananda Spadt and Heather Winkel of Quite Like It Design and bloggers Adam & Joanne of Inspired Taste!  This Crawfish Boil is an excerpt from the magazine, with links to free downloadable invitations. While you’ll have to wait until the weather cools down to order live crawfish* I hope you’ll enjoy seeing what mache has to offer!

Enjoy! -Jaden

*I buy my crawfish from Louisiana Crawfish Company, as of today 7/22, they are still shipping for another week before they shut down for the summer. They’ll start shipping again in early December. When you order, I would call them and request extra chill bags in the box – I’ve had a shipment where there wasn’t enough chill packs and half of the crawfish didn’t make it. Here’s my advice: Have the crawfish delivered the day BEFORE you need them (and of course store them in a cooler), that way, if the crawfish don’t arrive in good shape, call the company ASAP and have them send you another shipment to arrive the next day. Or have a contingency plan in your back pocket — maybe a Cajun shrimp boil? $89 for 15 pounds of live crawfish – that price includes overnight shipping, so it’s a great deal! Nope, not a paid mention, I just love that family-run business! And I love crawfish!


maché is an online magazine that covets life’s true essentials: delicious food and making memories with friends and family. Published bi-monthly, issues are brimming with original recipes, fabulous events, swoon-worthy fashion and DIY downloads (all of which can be seen in this backyard crawfish boil featured in the first issue!). maché delivers anytime, anywhere, at Take a look at the first issue or subscribe for free at

Spicy sides, messy hands and laughter make a crawfish boil the perfect outdoor gathering.

Give your guests a taste of the fun to come by sending these free downloadable invitations. Ask each person to bring their favorite Cajun dish from this suggested menu: St. Charles cocktail, peach iced tea, crawfish, cajun corn, mixed fruit and bread pudding. Visit maché‘s free downloads page for a printable guide to eating crawfish as well!

Once you get guests out of their comfort zones, sit back and enjoy the laughter.

To see the rest of this party (including a recipe for the St. Charles cocktail!) and more, visit

Crawfish boil photos by Matt Miller.

maché magazine – Summer 2011 Issue


If you’re looking to buy live crawfish – head over to Cajun Crawfish – I’ve purchased my live crawfish from them years ago and they were such a big hit! They’ll take good care of you. ~Jaden


Crawfish Boil

Servings: serves 15-18 (depending on how hungry your guests are) Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 3 hours

You don't have to live in Louisiana to enjoy a good, old-fashioned crawfish boil. We ordered a 40 lb container of crawfish from the Louisiana Crawfish Company and had it shipped to the Midwest. Peak crawfish season is from February to June.


40 lbs crawfish
20 lbs potatoes
20 ears of Corn
2 whole garlic bulbs
6 lemons, halved
¼ cup Sriracha
1 bag Louisiana Crawfish Company Crawfish Boil Cajun Seasoning


1. Using a 10-gallon pot, fill with water 3/4 full, add crawfish boil seasoning and bring to boil.
2. Add 5 lbs of potatoes, 5 ears of corn, garlic, lemons and 2 tbs Sriracha sauce.
3. Cook 1 minute per pound of potatoes. Control heat to prevent boil over.
4. Add 10 lbs of crawfish and boil for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat.
5. Let crawfish soak, covered, for 15-20 minutes.
6. At this point, if you are using a basket, remove the basket and let the liquid drain off, back into the boil pot.
7. Dump the contents of the basket onto the serving table and sprinkle with 2 tbs of Cajun seasoning.
8. Repeat the process, starting with adding potatoes and corn. Each batch will get progressively spicier, so be careful.

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Slow Cooker Vietnamese Chicken Pho Ga Fri, 21 Jan 2011 22:53:54 +0000 Cook Vietnamese chicken pho in a slow cooker! From cookbook author Jaden Hair.

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Bon Appétit and I are celebrating slow cookers this month — I’ve created three incredible slow cooker recipes for them, Slow Cooker Vietnamese Pho Ga Noodle Soup; Slow Cooker Cedar Planked Salmon and Slow Cooker Moroccan Lamb Stew. Oh, and if you don’t have a slow cooker, guess what? Bon Appétit is giving away a $150 KitchenAid Slow Cooker to one lucky duck.

For the full recipe for Slow Cooker Vietnamese Chicken Pho Ga Noodle Soup, head over to Bon Appetit. I’ll go into more detail about 3 of the secrets to the recipe.

Slow Cooker Vietnamese Chicken Pho Ga Noodle Soup

Vietnamese Slow Cooker Chicken Pho Ga Recipe

Secret #1: The Moist Chicken

See how moist and tender that chicken is? The secret is to separate your chicken. Chicken bones and parts for the broth; and 1 chicken breast reserved for slicing and eating with your Pho Ga.

The chicken bones and parts go into the slow cooker to make the soup.

The chicken breast is thinly sliced and poached just before serving – cooks in 3-4 minutes. If I had cooked the chicken-for-eating in the slow cooker, it would be flavorless and tough. All of the flavor would have transferred into the broth….and chicken cooked for hours on end in a slow cooker ends up chewy and tough.

Secret #2: Size Matters

Let’s talk about the Pho Ga soup for a bit. I add 2 pounds of chicken parts, whole coriander seeds, half an onion, ginger slices, whole cloves, star anise, and a bundle of cilantro.

Of the 2 pounds of chicken, 1/2 pound of that should be wing tips. Most slow cooker have capacity of 7 quarts. The chunkier the chicken, the less room you have left for broth.

Chicken wing TIPS (the section that really has no meat anyways) have maximum flavor, minimum size. That’s why I love using wing tips. Or chicken feet, if you can find them (did I hear someone squeal?! chicken feet is great for soup!) So remember, size matters. A 7-quart slow cooker will make enough Pho Ga soup for 4 big bowls.

After taking out the big chicken parts, I’ll strain through cheesecloth just to ensure that the broth is clean and clear. For cooking noobs, here’s something to remember. Anytime you are cooking raw chicken in simmering water, you’ll get quite a bit of “white stuff” in the water. Don’t be afraid of it, it’s just chicken protein. If you have time on your hands, you could parboil the bones first in a stock pot, discard water (and “white stuff”) and then proceed with the recipe. But if you have time on your hands, you could just make Pho Ga without the slow cooker.

