Phở ga is perfect for cold winter days.

 phò neon

(iPhone photo)

Can I just say how much I love phở (pronounced like “fuh”) ga in winter? It’s basically Vietnamese chicken noodle soup, with all kinds of good stuff added. Slices of chicken, green onions and rice noodles all cooked in a delicious broth, onto which you can toss Thai basil, lime juice and bean sprouts. You can also add hot peppers and hot sauce if you’re so inclined. I’m not.


I’m not usually great with chopsticks, but I can handle this for some reason. The noodles are really long, so there’s no graceful way to eat this, but everyone else is in the same boat.

Vietnamese restaurant

(iPhone, with Infinicam app)

We’re lucky to have two really good phở places near us, so I don’t make it at home very often. If you’d like a decent recipe, here’s the one I use.  I keep forgetting to ask the restaurant owners where they get their fresh Thai basil. They either grow it in a greenhouse or have it flown in from warmer climes. I can grow it in the summer, but who wants hot chicken soup when it’s 95º outside?

I wouldn’t recommend using regular basil. The Thai version has a unique, sweet anise-y flavor that really adds to the soup. It’s not essential, so don’t worry if you can’t find any.


About pearlsandprose

Photography. With a little life thrown in.
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14 Responses to Phở ga is perfect for cold winter days.

  1. Janine says:

    Oh, it sounds fabulous!!! I love soup…so will have to try this!!! Just stopping by to say “hi!” Still too crazy/busy to blog…but have been thinking of you…So I just had to visit!!! Love you~Janine xoxo

  2. Caroline says:

    That makes me quite sentimental… I used to eat this in Paris regularly. I can’t find it here at all but I did it once myself. We have some great China stores who sell the fresh Thai basil. You are totally right, it has nothing to do with the basil we know from Italian cuisine. Will have to test your recipe soon.

  3. Caroline says:

    I had a Chinese-Cambodian boyfriend… He knew all the Asian restaurants and dishes…

  4. I love Pho Ga. I make my own vegetarian version, which I made for dinner last night in fact!

  5. Rich says:

    Love pho ga! It’s the only pho I get. Seattle, especially my new neighborhood, is practically swimming in it.

  6. Lady Jennie says:

    When I used to live in Taiwan, we used to eat soup like this, dragging the noodles with chopsticks into the spoon. But it was still messy and I ruined many shirts.

  7. Cheryl Andrews says:

    One of my favourite dishes that I’ve been enjoying for years. Next time, finish it off with a cup of Vietnamese style coffee. You should be asked if you want it cold or hot. Most Vietnamese drink it cold – true to Canadian lifestyle, I prefer it hot!

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