Chocolate Dipped Biscotti

Sesame studded and heavily scented with crushed fennel seeds and chamomile, these chocolate dipped biscotti punctuated my espressos all week. They were the petite treats I’d looked forward to. If you’ve never baked biscotti before, they’re a lot of fun, and quite adaptable. The main thing? You double bake them. First with the biscotti dough shaped into a long loaf. And a second time after you’ve baked and sliced those loaves into biscotti.


You can play around with the flavors here, but the way the fennel seeds and chamomile complements the chocolate is really fantastic (I used, and loved, Guittard 66% organic semisweet). That said, I’ll offer up some alternative suggestions down below, because I totally get that not everyone keeps chamomile around 😉 xx!

Biscotti Tips:

A couple things I should point out:

Rolling Technique: First, make sure to roll your dough into a tight shape (pictured below). This way, when you go to slice your biscotti after the first bake, they’ll hold their shape. You don’t want crumbling biscotti going into the second bake. A serrated knife is the way to go for slicing, using a quick sawing motion, and not too much downward pressure.

Texture and Baking: If you like a cake-y biscotti, slice them a shade thicker and bake them for a hint less time. If you like a crunchier, more structured biscotti, slice them a shade thinner, and bake them a bit longer (consider flipping them toward the end to really get both side toasty).

Storage: On the storage front. They’ll keep in an air-tight container for a couple of weeks.

Variations

Herbs: I love herbs like rosemary, thyme, and lavender in biscotti. You can experiment with those. Chop and add to your dough with the other dry ingredients. Go easy, make notes, and adjust each time you bake them. A teaspoon is a good place to start.

Spices: A bit of turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, all are welcome here. Basically if it’s a flavor you can imagine being good in a muffin, it’s fair game here. Or, pre blended spices. My favorite chana masala blend is magic here, and garam masala is a good fit as well. 

Citrus Zest: Lemon zest, makrut lime zest (or minced leaves), orange zest – all add a sunny punch of flavor.

Outer Texture: I rolled these biscotti in sesame seeds to add some texture and boost the flavor inside the cookies, but you could go in all sorts of directions. You could roll them in large grains of sugar, for a crunchy, shardy texture. Or, poppy seeds (or a blend of seeds) could be nice. Or, you could add some sort of flavor boost or ingredient to the egg wash you do before the first bake.

This is what my biscotti looked like when they came out of the oven after their second bake. Once you’ve sliced your biscotti, for the second bake, you can put them all on one pan. They’ve already risen, so you don’t need to distance them the way you would with most other cookies.

If biscotti aren’t your thing, but you’re still up for a baking adventure, I love these brownies, this Devil’s Food Cake, these snickerdoodles, or the swirl cake from last week.

Continue reading Chocolate Dipped Biscotti on 101 Cookbooks

Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Old Fashioned Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is a one of my all-time favorites! The perfect summer dessert for using up leftover zucchini.

Sneaking veggies into desserts is the oldest trick in the book, especially when you want extra moist and delicious cakes! If this is a trend you appreciate, don’t miss my Carrot Muffins, Zucchini Bread, or Carrot Cake.

What I LOVE About this Zucchini Cake:

  • No fuss: Don’t get me wrong, there is definitely a time and a place for fancy, layered cakes (like German Chocolate or Chocolate Raspberry Cake), but there’s nothing quite like the ease of a cake made in a 9×13” pan.
  • The cream cheese frosting is the the perfect accompaniment in taste and creamy texture.
  • Sneak in the veggies: I wouldn’t go and call this cake healthy, but it is nice knowing I can sneak in 2 entire cups of grated zucchini and my kids would never know it!

How to Make Zucchini Cake:

1. Combine wet ingredients: Add oil and sugars to a mixing bowl and beat well to combine. Add pineapple, eggs, vanilla and sour cream. *Use room temperature eggs as they emulsify better in the batter. Place eggs in warm water for about 10 minutes before cracking them.

