A Thanksgiving recipe to keep you pho-ll (full)

A Thanksgiving recipe to keep you pho-ll (full)

Graphic by Elise Bechtel

By Emily Chang

Thanksgiving time is the time to wear sweaters, order pumpkin-themed foods and beverages and enjoy warm comfort foods. Pho, a bone broth soup served with rice noodles, has been a comfort food of mine since childhood. While you can enjoy this dish at local restaurants like Love Pho N’ More in Camarillo and Pho Saigon in Port Hueneme (my favorite), sometimes you might not feel like heading out in the chilly weather.

Below is one way to make an at-home chicken pho, inspired by @christy.cooks on TikTok. Many ingredients can be found at Island Pacific in Oxnard or any of your favorite Asian supermarkets. They can also be used in various other recipes, making them good additions to your kitchen collection. With Thanksgiving around the corner, you can substitute the chicken in this recipe for turkey to maximize the deliciousness you get out of your holiday groceries. Also, pho can be made in a variety of ways, so feel free to get creative and do not worry about altering things a little.


The star of this recipe will be a rotisserie chicken—you can get the iconic $5 ones at Costco or most other grocery stores. Alternatively, use your Thanksgiving turkey. In addition, you will need the following:

  • A medium to large pot
  • 16 cups water (adjust to your family and pot size)
  • 1 pack of pho rice noodles
  • 1 tablespoon chicken pho broth concentrate or chicken bouillon cube
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 6 pieces star anise
  • 1-2 Cinnamon sticks
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon whole black pepper
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 knob ginger
  • ½ teaspoon Dried cloves
  • Optional (but delicious) garnishes/add-ons:
    • Green onions
    • Thai basil
    • Cilantro
    • Lime
    • Bean sprouts
    • Sriracha
    • Hoisin sauce
    • Any meat


  • Fill your pot about ¾ full with water
  • If you are using a rotisserie chicken or turkey that you have already eaten all the meat off of, add the bones to your pot
  • If you have not yet eaten your rotisserie chicken or turkey, take the meat off and eat it/save it to eat with your pho, and add the bones to your pot
  • Toast your wet spices and herbs until lightly charred and fragrant
    • Onion, ginger
  • Toast your dry spices and herbs until lightly charred and fragrant
    • Star anise, cinnamon sticks, black pepper, dried cloves
  • Add your spices, herbs, fish sauce, and chicken pho broth concentrate or chicken bouillon cube to the pot
  • Boil on medium heat for about 45 minutes
  • Taste test and adjust to your liking with salt and fish sauce
  • Follow the instructions on your rice noodle packet to prepare
    • Most dry rice noodles can simply be dipped in hot water for about 15 seconds
  • In a bowl, add your noodles, broth and any garnishes/add-ons
    • My personal favorite things to add are green onions, meatballs, bean sprouts and hoisin sauce
  • Enjoy and share with others!

Next time you are at the grocery store and in the mood for a hearty meal, I hope you grab these pho ingredients and try out this recipe with a rotisserie chicken or turkey! Nothing puts me in the mood for coziness and holidays like a steamy, savory bowl of pho. It is not labor-intensive to prepare, and you can refrigerate it to easily enjoy again for the whole week. Have a great fall and winter, Dolphins!

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