Straining the broth gives you golden, richly colored, clean soup.

Secret # 3: The Noodles

Soak the dried noodles in COOL water first then DRAIN. This helps makes them pliable, soft and cook better.

To cook the noodles, bring a pot of water to boil and then put the cool drained noodles into the hot water and simmer for 1 minute. After 1 minute — the noodles are DONE!!! That’s it. Don’t overcook the rice noodles, they’ll get too soft and soggy.

Oh and a note on why I boil my noodles in water instead of the pho ga broth we made? Well, I always boil my noodles and pasta separately from my precious soup. That’s because dried noodles/pasta tend to have excess starch that boils out into the water (that’s why boiled pasta water is murky) and many times the dried noodles might have itty bitty weevils or dirt particles that I just don’t want in my soup.

Not so secret secret:

I love garnishing with shaved onions, fresh bean sprouts, cilantro and a squeeze of lime. No Sriracha or Hoisin for me, though many people do enjoy those condiments in their Pho Ga, I think it totally overpowers the beautiful broth.

For the full recipe for Slow Cooker Vietnamese Chicken Pho Ga Noodle Soup, head over to Bon Appetit.

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Uni Shooter with Ponzu Tue, 22 Jun 2010 14:25:39 +0000 The post Uni Shooter with Ponzu appeared first on Steamy Kitchen Recipes.


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Uni Shooter with Ponzu Sauce Sun, 06 Sep 2009 20:17:23 +0000 We’re currently spending the long weekend at Mount Dora again with good friends Brian and Rachelle. Despite being smack dab in the middle of Florida, I was floored by the fresh sushi at Mount Dora Sushi. Owner Janet Craig, who is half-Japanese runs this restaurant with her family. It’s one of the most popular dining destinations in the area, some ...

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We’re currently spending the long weekend at Mount Dora again with good friends Brian and Rachelle.

Despite being smack dab in the middle of Florida, I was floored by the fresh sushi at Mount Dora Sushi. Owner Janet Craig, who is half-Japanese runs this restaurant with her family. It’s one of the most popular dining destinations in the area, some drive over an hour away just to sample the best sushi around.

So, lets talk about Uni, or sea urchin. Thank goodness for my friend, Casson Trenor, author of Sustainable Sushi and an activist with Greenpeace. Through his book and through the Monterey Aquarium iPhone app, I can usually navigate through a sushi menu pretty well and choose to dine on delicacies that are sustainable. I wanted to call Casson and be sure though, since Uni’s situation is a little more complicated.

Uni that we enjoy here in the U.S. comes from several places, Alaska, California, Canada and Maine, for example. Yes, it also comes from Japan but is extremely expensive, and usually out of pocket book reach of many diners… which is good because we know very little about the harvesting practices and regulations in Japan (pssst…pass on Japanese Uni until we know more information!)

According to Casson, Uni from Maine should be avoided at all costs. There is little regulation, management and stock strengths are at approximately 10% of what they once were. Uni from Canada is excellent, as they enforce strict quotas on the hand-harvesting of Uni. California is a good resource for the delicacy as well.

It’s wonderful to see this small sushi company in the middle of Florida doing whatever they can to protect the sustainability of sushi. While their menu list isn’t absolutely perfect, Janet assures me that every day they do what they can as a small company to respect the environment, including specifically sourcing Uni from California and Canada. Here is the recipe for their Mount Dora Sushi Uni Shooter, one of the best I’ve ever had.


Mount Dora Sushi with Chef Kobayashi doing his magic:


Vivid purple flowers and a yummy vegetable flower made from celery, tomato and green onion:


I loved these Japanese ramune soda drinks as a kid – A glass marble seals the top of the bottle, which is held in place by the carbonation. To open, you have to push the glass marble down into the neck of the bottle. Andrew thought it was the coolest thing in the world.


Uni Shooter with Ponzu Sauce Recipe

Recipe from Mount Dora Sushi

1 piece very fresh, firm Uni (Sea Urchin from California, Canada-New Brunswick)
1 Quail egg yolk only
1 drop Sriracha hot chili sauce
1 tablespoon Ponzu Sauce (equal parts soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, and splash lemon juice)

In a shot glass or martini glass, layer the ingredients in the order that they appear in the list.

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Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe Fri, 21 Aug 2009 01:58:34 +0000 Recipe with step by step photos for Hainanese Chicken Rice and soup.

The post Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe appeared first on Steamy Kitchen Recipes.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe

What you’ll learn:

  • Choosing the right chicken for your Hainanese Chicken Rice
  • How to cook the perfect Hainanese Chicken
  • The best way to prepare Hainanese Rice
  • Preparing Chilli dipping sauce for Hainanese Chicken Rice

Hi there! Please welcome guest writer (and Steamy Kitchen intern) Jess from  Jess’s Many Mini Adventures in Food and Farming. She’s an amazing, passionate gal who loves food as much as I do. She’s here to share her family’s Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe.


Hey all,

Jess here, Steamy Kitchen’s new intern. That’s me chewing on a mango in my tiny kitchen preparing for a meal at Synergy Farm (a farm on an island!) where I intern at. I’m actually in my kitchen right now on my lunch break, looking out at the barn and the carrots in the north garden, IMG_2877munching on a quesadilla with beet greens and feeling amazed all over again at how I ended up here, on a farm, writing to all of you wonderful readers!

I’ve been here since late March, just after my 24th birthday. Before that, I was living in Cambodia helping girls get an education; before Cambodia, I was working at Google, and waaaaaay back before then (well not so long ago, actually) I ran an afterschool program in the bay area. I love adventure, and I love to consider the small ways I can change the world for the better, and over the past few years, I’ve become convinced that my way of making my world better is through food.

Growing up in Orange County, California, I never thought much about where my In-N-Out Burger or spicy tuna roll came from. Every since I was 4 years old perched on a kitchen stool, stirring up Betty Crocker, I’ve always been in love with food: cooking it, eating it, playing with it. I love cooking with friends; chopping veggies gives me a high like no other; but it was only recently that I’ve become fascinated with how our food is grown, processed and distributed to us and also how it affects our health, our environment and our communities. I figured it made sense to get down in the dirt and learn more about these issues firsthand, so I became an apprentice on a small organic farm in the beautiful San Juan Islands.