2. Stir in zucchini. Leave the peel on the zucchini when you grate it. Measure it, then gather it in paper towel and gently squeeze some of the liquid out over the sink.

3. Combine dry ingredients. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Add to the wet mixture, stirring just until combined.

4. Add to pan and bake.  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350ºF for 30 – 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Four process photos for making zucchini cake batter in a bowl and pouring into a baking dish.

5. Top with Cream Cheese Frosting.  Allow to cool completely before frosting.

A baked zucchini cake, then cream cheese frosting added on top.

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:

To Make Ahead: The cake can be baked and frosted, stored in the refrigerator, 1-2 days in advance.

To Freeze: Freeze frosted or unfrosted zucchini cake for up to 2 months.  Cover well with plastic wrap and aluminum foil before freezing.  Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Check out these old-fashioned dessert recipes:

  • Grandma’s Oatmeal Cake
  • Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
  • Mississippi Mud Cake
  • Fresh Apple Cake
  • Gingerbread Cake

You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST for more great recipes!

Slices of zucchini cake with cream cheese frosting on parchment on a wire rack.

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Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Old Fashioned Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is a one of my all-time favorites! The perfect summer dessert for using up leftover zucchini.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 20
Calories 238kcal
Author Lauren Allen

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oil (vegetable or canola oil)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar , packed
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple (about half of an 8oz can)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sour cream , or Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups grated zucchini about 2 small zucchini, peel on, loosely measured and then gently squeezed to remove some of the liquid
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2/3 cup walnuts, golden raisins, or chocolate chips , optional

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 6 Tablespoons butter , softened
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cinnamon sugar for sprinkling on top, (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13” baking pan.
  • Add oil, granulated and brown sugars to a mixing bowl and beat well to combine. Add pineapple, eggs, vanilla and sour cream. Stir in grated zucchini. 
  • In a separate mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Add to the wet mixture, stirring just until combined.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Add the cream cheese and butter to a mixing bowl and cream together until pale and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and whip until fluffy, about 3-4 more minutes. 
  • Spread frosting over cooled cake. Sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon sugar on top, if desired. 

Notes

Dairy-free/vegan zucchini cake: substitute two flax eggs (mix 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed with 3 Tbsp hot water.  Let sit for 1 minute until it gets gloopy), substitute 1/3 cup vegan mayo for the sour cream.

Make Ahead Instructions: The cake can be baked and frosted, stored in the refrigerator, 1-2 days in advance. 

Freezing Instructions: Freeze frosted or unfrosted zucchini cake for up to 2 months.  Cover well with plastic wrap and aluminum foil before freezing.  Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Nutrition

Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 198mg | Potassium: 138mg | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 310IU | Vitamin C: 2.3mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 0.9mg
Have you tried this recipe?!

RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

I originally shared this recipe May 2016. Updated May 2020 with new process photos and more detailed instructions and tips.

The post Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting appeared first on Tastes Better From Scratch.

Ranch Dressing

Easy homemade Ranch Dressing made with buttermilk, mayo, Greek yogurt and fresh or dried herbs. Like most things, it definitely tastes better from scratch!

Ranch dressing goes with just about everything, am I right?  Use it as a pizza dip, add to it any salad, pour it all over these Sweet Pork Burrito Bowls, serve it with some popcorn chicken, etc etc.

What I LOVE about this recipe:

  • Simple ingredients: No strange chemicals, flavors, or preservatives here; just basic ingredients you recognize and have around!
  • Thick or thin: you control the consistency of the final product. If you like it thin for salads, add more buttermilk.  If you like it thicker for dipping, add less buttermilk or more mayo.
  • Adaptable: Use this base recipe to make ranch in tons of different flavors! I’ve shared my ideas below.

A tray with the individual, labeled, ingredients for homemade ranch dressing.

How to Make Ranch Dressing:

1. Mix together: mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar and all of the seasonings in a medium bowl.

2. Add buttermilk, stirring well until desired consistency for dipping or dressing.

Two process photos of the ingredients for ranch dressing in a bowl, then mixed together with a spoon.

3. Refrigerate: For best flavor, refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Variations:

  • Add some tang: Squeeze a little extra citrus (orange, lemon, or lime) for extra tangy flavor.
  • Add Bacon: Add 1/4 cup of bacon crumbles.
  • Add cheese: Add 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Cilantro Ranch Dressing: Add 1/2 bunch of cilantro and 1 tomatillo and add all ingredients to a food processor. Blend until smooth.
  • Jalapeño Ranch Dressing: add 1 jalapeño pepper (seeds  removed for milder spice) and blend all ingredients in food processor until smooth.
  • No buttermilk?  Either make your own, or if you prefer ranch without buttermilk, leave out the buttermilk and add a little more mayo or yogurt, with a splash of milk.
  • Dairy-free/Vegan Ranch Dressing: Substitute vegan mayo in place of mayonnaise and Greek yogurt and substitute almond milk (mixed with about 1 tsp of lemon juice) in place of buttermilk.

Storing Instructions:

Check the expiration on your dairy ingredients to get the best idea for how long to store your homemade ranch dressing.  It should stay fresh for up to about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

A green salad with homemade ranch drizzled on top.

Enjoy Ranch with:

  • Salad
  • Buddha Bowl
  • Sweet Pork Burrito Bowls
  • Homemade Breadsticks
  • Pizza
  • For dipping veggies or Hot Wings

You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST for more great recipes!

A small dressing pitcher with ranch dressing, next to a salad.

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Ranch Dressing

Easy homemade Ranch Dressing made with buttermilk, mayo, Greek yogurt and fresh or dried herbs. Like most things, it definitely tastes better from scratch!
Course Appetizer, side course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Refrigerate 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 277kcal
Author Lauren Allen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Real mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • ½ tsp white vinegar
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped Italian flat-leaf Parsley (or 1/2 tsp dried parsley)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh Chives , or ½ tsp dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • Freshly cracker Salt and pepper , to taste
  • ¼ – ½ cup Buttermilk , as needed to desired consistency

Instructions

  • In a medium sized bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt (or sour cream), vinegar and seasonings.
  • Whisk in the buttermilk until desired consistency for dipping or dressing.
  • For best flavor, refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

Flavor Variations:

  • Add tang: Squeeze a little citrus (orange, lemon, or lime) for extra tangy flavor.
  • Bacon: Add 1/4 cup of bacon crumbles.
  • Cheese: Add 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Cilantro Ranch Dressing: Add 1/2 bunch of cilantro and 1 tomatillo and add all ingredients to a food processor. Blend until smooth.
  • Jalapeño Ranch Dressing: add 1 jalapeño pepper (seeds removed for milder spice) and blend all ingredients in food processor until smooth.
  • No buttermilk?  Either make your own, or if you prefer ranch without buttermilk, leave out the buttermilk and add a little more mayo or yogurt, with a splash of milk.
  • Dairy-free/Vegan Ranch Dressing: Substitute vegan mayo in place of mayonnaise and Greek yogurt and substitute almond milk (mixed with about 1 tsp of lemon juice) in place of buttermilk.

Nutrition

Calories: 277kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 257mg | Potassium: 35mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 326IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg
HAVE YOU TRIED THIS RECIPE?!

RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

The post Ranch Dressing appeared first on Tastes Better From Scratch.

The Best Grilling Recipes Ever

These grilling recipes are the BEST and have so much flavor in each recipe. Grill to perfection with each of these delicious and simple to make recipes. From Beef, Chicken to Pork and seafood these grilling recipes will become family favorites this summertime.

More Options for Grilling Recipes: Must Make Summertime Grilling Recipes,  Top Summer Grilling Recipes or Amazing Grilling Recipes

You guys, I just can’t contain my excitement because GRILLING SEASON IS HERE! This is my favorite type of food – backyard bbq, summer grilling spectacular! I am grilling everything in site and I want to make every single one of the amazing grilling recipes I’ve rounded up for you today!

