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Faux Pa Pho

Recipe Info

Difficulty: Easy
Mess Level: Moderate
Yield: 10 Servings
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 1 hr


  • ½ Cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 Four-Inch Piece Fresh Ginger
  • 6 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Cups Shredded Carrots
  • 6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • ½ Head Purple or Green Cabbage
  • 12 Cups (96 oz) Chicken Stock
  • 1 Lime plus 10 Wedges
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon Clove or Nutmeg
  • 3 Serrano or Jalapeno Peppers
  • 10 Scallions, green parts only
  • 1 Package Rice Noodles
  • 1-2 teaspoons Salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Salt and pepper the chicken and roast until they reach an internal temperature of 165 Fahrenheit, about 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool and then shred.
  2. Meanwhile thinly slice the onion, mince the garlic and peel the ginger. Crush the ginger a little with the side of your knife to release more flavor. In a large stock pot, saute the onion, garlic and ginger until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the shredded chicken, carrots and the stock. Add the soy sauce, sugar, juice of one lime, Worcestershire, cinnamon, and clove. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the ginger and discard.
  3. Meanwhile, shred the cabbage and very thinly slice the jalapeno. Slice the scallion very thinly on a bias. Set aside.
  4. Cook the rice noodles according to package directions and then run under cold water until ready to eat.
  5. To assemble, in a wide bowl place a small amount of rice noodles and cabbage. Top with the hot soup and then a healthy amount of scallions and desired amount of jalapeno. Serve with a large lime wedge. Best eaten with chopsticks and a spoon. Enjoy!

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Savannah Says...

  1. Can I use Chicken Breasts for this?

    1. Come to the dark side!
      If possible use dark meat, it will be much more tender since it’s going to be cooked for so long in the soup. If you’d rather use breasts, shred them and add them when you add the cabbage to avoid a tough piece of meat.
  2. Can’t I just pour the broth over the raw noodles?

    1. It seemed like a good idea...
      You can sure try! In theory, it should work but whether it’s the brand I bought or something else the rice noodles just didn’t ever cook properly when added that way. Give em a quick boil and you’ll be much happier.
  3. How do I store this soup?

    1. You gotta keep em separated!
      Keep the components separate. I kept the shredded cabbage in a baggie and only sliced as much jalapeno and scallion as I needed that day. The soup itself I kept in a pyrex and then warmed as needed. The cooked noodles can be in a bag or another pyrex as well. Or build a few mason-jar lunches with it to take on the go!
  4. How Do I get my vegetables sliced that thinly?

    1. Stay sharp my friend!
      A sharp knife is key. If the knife is dull it will just crush your product or worse, slip off it and into your finger! Get your knives sharpened regularly and run them over the steel wand before use to keep the edge straight.

Ramblings of a Line Cook

This soup is one of my loves because you probably have most of what you need in your pantry already, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money on random ingredients you likely won’t use again. Not to mention you can substitute the vegetables, herbs, and meats depending on what you have! The first time I made this I had a bottle of strange, squeezy ginger available. When I made it again I had a bottle of Sparkling Ginger Cocktail in my fridge so I dumped a cup of that in. I love not being exact.

I never used to be good at making soups but then I worked in a kitchen where we had to make a different soup every day and believe me, I got quite good at them.I even began to enjoy the challenge, taking random leftovers from the walk-in and turning them into a delicious soup! I became the soup queen…

This faux pa pho is so yummy! Filled with fresh herbs and citrus flavor you cannot go wrong. Feel free to substitute the herbs although I do recommend following the recipe the first time you make it. If you overdo the soy or underdo the spices, lime, or ginger it will just be another chicken noodle soup with some green stuff in it. But if you follow the recipe, you will achieve faux pa pho bliss.

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