So what’s all this got to do with blogging? The food blogging community has been a way for me to connect with other people who think and care about food as much as I do. I’m completely inspired by all the amazing folks out there sharing their recipes and opinions and lives. Jaden’s agreed to transmit some of her samurai skills in cooking and food writing to me so I can join in the fun.

All this food love had to come from somewhere, and I tend to attribute a lot of it to good genes. My mum’s side of the family is Singaporean and I grew up in a whirlwind of popiah, freshly baked curry puffs, and beef rendang. Though I’m open to all kinds of cuisines, I hold a special place in my heart for a good plate of chili crab or chicken satay.

When I was small my family made many trips to my grandparents’ house back in Singapore. Early in the mornings, before it got unbearably hot, my grandpa would head down to the local hawker center (a food court with lots of different stalls) to pick up breakfast. He would come back to the house with a bag full of packets wrapped in banana leaves, still hot, shiny with oil, and intensely fragrant. We’d each carefully unwrap our packet, uncover the pieces of tender, perfectly steamed chicken on top of savory rice. We’d tuck in to the fragrant ginger-garlic-chickeny heaven, topped in our favorite combinations of magical sauces and eat till we were ready to face the sticky tropical day.

These days you can still find Hainanese chicken rice in hawker centers across the island for a couple of dollars a plate, and also in high-end restaurants serving up authentic cuisine. This is what a hawker center looks like — like a mall food court, only with mee goreng and peanut soup instead of Sbarro!

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Singaporean Hawker

Hainanese Chicken Rice often called Singapore’s national dish. When I was a kid and my family would go back to visit Singapore, I had three loves: fried bananas, paratha, and chicken rice. When I was visiting family last November, it was one of the first things they took me to eat — the carcasses in the stall beckoned to me with the promise of super-fresh tender chicken — some things just don’t change.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Singaporean Hawker

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Authentic Singaporean Dish

Though Hainanese Chicken Rice gets its name from its origins in Hainan, China, it was really when overseas Chinese brought the dish to Singapore that it got a new personality and became famous.

According to my mom, this recipe is really only authentic when made with a “kampong” chicken, which means basically, a chicken from the village: the kind that roam around in the sun and eat whatever grubs and grass and scraps of rice are available. These kinds of chickens look pretty skinny by our standards, but they have an amazing flavor that I can only describe as “extremely chickeny.”

Here on the farm, we raise the closest equivalent to a “kampong” chicken that you’ll likely find in the US — not as scrawny, but pretty much as delicious. Our chickens are organically fed and pasture-raised, which means they get to spend their days outside, hanging out in the sun, roam in the grass, pecking at greens and grubs. We raise about 120 in each batch and they take about 8 weeks to go from chick to chicken rice. As my mentor, Farmer Susan likes to say, these chickens live a really really good life and then have one really bad day. They are ridiculously good just boiled plain in a pot of water and salted slightly.


All that good care makes these chickens more pricey than your average bird and on a farmer’s salary, it’s tough to afford them, but thankfully in our chicken processing just a couple weeks ago, I was able to snag a couple of tiny 2-pounders that we wouldn’t be able to sell, that were just perfect for chicken rice.

Hello guys and gals, it’s Jaden back again – Jess gave me her recipe for Hainanese Chicken Rice and I made it to show you step by step instructions! It’s a multi-step recipe, with 4 components:

1) Chicken
2) Rice
3) Chili Dipping Sauce

oh yes, the soup too, but you don’t really have to do much other ladle into the bowls.

So, let’s start with the CHICKEN.

How to cook Hainanese Chicken

This is an organic supermarket chicken (I wish we were all as lucky as Jess to be able to have fresh chicken!) Here’s the deal about the chicken. You gotta buy the best. Because this Hainanese Chicken Rice dish is all about the pure taste of the chicken, you really want to go with organic. It’s worth the money for your health, the environment and taste buds.

When you buy a whole chicken and are cooking it skin-on, and ESPECIALLY if you’re steaming or poaching the thing, you want to make sure you get the “nasties” off.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Step by step photos

I’m sure by looking at this photo you know what I mean. What I’m after is smooth, unblemished skin.

So I give my guy a facial.

Yes, I’m totally serious!

I exfoliate my chicken.

Wow, I can’t believe I just confessed to you that I give my chickens a spa treatment. Please don’t think I’m strange! Please tell me that you do this too!??????

Start with a small handful of kosher salt. Regular table salt is too fine to use to exfoliate. Sea salt is too expensive. Just use kosher salt. Oh and even if you don’t have that loose skin on your chicken, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to exfoliate — there’s still hidden guck and yuck that is trapped in that chicken skin. TRUST ME. Your chicken will look and taste better this way.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Rub chicken with salt


Be gone wrinkles!

Be gone trapped guck!

Be gone dead skin! <- yes, I know that sounded ridiculous on so many levels.

Work those pores!

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Rub chicken with salt

Rinse, pat dry and ta-da!!!







Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Step by step photos

Check those lovely pores.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Step by step photos

Season the inside and outside the chicken with salt and stuff the bird with ginger and green onions. Remember, you are not only seasoning the chicken, but also the poaching water too, so be generous with the salt. I generally double the amount of salt that I would normally use on a chicken. I’ll show you how much water we’re adding in a sec.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Stuff chicken with ginger and green onions

Put it in a big pot and fill with water to just cover by 1 inch. Note that some of the stuffing might fall out. Which is totally okay. Don’t worry.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Put chicken in big pot and fill with water

Bring that baby to a boil and then immediately turn the heat to low to keep a simmer. You’ll begin to see some of that scum. Now hey, if we didn’t exfoliate our chicken, I bet that scum would be a lot browner. I have a handy dandy scum skimmer. If you don’t have a scum skimmer, buy one, it’s only $2!

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Boil chicken with stuffings

After simmering on the lowest heat (just enough for little tiny bubbles to break surface) and your chicken reaches the correct temp (take the chicken temperature at the thickest part of the thigh that’s not touching bone, it should read 170F). This is is done!

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Boil chicken with stuffings

Prepare an ice bath and immediately lift the chicken out of the pot with 2 big slotted spoons or 2 big fat spatulas.

Here’s a tip. Don’t try to grab the chicken legs to pull the chicken out. You’ll end up tearing the skin and heh, maybe even tearing the drumsticks outta the chicken which results in you standing there holding two drumsticks and the rest of the chicken plopping back into the boiling hot broth which then splashes back on your arms and face. Speaking from experience, of course.