Grilling Recipe Tips:

Grill to perfection with these grilling recipe tips! Learn how to prepare your meat to cooking it then enjoying a delicious grilled meal. Impress your family and friends with these grilling recipes this summertime.

  • Clean Grill: Yes, you will want a clean grill before starting. Heat up the grill and clean it off using a brush or a grill cleaning spray.
  • Prepare the Meat: If you need to marinate prior to grilling or cut the fat, the best time to do it is before grilling it. Read through the recipe prior to grilling for best results.
  • Warm Meat: Sounds strange right?! Technically you don’t need to warm the meat up but let the cold meat from the refrigerator sit on the counter for 15 to 30 minutes letting it rest at room temperature. This will ensure an even and simple cooking time.
  • Leave the Meat: Try not to move your meat around on the grill too often. It is best to leave the meat cooking in one place then flip over to finish cooking it through. If the meat is sticking to the grill, leave it and it will unstick after it is finished cooking.
  • Don’t Squish the Meat: When grilling it is tempting to lay the spatula on top of the meat and squeeze it down to see all the juices run out. Don’t! This is all the fat and juiciness that you need for flavor and cooking.
  • Bone In Meat: Cook these meats on high and over direct heat. Once they have a nice crust look, lower the temperature and place in the indirect heat to finish grilling.
  • Flare Ups: These do happen every once in a while. Keep a spray bottle of water close by and use it when needed.
  • Meat Thermometer: This will save your grilling recipes by knowing exactly when your meat is done. Place the meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meat. Once it reaches the internal safety degree for that type of meat, take it off the grill to rest.
  • Before Cutting: Be patient and let the meat rest before cutting into it. This will help the meat hold tight to all the juiciness in the meat. 15 minutes is a good number to wait on.
  • Cutting Meat: When cutting the steak, remember to cut against the grain. The lines in the meat are the direction you want to find and cut opposite of those lines. This will enhance the flavor of the meat as well as keep it tender.

Beef Photo for the best grilling recipes roundup.

Cooking Steak to Perfection:

Know how to cook your steak the way you like! Steaks cook up easily and look even prettier on a grill. It is best to cook a little under temperature. Using a meat thermometer will help you to know what temperature you are wanting.

To gauge the perfect temperature, use a meat thermometer.

  • Rare: Temperature: 115°F; Remove when it reaches 110°F
  • Medium-Rare: Temperature: 125°F; Remove when it reaches 120°F
  • Medium: Temperature: 135°F; Remove when it reaches 130°F
  • Medium-Well: Temperature: 140°F; Remove when it reaches 135°F
  • Well Done: Temperature: 150°F; Remove when it reaches 145°F

Link to the perfectly grilled flank steak with chimichurri sauce.

Link to the juicy grilled steak.

Link to the grilled asian garlic skewers

 

Chicken grilling recipes photo

Grilling Chicken the Easy Way:

Chicken is simple to grill and takes minute to get to the perfect temperature. The safe internal temperature for cooked chicken is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Simply place a meat thermometer into the chicken at its thickest part to check the internal temperature. Grilling tender and juicy chicken has become even easier with these simple and delicious recipes.

Link to the grilled honey mustard chicken.

Link to the grilled Hawaiian bbq chicken.

Link to the Thai barbecue chicken recipe.

 

Link to the cheesy sausage potato foil packet recipe.

Pork Grilling Cooking Temperatures:

Pork is simple to grill and has a unique flavor. Add in stuffings or marinate any pork for extra flavor and tenderness. Enjoy the best pork by grilling pork between 145 degrees Fahrenheit (medium-rare) and 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Link to the grilled spinach and herb stuffed pork chops recipe.

Link to the grilled tuscan pork skewers recipe.

Photo with the white banner overlay that says Seafood.

Grilling Seafood:

Salmon is one of my favorite meals to grill. It is simple and usually takes less than 15 minutes. Shrimp and scallops are also fun to see the grill marks on and taste how delicious each one is. Create a masterpiece with these seafood grilling recipes and WOW your family and friends.

Link to the grilled spicy lime shrimp with creamy avocado cilantro.
Link to the awesome grilled salmon with avocado salsa recipe.

Link to the grilled spicy blackened salmon tacos with pineapple avocado salsa recipe.

Link to the grilled honey lime salmon recipe.

Updated on May 15, 2020

Originally Posted on June 18, 2014

Vietnamese Chicken Pho soup (Pho Ga)

Chicken Pho (Pho Ga) – the little sister of famous Beef Pho, equally delicious but much easier to make! I call it the Vietnamese version of homemade chicken noodle soup made from scratch. Except – dare I say it – so much more exciting!

Ready to take a virtual trip to Saigon??

Chicken Pho soup

Chicken Pho – called Pho Ga in Vietnamese – is the chicken version of Beef Pho, Vietnam’s most famous food export.

The magic of Pho is that while the broth looks completely unassuming, it’s actually full of complex-yet-delicate spice infused flavours. That special something-something that makes it unforgettable, and you just can’t stop eating it.

If you’re a Pho fan, you will love this chicken version because it’s easier to make than Beef Pho – no need to hunt down specific bones, just use chicken pieces!

This magical Pho soup broth is made the traditional Vietnamese way, using chicken pieces and infused with spices. Using store bought stock just isn’t the same!

Close up of spoon scooping up broth of Chicken Pho

Chicken Pho Soup broth

We’re making this Chicken Pho from scratch today – no cheating with store bought broth! 

Here’s what you need. See? I told you that you’ll find everything at the local grocery store!!

Chicken Pho broth ingredients

  • Chicken – I use chicken thighs for convenience (easier than man handling a whole chicken) but you can use a whole chicken too. We use some chicken to top the soup, but you will have leftovers – and it will be infused with lovely flavour! See bottom of post for things to use it for;
  • Spices – cloves, fennel, star anise, coriander (fresh and seeds) and cinnamon – infuse the broth with the distinct Pho fragrance that you know and love so well!
  • Onion and garlic – these are broth aromatics that are charred first to add a hint of smokiness to the broth. A traditional and mandatory inclusion!
  • Fish sauce – this provides more complexity and depth of flavour than soy sauce, as well as salt in the broth;
  • Sugar – Pho broth is actually a bit sweet. Most people don’t realise it because it’s subtle! But it’s there – and if you don’t use enough sugar, you will notice something lacking in the broth;
Desperately need a speedy version??

I get it! I’ve been there…. so I’ve popped a shortcut version starting with store bought chicken stock in the recipe notes.


Chicken Pho Toppings

Pho is a dish that is the sum of its parts. It wouldn’t be Pho if you didn’t have the toppings – especially fresh herbs, a signature of Vietnamese food!

Ingredients in Chicken Pho - Vietnamese chicken noodle soup

What is Thai Basil?

Thai Basil is the Asian version of standard Italian basil. It has a similar flavour with the addition of a subtle aniseed flavour. Though called Thai Basil, it’s used across South East Asia. It’s used in popular dishes such as Pad Kee Mao (Thai Drunken Noodles), Thai Red Curry and Thai Basil Chicken.

Sold at large grocery stores in Australia, but  normal basil can be substituted in a pinch so don’t stress if you can’t find it!

Can’t get all the herbs?

But don’t worry if you don’t have ALL the herbs. At least 2 of 3, and you still have a near authentic experience. If you can only get one, make it coriander!


How to make Chicken Pho from scratch

Here’s how to make it.

