Weeknight Chicken & Mushroom Pho

Most of the time, I use canned chicken stock. I work a full time job and try maintain some semblance of a social life, so I don’t always have time to make my own stock from scratch. While delicious, it just isn’t something I ever think to do ahead of time. You know how it is, I’m sure: wake up, shower and dress, pack lunches, and darn it if I forgot to get the chicken bones in the soup pot with all the nicely chopped vegetables and tightly bundled herbs and spices before I run out of the house at 7 AM to catch my train, only to return again at 7 PM, when it’s time to shower again (New York summers are brutal!), throw something quick together for dinner, and maybe do a bit of reading before bed. That’s where this new Knorr Homestyle Stock comes in. It’s got more flavor than your average canned stock, and it’s much less salty than a typical bouillon cube. It can be diluted as much as you want, too, so it’s easy to immerse some of your own signature flavors into whatever you’re cooking. I was really excited when I was asked by Knorr to create a recipe using their new stock, and I wanted to make it shine. You see, if they pick my recipe, I get a chance to be flown out to San Diego for BlogHer 2011, as well as spot in a live cooking competition!

I can’t think of many meals in which a good broth is key as much as in pho. If you’ve never had pho, you’re in for a treat! Pho is something I actually learned about when I first started watching No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain, and after I saw Tony slurping up a big bowl of it, I knew I had to try it for myself. Pho is made with rice noodles, and while traditionally uses beef, I wanted to keep things a bit leaner, so I opted for chicken. I suppose this is sort of like a Vietnamese version of chicken noodle soup! I used fragrant ground coriander, ground Chinese five spice, and fresh ginger in my broth, as well as shredded chicken, sauteed mushrooms and onions, and bok choy for a comforting pairing along with the rice noodles. My favorite part about pho, however, are all of the tasty toppings. We used cilantro, red onions, sprouts, Sriracha, hoisin sauce, and fresh lime, but you can really use whatever you like. There’s nothing more appetizing to me than a colorful bowl of pho, so I hope that I can convince you to make some at home soon! Pho really is the new chicken noodle!

Update: I won! I will be attending BlogHer 2011! I hope to see you all there – please come and say hi if you see me walking around! Thanks to Knorr and BlogHer for the opportunity!

Weeknight Chicken & Mushroom Pho
Your ingredients.

Weeknight Chicken & Mushroom Pho
Toast your spices in your pot until fragrant.

Weeknight Chicken & Mushroom Pho
Saute your mushrooms.

Weeknight Chicken & Mushroom Pho
Then your onions, in the same pan.

Weeknight Chicken & Mushroom Pho
Chop up your ginger to simmer in the broth.

Weeknight Chicken & Mushroom Pho
After your chicken has simmered in the Knorr Homestyle Stock, shred it up with two forks and return it to the pot.

Weeknight Chicken & Mushroom Pho
Along with the mushrooms, onions, and bok choy.

Weeknight Chicken & Mushroom Pho
Prepare your noodles according to package directions and add them to the broth. Stir together, taste, and season as necessary.

Weeknight Chicken & Mushroom Pho
Top with whatever you like! We used lime wedges, cilantro, Sriracha, red pepper flakes, hoisin sauce, and sprouts!

Weeknight Chicken & Mushroom Pho

Weeknight Chicken & Mushroom Pho
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 2 packages of Knorr Homestyle Stock + 8 cups of water (or 8 cups of homemade chicken stock)
  • 1 2-inch piece of ginger, cut into quarters
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into quarters
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¾ pound mushrooms (of your choice), gently cleaned and thinly sliced
  • ½ tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 red onion, very thinly sliced (reserve a few slices for a garnish later)
  • 1 bunch bok choy, cleaned
  • 1 pound dry rice noodles, ramen noodles, etc. (any thin noodle will do)
To Serve
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Sprouts
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sriracha and/or hot chile sauce
  1. First, get your broth going and your chicken cooking. Add the teaspoon of ground coriander and the teaspoon of Chinese five spice to a dry soup pot and toast over medium heat for a few minutes, until fragrant, stirring often. If you are using the Knorr chicken stock, add in 8 cups of water and bring to a boil, then add in your two packages of Knorr chicken stock and whisk until combined. Otherwise, you can just add in 8 cups of chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then add in the chicken pieces, and cook over medium-high heat for 20-25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Be sure to skim the surface of the broth every so often to rid the broth of extra fat.
  2. Now, get your mushrooms going. Add ¼ of your cleaned and sliced mushrooms to a large, dry pan over medium heat. Cook until the juices start to come out of them a bit, then add a ¼ of your butter to the mushrooms. Stir until browned, then move to another plate, wipe your pan clean, and start on your next batch of mushrooms, repeating the same steps until they are all cooked. It's best to cook mushrooms this way to retain as much mushroom flavor as possible - they release . When the mushrooms are done, add the onions to the pan with a bit more butter, if you like, and cook over medium-high heat for 15 minutes or so, until caramelized. Add to the plate along with the mushrooms and set aside.
  3. When your chicken is ready, remove it from the pot and shred with two forks. Set aside and add the bok choy. Raise the temperature to medium-high, then add in the mushrooms and the onions. Allow everything to simmer together for 10 minutes or so, until the bok choy is wilted. While you do this, get your noodles ready according to their package directions. You can boil them in the broth, or in another pot - whatever the box or package says is best. My noodles were rice noodles, so I heated some water to boiling, removed it from the heat, and added the rice noodles, then let them sit for 10 minutes or so, until softened. At this point, I drained the noodles and added them to my broth. When the noodles are ready, add them to the broth, along with the chicken. Remove the pot of broth and noodles from the heat, taste, and add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Ladle the pho into bowls and garnish with cilantro, red onion, sprouts, lime wedges, Sriracha, Hoisin sauce, or whatever else you like! Happy eating!