Oh, and don’t even THINK about pouring that clean, delicious broth down the sink! We’ll be using that to cook the rice, prepare the sauce and to drink as soup! So, remember, gently lift the chicken out from under and try not to disturb its delicate (and exfoliated!) skin.

My pot of ice water wasn’t big enough, but it worked, I just turned the chicken over a few times to make sure both sides were cooled. Why are we doing this, you ask!? Ha! I thought you’d never ask. Well let me tell ya. Plunging in an ice bath stops the cooking process immediately AND tightens the skin, making it springy and firm. The quality of the chicken skin is important in this dish! It’s all about the skin texture.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Plunge chicken in ice bath

See here? That’s your soup! Season with salt if necessary.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Step by step photos

How to cook Hainanese Rice

I use Jasmine rice, or long grained rice. Of course, feel free to sub with whatever rice you want, but I prefer Jasmine white rice. I’m using 2 cups of rice. Rinse the rice grains several times in water to get rid of excess starch and other rice cling-ons. Then let the rice soak in water for 10 minutes.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Hainanese Rice

Drain the rice completely, as much as possible.

Grab a pot and saute the garlic and the ginger. Mmmm…can you smell that??

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Hainanese Rice

Add the drained rice to the pot.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Hainanese Rice

Fry the rice grains for a couple of minutes…this gives the rice SO much flavor! I like to add a bit of salt to the rice if the broth isn’t already salted.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Hainanese Rice

Remember that broth? Well, pour 2 cups of this into the pot. Normally when cooking rice, I’d go with a ratio of 1 cup rice : 1.25 cups water/broth. But since we’ve already soaked the rice and the rice has absorbed some of the water, I’m going with 1:1. Bring the rice to a boil, then immediately turn the heat to low, cover tightly and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest (still covered! no peeking!) for 5-10 more minutes. Done.

Oh, if you have a rice cooker, even better! After sauteing the garlic, ginger, rice – just add that into your rice cooker with the broth.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Hainanese Rice

Perfect rice.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Hainanese Rice

Chili Sauce for Hainanese Chicken Rice

If you’re a fan of sriracha chili sauce, this will knock your socks off. Jess puts sriracha, lime, sugar, salt, couple tablespoons of that lovely chicken broth, garlic and ginger into a blender and wheeeeeee:

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Chilli Sauce

Voila….Jess’s Hainanese Chicken Rice:

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Garnish with cucumber and cilantro


Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe


Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe

Servings: 6 Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour

While your chicken is cooking, it helps to prepare the ingredients for your chili sauce and rice. Both of these are usually assembled after the chicken is done because they require the chicken broth, but you can get started washing and soaking the rice, chopping the garlic and ginger before then. In this recipe, all of the poaching broth is reserved -- some is used in the rice, a small amount is used in the chili sauce, and the remainder is saved to be heated and served as a simple soup to accompany the chicken.


1 whole chicken (3.5 lbs, 1.8kg), preferably organic
kosher salt
4'' section of fresh ginger, in 1/4'' slices
2 stalks green onions, cut into 1" sections (both the green and white parts)
1 teaspoon sesame oilFOR THE RICE
2 tablespoon chicken fat or 2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1'' section of ginger, finely minced
2 cups long-grain uncooked rice, washed and soaked in cool water for 10 min or longer
2 cups reserved chicken poaching broth
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon kosher saltFOR THE CHILI SAUCE
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoon reserved chicken poaching broth
2 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoon sriracha chili sauce
4 cloves garlic
1'' ginger
a generous pinch of salt, to tasteFOR THE TABLE
1/4 cup dark soy sauce
Few sprigs cilantro
1 cucumber, thinly sliced or cut into bite-sized chunks


1. To clean the chicken, with a small handful of kosher salt, rub the chicken all over, getting rid of any loose skin and dirt. Rinse chicken well, inside and outside. Season generously with salt inside and outside. Stuff the chicken with the ginger slices and the green onion. Place the chicken in a large stockpot and fill with cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then immediately turn the heat to low to keep a simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes more (less if you're using a smaller chicken). Check for doneness by sticking a chopstick into the flesh under the leg and see if the juices run clear or insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh not touching bone. It should read 170F.

2. When the chicken is cooked through, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the burner. Immediately lift and transfer the chicken into a bath of ice water to cool and discard the ginger and green onion. Don't forget to reserve the poaching broth for your rice, your sauce, and the accompanying soup. The quick cooling will stop the cooking process, keeping the meat soft and tender, and giving the skin a lovely firm texture.

3. To cook the rice: Drain the rice. In a wok or sauce pan (use a medium sauce pan if you plan on cooking the rice on the stove top), heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the ginger and the garlic and fry until your kitchen smells like heaven. Be careful not to burn the aromatics! Add in your drained rice and stir to coat, cook for 2 minutes. Add the sesame oil, mix well.

To make the rice on the stove: In the same sauce pan, add 2 cups of your reserved poaching broth, add salt and bring to a boil. Immediately turn the heat down to low, cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit (with lid still on) for 5-10 minutes more.

To cook rice in a rice cooker: Pour aromatics and rice (after frying) into your rice cooker, add 2 1/2 cups of your reserved poaching broth and salt. Follow the instructions for your model (usually this will just mean "turn it on!")

4. While your rice is cooking, remove the chicken from the ice bath and rub the outside of the chicken with the sesame oil. Carve the chicken for serving.

5. To make the chili sauce: Blend your chili sauce ingredients in a blender until smooth and bright red.

6. To make the soup: You should have six or seven cups of the reserved poaching broth left over to serve as soup. Just before serving, heat up the soup, taste and season with salt as necessary.

Serve the chicken rice with chili sauce, dark soy sauce, cucumber slices, and a bowl of hot broth garnished with cilantro or scallions

More Recipes to Explore:

Chinese Boiled Peanuts Recipe (Steamy Kitchen)

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe (Steamy Kitchen)

Aged Sriracha Hot Sauce Recipe (Steamy Kitchen)

Sichuan Red Oil Wontons (Rasa Malaysia)

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Crock Pot Pho (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup) Mon, 04 May 2009 12:00:16 +0000     It’s no secret that good Pho broth requires a gazillion hours of simmering time. Time that I just don’t have. Tony, a boyfriend from a lifetime ago, told me his Dad used to simmer giant vats of pho broth overnight for his little pho restaurant in Houston. So, one day, I thought it would be really genius to ...

The post Crock Pot Pho (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup) appeared first on Steamy Kitchen Recipes.

Crockpot Pho Recipe   

It’s no secret that good Pho broth requires a gazillion hours of simmering time. Time that I just don’t have. Tony, a boyfriend from a lifetime ago, told me his Dad used to simmer giant vats of pho broth overnight for his little pho restaurant in Houston. So, one day, I thought it would be really genius to do the same. Dump a bunch of beefy, tendony, knuckley, marrowey bones into the largest stockpot that I have and let it simmer away while I slept.

Crockpot Pho Recipe

It didn’t quite work out as I had intended:

11:30pm Initial hard boil of the bones to get all the yuck, guck and scum off. Char ginger and onion.

11:38pm Dumped out water, added clean water, the clean bones, spices, ginger and onion. Let the dance begin.

11:45pm Nighty-night

12:35am Is the flame low enough? Maybe I need to check to see.

1:23am Hmmm…I smell something funny. Go check.

2:41am What if it boiled over? Go check.

3:24am What if there’s a gas bubble in the pipe and the the stove spontaneously bursts out in big flames? Maybe I should sleep on the couch closer to the kitchen.

4:45am Gosh I’m hungry. Sneak a big spoonful of Ben & Jerry’s Pistachio Ice Cream.

4:51am Did I forget to put ice cream back in freezer? What if the gas bubble really does happen and stove spontaneously bursts out in flames? Then sleeping on couch is a dumbass idea. Crawl back to bed.

6:00am Kids wake up. Jumps up and down on my belly trying to wake me up.


Enter the Slow Cooker

A few weeks later, I was contacted by the peeps at Crock-Pot® The Original Slow Cooker <- yes, they are insanely paranoid about me using their correct trademarked name, so much that they’ve given me very specific instructions 4 separate times on how to properly spell/mark their product names.) They sent me their new eLume Crock-Pot® Programmable Slow Cooker with Touch Screen Technology to test.

crock-pot-elume <- shiny, pretty and fancy. Oh crap, I forgot the ™ after eLume™.

It’s the perfect size (6.5 quarts) for a big mean mama pot of PHO!!!

Oh yeah, baby! It solves my problem of paranoia when leaving stove on all night.

What I love about the eLume™ Crock Pot® is© its™ lighted™© touchscreen®™©. Just a light tap is all that you need and it’s totally programmable from 30 minutes to 20 hours of cooking time. You can also set it to start cooking at a certain time, but when making my Crock Pot Pho Recipe, I don’t recommend a delayed start time since we are working with raw meat bones.

Crockpot Pho Recipe

How to make Crock Pot Pho

Whether you use the Crock Pot Pho method or the traditional stove top method, there are a couple of steps that you’ll need to do before throwing it all in the Crock Pot or slow cooker. Namely, toasting the spices, grilling the onion/ginger and pre-boiling the bones. These aren’t absolutely necessary steps…you’ll still make great pho…BUT these extra steps will make the difference between good pho and pho-bulous pho.

Toasting the Vietnamese Pho Spices

Toasting spices for Crock pot Vietnamese pho

You can buy Pho spices at most Asian supermarkets – you can buy the spices separately (coriander seeds, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, fennel and cardamom pod) or purchase them already mixed up in a package (which also includes a small mesh bag). The quality of these pre-mixed spices are just okay – but sometimes it’s just convenient to pick up a bag, not to mention much cheaper if you don’t already have many of these spices. A Pho spice pack will typically sell for $1-$3.

This day that I made the Crock Pot Pho, I used individual spices. I didn’t have cardamom pod. So yes, if you are missing one of couple of the spices, it’s okay. To get the best flavor from these spices, you’ll toast them in a dry skillet.

Grilling Ginger and Onion

This is a totally optional step, but it really gives the ginger and the onion a deep, sweet, mellow flavor. When I’m making Pho the traditional stovetop way, I’ll char them in the broiler. But with the crock pot method, I didn’t want to use the oven at all. After toasting the spices (above) in a frying pan, I add a bit of oil and grilled the onion half and thick ginger slices.


Pre-Boiling the Bones

Knuckles, leg bones with lots of marrow are the best for making soup. The marrow will also make the soup rich and thick. The bones are pre-boiled for a few minutes on high heat to clean the bones and get rid of the nasty scum.

You’ll bring a big stockpot of water to a boil on high heat. Add the bones and boil hard for 10 minutes. You’ll see brownish scum rise to the surface. If you hadn’t taken the time to pre-boil the bones, all that scummy stuff ends up in your soup.

crockpot-pho-beef_090418__003_scum-web <– nasty pho-reaky scum

Drain, discard the scummy water and briefly rinse the bones.

Now you’ll add the spices, ginger, onion and bones to the slow cooker.


Fill with fresh, clean, cool water about 1-1/2 inches below the surface. Set your slow cooker on low for 8 hours. I haven’t tried this method on high, but I’m sure it would be just fine.

So let this cook during all day while you’re at work or at night while you sleep and you’ll be rewarded with the cleanest, best tasting pho soups ever. Because the slow cooker doesn’t let the stock boil hard, it’s safe, easy and convenient.

Here’s what the stock looks like when it’s been cooking for 8 hours on low. Notice that the level of the liquid is still pretty high. The low, even setting doesn’t evaporate the precious liquid as much as a stove top can. The stock is strained before serving.

Crock Pot Pho Soup

Other Pho Ingredients

I used different ingredients than my previous version of traditional Vietnamese Pho and I wanted to highlight them. Instead of using dried rice noodles, I used fresh rice noodles found at Asian markets, in the refrigerated section because all these need is a quick dip in boiling water. Very fast!

Crock Pot Pho Noodles

I also bought a package of Vietnamese Beef Balls (called Bo Vien Dan). There are all sorts of balls – beef, pork, chicken, fish, crab, and my favorite – beef tendon. They come frozen in a package and they are pre-cooked, so all you need to do is throw the frozen balls into the same pot of boiling water as you cooked your noodles in. Just boil for a couple of minutes until the beef balls are heated through. I like cutting these beef balls in half, so make them easier to eat. It’s not so pretty trying to stick an entire beef ball in your mouth. Unless…you’re like really into that.

