18, Jan 2010
Lemongrass Pho Ga

After the pressure cooker pho experiment, I decided to try making chicken (pho ga) but wanted to try different flavors. This one uses lemongrass in place of ginger but is otherwise similar. The result was not bad but could have used a little more intensity. Also, the lemongrass didn’t really come through; I will probably try smashing the lemongrass if I try this again. Weirdly, the fat didn’t solidify the way it always does with beef pho, so it was more difficult to skim it off and I didn’t get all of it. I do like using chicken for the meat though, just because it’s easier for leftovers, not to mention cheaper and healthier.


1 whole chicken, cut into parts, bone in and skin on
2 lbs miscellaneous chicken parts (I used 1 lb necks and 1 lb backs)
1 large yellow onion, quartered, skin still on
2 thick lemongrass stalks, cut into 2-3″ lengths
2 star anise pods
3 whole cloves

1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
1/2 tsp whole white peppercorns
3 quarts water
1/4 c fish sauce

To serve
medium-wide dried rice stick noodles
cilantro, basil, thai basil, and/or mint
lime wedges

thin slices of white onion, halved
mung bean sprouts (I personally don’t add these)
hoisin sauce
sriracha or other chile sauce
fish sauce


Making the broth
Grill or bake the chicken pieces until done. When cool, remove the meat from the bones; preserve the bones for the broth and the meat for serving. Toast the spices in a hot skillet for a few minutes. Remove and toast the onion and lemongrass, browning on all sides.

Put all broth ingredients except fish sauce in the pressure cooker. Bring to a boil on high heat and seal the pressure cooker. Bring the cooker up to 8 lbs psi (first red ring on Kuhn Rikon pressure cookers) and lower the heat. Cook for 1 hour, monitoring the heat to maintain a constant pressure. Strain everything from the broth. At this point either skim the fat or refrigerate the broth overnight and remove the solid lump of fat from the top the next day. Add the fish sauce to taste.

To serve
Boil the rice noodles until tender, about six minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. In each serving bowl, place noodles, reserved shredded chicken, and sliced onions. Bring the broth to a rolling boil in a saucepan and add enough to each bowl to cover the noodles, meat, and onions. Serve with limes, herbs, and sauces.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *