Dine and Design: Authentic Chicken Pho

When I visit home from college, I’m usually welcomed with my favorite meal, a steaming bowl of chicken pho. The Vietnamese noodle soup has been one of my favorite foods since I was a child, and my mom would spend hours preparing the aromatic broth. Pho is somewhat of a cure-all to me–whether it be a bad day, a cold, freezing temperatures, or homesickness. It connects me to¬† Vietnamese culture and never fails to make me feel better.

In my poster design class, I recently created a triptych series of noodles–yes, noodles. For now, I’ll share the pho poster and provide you with a recipe that can inspire your next quarantine project.




Classic Pho Ga Recipe

Serves 6



For the broth:

6 star anise

6 cloves

1 tsp whole black peppercorns

3 pounds chicken backs, necks, or drumsticks (almost any cheap part will do)

1 whole chicken, cut in half

1 piece ginger, around 4 inches, cut in half

2 yellow onions, peeled

1/4 cup fish sauce

2 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp salt

For assembly:

1 pound dried rice noodles

1/2 yellow onion, sliced very thin

3 scallions, chopped

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

1 pound bean sprouts

15-20 sprigs Asian basil

1-3 serrano chilies, sliced (optional)

1 lime, cut into wedges



  1. Lightly toast the star anise, cloves, peppercorns in a dry pan for 2 mins then place aside
  2. Char the ginger and onion in an oven on the broil setting until soft and fragrant (around 10-15 mins)
  3. Bring 5 quarts water to a rolling boil in a large pot
  4. Add all the chicken, boil for 3 mins, then reduce to a simmer
  5. Skim the surface of the broth intermittently to remove fat
  6. Add the ginger, onions, fish sauce, sugar, and salt
  7. Cook for about 30 mins until chicken is cooked, then take out the chicken halves to cool
  8. Remove skin from the chicken halves and discard
  9. Add the peppercorns, cloves, and anise to the broth (in a spice bag if you have one)
  10. Cook broth for another 60 mins
  11. Shred the chicken halves into bite size pieces (you may need only half of it for serving and can save the other half)
  12. While broth is simmering, blanch the pho noodles in another pot of boiling water for 10-30 seconds until soft but chewy
  13. Portion the noodles, shredded chicken sliced onions, and scallions into bowls
  14. Bring the broth back up to medium heat, ladle the broth into each bowl and serve
  15. Garnish the bowls to your liking with the bean sprouts, herbs, lime juice, pepper and enjoy!


Student at the University of Michigan studying Art & Design and Communication & Media, hoping to create meaningful design for social impact. Every week I highlight an intriguing artist (or group of artists)!

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