Crock Pot Pho Beef Balls


Crockpot Pho Recipe



Crock Pot Pho Recipe

Servings: 4 Prep Time: Cook Time:
crockpot vietnamese pho

This is a recipe for a 6.5 quart (or larger) Crock Pot. Any smaller really isn't that great - you won't get enough stock out of it...because the beef bones are really chunky and big. The thinly sliced meat for the bowls may be easier to slice if you freeze the chunk of meat for 15 minutes prior to slicing. You really want them as thin a possible. You can also do what I do - palm your butcher a $5 bill and he'll slice the meat for you on his fancy slicing machine


For the Pho Stock:
4 pounds beef bones
1/2 onion
4 inch section of ginger, sliced
1 package Vietnamese Pho Spices (or as many of these spices as you have: 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 teaspoons whole coriander, 1 teaspooon fennel, 3 whole star anise, 3 whole cloves, 1 cardamom pod)
9 cups water
2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce or to taste
1 teaspoon sugarFor the Pho Bowls
16 ounces fresh or dried rice noodles
1/2 pound flank, london broil, sirloin or eye of round steak, sliced as thinly as possible.
11 ounces Vietnamese beef balls, cut into halfFor the table
1-2 limes, cut into wedges
fresh herbs: cilantro, Thai basil, mint
2-3 chili peppers, sliced
2 big handfuls of bean sprouts
Hoisin sauce
Sriracha hot chili sauce


1. Bring a large stockpot with water to boil over high heat. When it comes to a rolling boil, add the beef bones and boil vigourously for 10 minutes.

2. In the meantime, heat a frying pan on medium-low heat. Add the Vietnamese Pho Spices and toast until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Dump the spices to the empty Crock Pot or slow cooker immediately. Return frying pan to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. When the oil is hot, add the ginger slices and the onion half. Cook until the ginger is browned on both sides and the onion half is nicely browned and softened. Add the ginger and the onion to the Crock Pot or slow cooker.

3. When the bones have been pre-boiled, drain, discard water and rinse bones briefly to clean them. Add the bones to the Crock Pot or slow cooker. Fill the Crock Pot with fresh, clean, cool water to just 1-1/2 inches below surface, add the fish sauce and sugar. Cover and set the Crock Pot or slow cooker to cook on low for 8 hours. Taste and season with additional fish sauce if needed.

4. When you are just about ready to eat, you'll prep the rest of the ingredients for the Pho bowls. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the beef balls and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove the balls, keeping the water boiling and now cook the noodles according to package instructions. If you are using fresh noodles, all they need is a couple of minutes. Drain immediately.

5. Strain the stock with a fine meshed sieve. Discard the solids.

6. Line up 4 large bowls on counter. Distribute the noodles, beef balls and thin steak slices evenly amongst the bowls. Ladle the hot Pho stock into each bowl. The hot stock should cook the thin steak slices. Serve with lime wedges, fresh herbs, chili peppers, Hoisin sauce and Sriracha hot chili sauce at the table.


vietnamese-pho-beef-noodle-soup-recipe Vietnamese Pho Recipe (cooked the traditional, long, slow, stovetop method)

vietnamese-chicken-pho-recipe Vietnamese Chicken Pho Recipe (Pho Ga)

The post Crock Pot Pho (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup) appeared first on Steamy Kitchen Recipes.

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Coconut Shrimp with Sweet Chili Mayo Recipe Mon, 29 Dec 2008 14:49:36 +0000 This was one of the recipes that I had wanted to include in my cookbook, but totally forgot about it! Too late now, as all my recipes and photos have been submitted to the publisher. boo for me but yay for you! And yay for Nathan, who loves Coconut Shrimp with Sweet Chili Mayo so much: The shrimp is breaded ...

The post Coconut Shrimp with Sweet Chili Mayo Recipe appeared first on Steamy Kitchen Recipes.


This was one of the recipes that I had wanted to include in my cookbook, but totally forgot about it! Too late now, as all my recipes and photos have been submitted to the publisher. boo for me but yay for you!

And yay for Nathan, who loves Coconut Shrimp with Sweet Chili Mayo so much:

recipe for coconut shrimp

The shrimp is breaded with a mixture of Japanese breadcrumbs, called Panko and sweet coconut flakes. A totally easy recipe that is even better than the overly battered Coconut Shrimp appetizers found at many restaurants. Cheaper too!

I wrote the recipe for my friend Elise at Simply Recipes. Head over there to read all about panko breadcrumbs, the secret to successful breading and the super easy recipe for Coconut Shrimp with Sweet Chili Mayo.

The post Coconut Shrimp with Sweet Chili Mayo Recipe appeared first on Steamy Kitchen Recipes.

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Vietnamese Pho: Beef Noodle Soup Sat, 09 Feb 2008 20:15:33 +0000 What the Pho?! I’ve been working hard perfecting the techniques and recipe for Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup, or Pho, just for you. It’s taken years of kitchen experiments, eating out and scouring for good recipes. Of all the cookbooks that I own, the best recipe that I’ve found for Pho is from: Andrea Nguyen’s Into the Vietnamese Kitchen, which is ...

The post Vietnamese Pho: Beef Noodle Soup appeared first on Steamy Kitchen Recipes.

Vietnamese Pho Noodle Soup Recipe

What the Pho?!

I’ve been working hard perfecting the techniques and recipe for Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup, or Pho, just for you. It’s taken years of kitchen experiments, eating out and scouring for good recipes. Of all the cookbooks that I own, the best recipe that I’ve found for Pho is from:

Andrea Nguyen’s Into the Vietnamese KitchenInto the Vietnamese Kitchen Cookbook, which is one of the most comprehensive books on the cuisine of Vietnam. The book also won nominations for a James Beard Foundation award and two International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). Definitely a must-have book for Asian food lovers.

So, let’s get right to the Vietnamese Beef Pho Recipe!

The dish is pronounced “fuh” and not “foo” or “foe” or “puh”

Yeah, Pho is cheap eat out…but to be able to make a home made version? Pretty Pho-king amazing, if you ask me.