How to make Chicken Pho - Vietnamese chicken noodle soup

Pho from scratch in 3 simple steps

The photos above are pretty self explanatory I think! Essentially, there’s 3 steps:

  1. Char onion and ginger – this provides a subtle smokey fragrance to the broth that is a signature feature of Pho. So char them well!
  2. Simmer everything gently for 1.5 hrs to infuse the water with all those incredible broth flavourings; and
  3. Strain, shred chicken, serve with Toppings!

See how clear the soup broth is? Beautiful! (And if only you could smell it…. those spices! I want to drink that smell!)

Chicken Pho broth

Chicken Pho making tips

I really wasn’t exaggerating when I said that Chicken Pho is straightforward. So I don’t actually have many tips to share! But here are a few:

  1. Char well! Burn that onion and ginger well! Burn, baby, burn – you want that flavour in your broth!
  2. Do not use an enamel cast iron pot – the charring may require you to scrub the base, and if you scrub an enamel pot, the enamel will come off and the pot will start rusting;
  3. BIG POT is essential – 6 litres/quarts is ideal. If yours is smaller, that’s ok, you can hold back some of the water and add it as the chicken shrinks / liquid evaporates (water reduces by 25%). Also, water level can be very close to the top because we simmer very gently, so spillage risk is very low);
  4. Simmer GENTLY – this is the key to a clear broth;
  5. Broth slightly on the salty side – the saltiness of the broth dilutes slightly once you ladle it over the noodles (which are cooked separately instead of in the broth). Beansprouts are also a watery vegetable. The combination of both of these means that if the broth tastes just right when it’s on the stove, then it will seem a little under seasoned once served with the noodles etc. So if it seems a bit too salty when the broth is in the pot, then it will be perfect once served! I’ve been very specific with my fish sauce and salt measurements in this recipe; and
  6. Prepare noodles JUST before serving – so they are hot and fresh, and also so they don’t break (rice noodles tend to be prone to breaking if left sitting out for ages).

Close up of Chicken Pho noodles

How to eat Pho the traditional Vietnamese way!

Really, there’s no rules. But if you’d like to eat Pho like a pro (read: traditional Vietnamese way!), here’s how it goes down:

  • Arrival – The bowl comes to you with noodles, chicken, broth and scattered with green onions;
  • Take a small sip of the broth by itself, just so you can appreciate its pure, unadulterated perfection;
  • Help yourself to: herbs, beansprouts, squeeze of lime, fresh chilli slices. You can add more beansprouts and herbs later as you progress through the bowl;
  • Dollop hoisin and sriracha onto the MEAT (and/or beansprouts).The sauces are not intended to flavour the broth, they are for the meat. In fact, you’ll find some Vietnamese Pho stalls provide little side dishes to put the sauces in so you can dunk the meat in. This makes the flavour quite full-on, so I prefer the alternative of dolloping directly into the bowl – better sauce dispersion. Also, it really is totally fine for some sauce to end up in the broth!
  • Inhale – Lean over the bowl and inhale the incredible smell with all those fresh herbs (I am not kidding!!);
  • Squidge your chopsticks around in the broth where you plan to attack first to mix up the lime juice. Don’t deliberately push the chicken with the Hoisin on it into the broth – it’s fine if it happens naturally, but don’t taint the broth deliberately;
  • The perfect bite – use your chopsticks to pick up some noodles with chicken, beansprouts and herbs. Devour, then follow with a slurp of soup using the spoon;
  • Repeat, until noodles are finished. Then pick up the bowl and drink every last drop of that beautiful broth!

Bowl of Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup - Pho Go

That was a lot more writing than I anticipated! I hope I didn’t put you off, thinking that it’s an overly complicated recipe because it’s NOT! It does take time, but it’s really just a plonk-and-simmer job.

And it’s certainly easier than Beef Pho which calls for hunting down specific types of recommended beef bones.