34 Responses

  1. Ruth says:

    This looks really really good. We are always drawn to asian style dishes for weeknight cooking because of their simplicity – this is a new one to add to the rotation! Thanks!

    • Sydney says:

      @Ruth: I hope that you do! :)

      @Mom: The boys are quite good chefs, from what I hear!

      @Blog: Thank you!

      @Jen: Thanks, girl!

      @Lindsey: I’ll make my own stock eventually for some true authenticity, but thank you! 😉 We need to have you and Stephen over for dinner again soon!

  2. Joanne says:

    I think the boys will want to try this one. They made your Manhattans last week. I have to try some of this Knorr stock. I like the way it comes in the small containers. Beautiful pictures as usual!

  3. This looks truly delicious!

  4. Jen says:

    This looks so good!

  5. Lindsey says:

    This looks amazing and so authentic! My tummy is growling just looking at it!

  6. Rachael says:

    I love pho! I often make it with beef stock, but without beef itself and just pile on a lot of herbs & bean sprouts. I’m definitely going to give this chicken & mushroom recipe a go next time I’m feeling a little pho.
    BTW – do we get to vote for you or is it an ‘internal powers that be’ only decision?

    • Sydney says:

      @Rachael: I’m definitely going to make it with beef next! I appreciate the question! It’s not open for public voting, unfortunately, but thanks for looking out! 😉

      @Sasha: Thank you so much! I’ll keep you all updated!

      @Tina: My next step is to do it your way, but I’m glad that you still think this is a viable option! 😉

      @Elodie: You’re quite welcome!

      @Dana: I think it normally is, yes, but I had chicken, so that’s what I used! :)

  7. Sasha B. says:

    Oh yum! I am a Pho addict. I visit a local Vietnamese restaurant regularly for Pho and Boba tea, but I have yet to try and make it at home. Now I have no excuse…plus the addition of mushrooms is a good idea! Also, as a fellow full-time worker, I can appreciate any cooking shortcuts you’re able to provide.

    Good luck with your entry! Your blog is easily one of my favorites and you deserve to be chosen!

  8. Tina D says:

    Being Vietnamese – pho is a labour intensive process taking many hours. My family makes it on a Friday night so we can eat it all weekend.

    My husband would *so* love it if it was possible to eat it on a weeknight after work! I am intrigued by the idea also and will definitely give this a go. I’m sure it will taste different, but it looks delicious and healthy nonetheless.

    Your photos always look amazing.

  9. I love Pho! :) This looks easy to make, thanks for sharing! :)

  10. Dana says:

    I’m such a pho addict, but I’ve never made it at home before! Isn’t it normally beef based? Either way, this recipe is getting posted up on my fridge.

  11. Shirley says:

    Those bowls are so cute! Where did you get them from? Great recipe, perfect for when I have a craving for pho.

  12. carrian says:

    Looks wonderful!! I’ll see you there in a few weeks!

  13. Elaina says:

    So I was feeling bad about not being picked as a winner in the Knorr contest, but now that I see this delicious dish, I am happy for you (and the other winners too). Hope to see you at Blogher!

  14. That pho looks so nice and healthy, tasty fresh and good!

  15. Kristi says:

    I just found you via another post about Blogher. Love your blog. This looks delicious. I love to eat pho, but most recipes I have found involve lots of ingredients many of which I haven’t a clue where I would find (oxtail anyone?), but I am going to give this a try!

  16. Stacey Evans says:

    Hey Sydney,

    You should definitely be on TV. You are such a natural. I am going to try this recipe for Pete and I tomorrow night. Thanks again for sharing, I always look forward to what you’re going to come up with next.

  17. Karen says:

    Wow! With all you have to do and how busy you are it’s a wonder you even find time to cook let alone blog and win contests. Congratulations! This is a recipe I’ll have to try.

  18. Harriet Sachs says:

    I copied this recipe. This is one I will definitely try. Who doesn’t love Asian food?

  19. Kristine says:

    Don’t forget to add fish sauce. :) It adds a nice richness to the broth! Use in moderation/to taste. I even jazz up ordinary ramen with it when I make a lazy lunch.

  20. […] If you will be attending, please come up to me and say hi! You can also come watch me cook my Weeknight Chicken & Mushroom Pho live at the Knorr Kitchen Booth (in the exhibit hall, booth #115) at 11 AM on Saturday, August 6th! […]

  21. […] quite versatile, and lends itself to a number of different recipes. I’ve already shared my Weeknight Chicken & Mushroom Pho, which helped earn me this partnership, and my Rosemary Roasted Chicken and Vegetables. Now, I […]

  22. […] Weekend Chicken and Mushroom Pho from Crepes of Wrath […]

  23. […] Weekend Chicken and Mushroom Pho from Crepes of Wrath […]

  24. […] excited to announce that I am one of the finalists in the Knorr Four recipe contest! Thanks to my Weeknight Chicken & Mushroom Pho, I will be attending the BlogHer 2011 conference in San Diego! I am really excited, especially […]

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