Pho Spices

It’s best if you can get each spice separately, but I do find that the spice packets are pretty convenient. They cost less than $2.00 and even come with a mesh bag to put all the spices in. Spices include cinnamon sticks, cloves, coriander pods, star anise and cardamom. Whatever you do, don’t use the Pho spice paste that comes in a jar or can. Nasty stuff, that’s Pho-sho’.

Pho Spices use for Vietnamese Pho Recipe

Best Bones for Pho

Leg and knuckle bones are the best to make the stock. See that wonderful yellow marrow below in the photo? That’s pure flavoring that makes your Pho taste full, meaty and rich. But let’s say that you can’t find leg/knuckle bones. Go ahead and use whatever beef bones your supermarket has and just supplement with some oxtail bones or a pound of beef meat (rump, chuck, brisket, etc.) for extra flavor.

Bones are parboiled first for a good 10 minutes in rapidly boiling water – this gets rid of the yucky impurities like blood particles and extra fat. You’ll see gray foam float up to the surface as you boil. After 10 minutes, dump out all of the water, rinse out your pot, rinse the bones, and refill with clean, cool water. I know it’s an extra step, but this will give you the pure, clean-tasting broth.

This is just after blanching – the golden gelatinous goodness is where all the flavor and body is.

UPDATE 4/11/2010 I started getting comments of the broth being too greasy — and after 8 pots of testing, I found out why. When I normally make pho broth, I use a combination of knuckle and leg bones, normally with 20% of the bones having the marrow (below photo). When I started increasing the % of bones with marrow – the broth started getting too fatty. I guess too much of a good stuff is not a good thing! 😉 The fattiness is easy to remedy. Refrigerate overnight and just discard the layer of fat that accumulates on top. For best results though, keep the bones with marrow to 20%.

Bones for Vietnamese Pho Recipe

Charring Onions and Ginger

Charring or roasting the onions and ginger gives you a wonderfully mellow and naturally sweet flavor. I used to char over an open flame on my stovetop with a pair of tongs, but that got pretty tiring. Plus, metal tongs + long time over flame = very hothothot hands. So now, I just raise my oven rack to the highest position and turn my broiler on. See how golden the ginger gets?

Char onions and ginger for Vietnamese Pho Recipevietnamese-pho-recipe-ginger

Damn Scumbag!

So here is my broth boilin’ away with the mesh bag of spices, charred ginger, charred onions and beef bones. You can see floating bits of fat and the damn scumbag.

Fat & marrow bits = good eats. Try to keep that in the broth!

But gotta get rid of the scum! I use a very, very fine mesh strainer designed just for scum. heh. A scumbag strainer. Can you imagine if I had a line of cookware and tools – “Steamy Kitchen Scumbag Strainer.” Straining the scum keeps your broth pure and clean. The lower the simmer, the less scum you have.

A note on broth simmering time – I simmer the broth for 3 hours. According to both Andrea Nguyen and Corinne Trang (author of Authentic Vietnamese Cooking and former editor and director of Saveur’s test kitchen) – all of the flavors in the bone have been extracted after 3 hours.

Skim the Scum when making broth for Vietnamese Pho Recipe

Thin Sliced Meat

You can use a thinly sliced flank steak, london broil, sirloin, eye of round or tri-tip. Instead of beef slices, you could use beef balls (Bo Vien) found in the freezer section of your Asian market. The secret to cutting meat is to cut across the grain. You want your beef slices as thin as possible, and I always throw the whole chunk of meat in the freezer for 15 minutes to make it easier to slice thinly.

How to slice steak for Vietnamese Pho Recipe

Pho Noodles

Rice noodles for vietnamese pho recipe

Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup typically uses rice noodles. You can buy them dried or fresh. I love the slippery softness of fresh noodles (look in the refrigerator or freezer section.) Most restaurants will use dried, flat rice noodles. Look for ones that are medium thickness and flat like these.

Pho Condiments

Condiments for Vietnamese Pho Recipe

Pho-tastic condiments! On the tables of every Pho restaurant, you’ll see these two condiments, Cock Sauce (Sriracha hot chili sauce) and Hoisin Sauce. You can squirt and slather as much of these two condiments as you want…but I’m a purist.If I’m going to spend a couple of hours carefully crafting a rich, flavor-packed, clean soup – I better taste every damn drop. Condiment sauces just get in the way. Sometimes, I’ll squirt a bit of each sauce in a little dish and dip my meat in the sauce as I take a bite. You ask….why do we call it Cock sauce? See that rooster on the bottle?

Pho Vegetables and Herbs

Fresh mint, cilantro, basil, bean sprouts, limees, sliced chili peppers are just some of my favorite accompaniments. Set a plate at the table and your guests can pick and choose what they like. Here’s a great Pho-tograph of fresh vegetables and herbs.

Fresh Herbs for Vietnamese Pho Recipe

Recommended Tools

These are tools that I recommend and use in my kitchen.

More Pho Recipes

Crock Pot/Slow Cooker Pho Recipe

Crock Pot Slow Cooker Pho
Don’t have time to man a stove? Use your crock pot or slow cooker!

Vietnamese Chicken Pho (Pho Ga) Recipe

vietnamese-chicken-pho-recipe Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup (Pho Ga)

Pho-Lovers Pho-Ever

Guilty Carnivore
Eat Drink & Be Merry


Vietnamese Pho: Beef Noodle Soup Recipe

Servings: 8 Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 4 hours

Adapted from my favorite Vietnamese cookbook
Into the Vietnamese Kitchen

Sometimes, I omit the 1 pound of beef meat in the broth (you'll see I've made it optional) - as I've found that as long as I have good bones, the broth will have enough flavor to not need the extra beef meat.



2 onions, halved
4" nub of ginger, halved lengthwise
5-6 pounds of good beef bones, preferably leg and knuckle
1 pound of beef meat - chuck, brisket, rump, cut into large slices [optional]6 quarts of water
1 package of Pho Spices [1 cinnamon stick, 1 tbl coriander seeds, 1 tbl fennel seeds, 5 whole star anise, 1 cardamom pod, 6 whole cloves - in mesh bag]1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt (halve if using regular table salt)
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 inch chunk of yellow rock sugar (about 1 oz) - or 1oz of regular sugar

2 pounds rice noodles (dried or fresh)
Cooked beef from the broth (shredded or thinly sliced)
1/2 pound flank, london broil, sirloin or eye of round, sliced as thinly as possible.
big handful of each: mint, cilantro, basil
2 limes, cut into wedges
2-3 chili peppers, sliced
2 big handfuls of fresh bean sprouts
Hoisin sauce
Sriracha hot sauce


Char: Turn your broiler on high and move rack to the highest spot. Place ginger and onions on baking sheet. Brush just a bit of cooking oil on the cut side of each. Broil on high until ginger and onions begin to char. Turn over and continue to char. This should take a total of 10-15 minutes.