I really hope you are inspired to try this Chicken Pho, it really is incredible! – Nagi x


Watch how to make it

Chicken Pho - Vietnamese noodle soup

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Vietnamese Chicken Pho soup (Pho Ga)

Recipe video above. Chicken Pho (PhoGa) – the little sister of famous Beef Pho, equally delicious but much easier to make! I call it the Vietnamese version of homemade chicken noodle soupmade from scratch. Except – dare I say it – so much more exciting!
Course Mains, Soup
Cuisine Vietnamese
Keyword chicken pho, chicken pho from scratch, Pho recipe, pho soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4 – 6 people
Calories 501kcal
Author Nagi

Ingredients

Charred aromatics:

  • 1 tbsp oil , vegetable or canola (or other plain oil)
  • 2 onions , halved (skin on fine)
  • 5cm/ 2″ piece of ginger , sliced 0.75cm / 1/3″ thick (unpeeled)

Pho Soup Broth:

  • 2 litres / 2 quarts water
  • 1.5 kg / 3 lb chicken thighs, bone in skin on (Note 1)
  • 1 small bunch coriander/cilantro (Note 2)
  • 5 star anise pods (was short in photo & video!)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 8 tsp fish sauce
  • 6 tsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Noodle Bowls:

  • 360g / 13 oz dried rice noodles , thin flat (or 600g fresh)
  • 2 green onions stems , finely sliced

Toppings – help yourself

  • 3 cups bean sprouts (Note 3)
  • 1 small bunch EACH Thai Basil, min, coriander/cilantro (Note 4)
  • 2 limes , cut into 4 wedges
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sriracha
  • Red chillies , finely sliced (optional)

Instructions

BROTH:

  • Char onion & ginger – Heat oil in a 6 litre / 6 quart pot (Note 5) over high heat. Place ginger and onion facedown, leave undisturbed for 2 minutes until they blacken. Turn and leave for another 2 minutes.
  • Put everything in pot – Add water and remaining Broth ingredients EXCEPT salt. Bring it a simmer, then adjust heat so it’s simmering VERY gently with the lid on, but open a crack (Note 6).
  • Simmer gently 1.5 hours. Scoop off scum (dirty foam) that rises to surface once or twice during the simmering.
  • Strain & measure – Remove chicken, then strain broth into a clean pot – you should have 1.5 litres / 1.5 quarts. If you have more, simmer to reduce. If less, top it up with water.
  • Salt broth – Add salt, bring broth to a gentle simmer. Broth should be slightly on the salty side – it dilutes when you add the noodles.
  • Keep broth warm until ready to serve
  • Shred chicken, discard bones. (Note 6 Leftover Chicken ideas)

ASSEMBLING:

  • Place Toppings out on the table.
  • Reheat chicken (can briefly dunk in broth!).
  • Prepare noodles per packet directions, just prior to serving.
  • Place noodle in bowls. Top with chicken, ladle over 375ml / 1.5 cups broth. Sprinkle with green onion.
  • Pile on Toppings of choice, add a squeeze of lime into the broth. Consume immediately!

Notes

1. Chicken – or a whole chicken. Don’t reduce chicken weight, you will lack flavour in broth. If you’re short, throw in a wing or drumstick etc to make up the weight.

Can’t shortcut this with breast or boneless thigh – need to use skin on chicken with bone in so it can withstand the cook time, and also dark meat imparts way more flavour into broth.

2. Coriander/cilantro – small bunch quantity: if you bundled it all up, it should roughly equal 1 1/5 cups. Around 5cm/2″ diameter around base, 20cm/8″ tall (you can chop most leaves off to use for topping, and use stems plus some leaves for broth)

3. Bean sprouts – tend to be a bit floppy and smelly from non Asian stores. To perk them up, put in container, cover in water, refrigerate 12 hours. Drain, let dry then use per recipe. If you change water daily, beansprouts will keep for a week using this storage method.

4. Herbs – these 3 herbs are a classic combination for pho. If you have 2 of three, it’s still going to seem like an authentic eating experience. If I really had to only pick one, I’d choose either coriander or Thai Basil. Thai Basil can be substituted with normal basil (but not if it’s the only herb you’re using).

