During the chilly winter months there is nothing quite as nice as coming home to a hot meal, and it is even better when the meal is super easy to make in the crock pot! We are big fans of crock pot meals as we can get a great meal even on days where we are super busy. For this meal, we wanted to depart from some of our usual meals and branch out into some Asian flavors that we love, but don’t make much of at home. After a bit of research, we decided that pho would be a good candidate for a crock pot, as the flavors take awhile to build, and a crock pot meal that takes 8-10 hours to finish up is a great opportunity to build some flavors. After an adventure to our local Asian Food Mart, we were ready to tackle this recipe!
Pho is a popular Vietnamese street dish that essentially is a brothy noodle soup that has gained quite the following the last few years, with lots of restaurants that specialize in pho popping up all over the place. Filled with lots of rice noodles, herbs and typically beef or chicken plus a rich spiced broth, pho is a perfect meal for chasing away the chill of winter! With every place having its own version of pho, every recipe can be different so feel free to tweak the recipe as you see fit! For this recipe we chose to go with chicken, as we have had lots of success making chicken crock pot meals in the past.
One of the best things about making your own pho is the great aroma that all the spices and herbs used to layer flavor into the broth. Lots of aromatics like cinnamon, cloves and star anise add a warm spice to the broth, while fresh ginger and jalapenos add a spicy bite. A splash of fish sauce adds that asian flavor and gives the broth a real deep savory character.
Crisp chopped bok choy and bean sprouts add a bit of green freshness and a pleasant bitterness that balances out the salty broth. A garnish of fresh lime brings just the right amount of acid to make the spices pop. Combine all these flavors and this pho will be sure to be a popular meal the next time you make crock pot meals!
- 8 cups of Chicken Stock
- 2 skinned chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6 star anise
- 6 cloves
- 6 slices of fresh ginger, peeled
- 12 oz of rice noodles
- 6 cups of bok choy chopped
- 12 oz radish or bean sprouts
- 2 sliced jalapeños
- 1 lime, quartered
- Add brown sugar, fish sauce, cinnamon, star anise, cloves and ginger to chicken stock.
- Place chicken breasts meat down in crockpot and then pour stock over.
- Cook in crockpot for 8-10 hrs on low, or 5-6 hours on high.
- Remove chicken breasts and set aside.
- Remove spices from broth and throw away.
- Add bok choy and rice noodles to broth, turn crockpot to high and let cook for another 30-40 minutes.
- While noodles and bok choy cooks, shred chicken and slice jalapeños.
- Just before noodles and bok choy are done, add shredded chicken back to broth.
- Ladle into large bowls, add sprouts, jalapeños,and lime juice.
- Dig in!
Recipe adapted from Served from Scratch.
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