Parboil the bones: Fill large pot (12-qt capacity) with cool water. Boil water, and then add the bones, keeping the heat on high. Boil vigorously for 10 minutes. Drain, rinse the bones and rinse out the pot. Refill pot with bones and 6 qts of cool water. Bring to boil over high heat and lower to simmer. Using a ladle or a fine mesh strainer, remove any scum that rises to the top.

Boil broth: Add ginger, onion, spice packet, beef, sugar, fish sauce, salt and simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the beef meat and set aside (you'll be eating this meat later in the bowls) Continue simmering for another 1 1/2 hours. Strain broth and return the broth to the pot. Taste broth and adjust seasoning - this is a crucial step. If the broth's flavor doesn't quite shine yet, add 2 teaspoons more of fish sauce, large pinch of salt and a small nugget of rock sugar (or 1 teaspoon of regular sugar). Keep doing this until the broth tastes perfect.

Prepare noodles & meat: Slice your flank/london broil/sirloin as thin as possible - try freezing for 15 minutes prior to slicing to make it easier. Remember the cooked beef meat that was part of your broth? Cut or shred the meat and set aside. Arrange all other ingredients on a platter for the table. Your guests will "assemble" their own bowls. Follow the directions on your package of noodles - there are many different sizes and widths of rice noodles, so make sure you read the directions. For some fresh rice noodles, just a quick 5 second blanch in hot water is all that's needed. The package that I purchased (above) - needed about 45 seconds in boiling water.

Ladling: Bring your broth back to a boil. Line up your soup bowls next to the stove. Fill each bowl with rice noodles, shredded cooked beef and raw meat slices. As soon as the broth comes back to a boil, ladle into each bowl. the hot broth will cook your raw beef slices. Serve immediately. Guests can garnish their own bowls as they wish.

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Asian Lettuce Cups Recipe with Ground Turkey & Green Apple Tue, 24 Jul 2007 02:21:15 +0000 Don't you feel like this dish should just ::wink:: and do a little sexy twirl? Such a flirty little thing!

"Asian Lettuce Wraps" or "Asian Lettuce Cups" is the most requested recipe on my site. I've updated the recipe to be lighter, more refreshing and healthier. No goopy cornstarchy sauce! Sorry, P.F. Chang! You can make a vegetarian version - just substitute crumbed tofu, more vegetables or even plain rice for the ground turkey. Traditionally, the recipe includes canned ...

The post Asian Lettuce Cups Recipe with Ground Turkey & Green Apple appeared first on Steamy Kitchen Recipes.

Asian Lettuce Cups

What you’ll learn:

  • How to make a vegetarian version of this Asian Lettuce Cups Recipe
  • How to properly “cook” the apples
  • How long you should fry the mung bean noodles

Don’t you feel like this dish should just ::wink:: and do a little sexy twirl?  Such a flirty little thing!

“Asian Lettuce Wraps” or “Asian Lettuce Cups” is the most requested recipe on my site.  I’ve updated this Asian Lettuce Cups Recipe to be lighter, more refreshing and healthier.  No goopy cornstarchy sauce!  Sorry, P.F. Chang!  You can make a vegetarian version – just substitute crumbed tofu, more vegetables or even plain rice for the ground turkey. Traditionally, the recipe includes canned water chestnuts, which honestly taste like crunchy styrofoam.  Instead, I’ve used crisp diced green apples – which is much tastier.

The mung bean noodles look clear and transparent when dried and puff up in just a few seconds time when fried. They are NOT “rice noodles” – when in doubt, look at the ingredient list on the back. It should say “mung beans.”

Hey…who’s stealing my apples?


Asian Lettuce Cups Recipe

Servings: Prep Time: Cook Time:
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The Sauce:
1-1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauceFilling:
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 stalks, scallions
1 pound ground turkey or chicken
2 cups mixed vegetables (frozen pea/carrots, finely diced bell peppers, etc.)
1/2 green apple, finely dicedToppings/Wrap:
1 head boston bibb lettuce, leaves washed and separated
2 skeins, Mung Bean Noodles
2 medium carrots, Use vegetable peeler to peel cut carrot into paper thin strips.  Use knife to further cut into super duper thin strands. Or, use the handy kitchen gadget <- I like this gadget


1. To fry the mung bean noodles, heat a wok or small sauce pan (something not too wide at its base. the smaller the base width, the less oil you will need to use) with about 2 inches of cooking oil. While oil is heating to 375F, use your hands to separate the strands of the mung bean noodle into small clumps. When oil hot, fry one batch at a time. It should only take 10 seconds to fry. Remove, drain on paper towels.

2. Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

3. To make the filling, heat wok on high heat with cooking oil. When oil is hot, add scallions, ginger and garlic and fry a few seconds until fragrant. Add turkey or chicken and fry until almost cooked through. Add the vegetables  and cook 1 minute. Add sauce ingredients. Let simmer for 1 minute to thicken slightly.

4. Add the apples. Toss to coat. Immediately remove from heat. You don't want to "cook" the apples - keep them nice and crunchy. Serve with lettuce cups, carrot shavings and fried mung bean noodles.


Kitt’s comment below just reminded me of the great weekend we just had with my baby birds.

Fighting for “THE BITE.”

Andrew is taller, he has the advantage.

But Nathan has sharp teeth

And swoops in for the kill

Did I scold him? Hell no. Smart strategy I say!

More recipes to explore:

Grilled Shrimp Lettuce Cups with Tropical Fruit Salsa (Steamy Kitchen)

15 Minute Asian Light Meals (Steamy Kitchen)

Fried Noodles with Garlic Shrimp (Steamy Kitchen)

Asian Slaw with Ponzu Dressing (Steamy Kitchen)

Chicken Lettuce Cups (Epicurious)


The post Asian Lettuce Cups Recipe with Ground Turkey & Green Apple appeared first on Steamy Kitchen Recipes.

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