5. Pot – don’t use a cast iron pot as the base will be charred and you may need to scrub. Pot should be at least 6 litres/quarts big. If it’s smaller, you can hold back some water and add it as the chicken shrinks/water evaporates (been there, done that!)

6. Clear broth – gentle simmer and scooping off scum is the path to a lovely clear broth!

7. Leftover chicken – you won’t even use half the chicken for the Pho. Chicken nicely infused with Asian flavours, so use it for things like: fried rice, Chinese Chicken Salad, Vietnamese Noodle Salad, Peanut Noodle Salad, Chinese Corn Soup, or toss it into a Chicken Stir Fry or Stir Fried Noodles.

8. Servings – this will make 4 generous size servings (1.5 cups broth per person, makes a dinner size serving for a person with a very good appetite), 5 sensible servings, or 6 lighter servings (good for a light lunch).

9. Storage – make the broth and freeze for 3 months, or refrigerate up to 5 days. Reheat until piping hot. Do not be tempted to scoop off chicken fat that firms up in fridge – it’s essential for flavour in broth and mouthfeel!

All toppings and noodles must be made fresh.

10. Nutrition is per serving, assuming 4 generous servings. I’ve had to make an educated estimate of the calories from the chicken, noting that while we extract the flavour and some of the fat into the broth, most of the chicken recipe is not used in the recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 501kcal | Carbohydrates: 87g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 1486mg | Potassium: 352mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 18IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 2mg

Life of Dozer

On this very wet, cold day, all I can think about is Chicken Pho.

All Dozer can think about is why he isn’t allowed outside to play!

Dozer looking out window on rainy day

The post Vietnamese Chicken Pho soup (Pho Ga) appeared first on RecipeTin Eats.

Strawberry Avocado Caprese Salad

This Strawberry Avocado Caprese Salad is perfect for late spring al fresco dinners, lazy brunches, and even a fresh breakfast option!

While this recipe is more of an idea since it matters 0% on ratios you’re free to just play around in the kitchen…isn’t that the best?!

This salad has been one of my favorites for years after having something similar at a family reunion ages ago, I can’t even remember who made it just that it was so refreshing.

Sometimes I’ll use basil-infused olive oil or I simply blend up a basil vinaigrette of sorts. A little EVOO, a handful of peppery basil, and a glug of white balsamic vinaigrette will do the trick. Don’t forget a pinch of flaky salt and a crack of fresh pepper either. Maybe even a squeeze of fresh lemon across the top for a little more acid to cut through the fat of the mozzarella and the sweetness of the strawberries.

When serving I like to drizzle a bit of the dressing over the top and leave the rest on the side. It makes for a pretty presentation and folks can add as much as they want. It also helps things not get soggy.

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Strawberry Avocado Caprese Salad

This Strawberry Avocado Caprese Salad is perfect for late spring al fresco dinners, lazy brunches, and even a fresh breakfast option!
Course lunch or side
Cuisine Italian
Keyword avocado, caprese, mozzarella, salad, tomato
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 374kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pint strawberries thinly sliced
  • 1 large avocado diced, sliced or made into a rose
  • 6 ounces fresh mozzarella sliced

Basil Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Squeeze of lemon

Instructions

  • Slice the strawberries and mozzarella, arrange on a serving platter and top with a few leaves of basil.
  • Blend the vinaigrette ingredients together until emulsified. Taste. If needed add additional oil or vinegar to get the tang and texture that you desire. There’s no right or wrong amounts here. Drizzle a little of the vinaigrette on the salad and serve the rest on the side.

Notes

*The white balsamic vinegar can be subbed with regular balsamic vinegar but it will change the color of the basil vinaigrette. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving (1/4th salad) | Calories: 374kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 274mg | Potassium: 484mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 692IU | Vitamin C: 76mg | Calcium: 250mg | Iron: 1mg