Spices add complexity to a simple chicken broth, while traditional fixings create hearty satisfaction with this easy gluten-free Vietnamese-style noodle soup.
Gluten-Free Pho with Chicken Cracklings
- 4 ounces dried rice noodles
- 1-1/2 quarts Homemade Chicken Stock or low-sodium store-bought gluten-free chicken broth
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 whole star anise
- 2 whole cloves
- 2- inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into rounds
- 3 tablespoons gluten-free fish sauce
- 1-1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon gluten-free tamari
- 1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 pound Chinese greens or kale, thick stems discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
- 1 cup mixed coarsely torn fresh herbs, (such as mint, cilantro, and Thai basil, for garnish)
- 1/2 cup bean sprouts, for garnish
- 1 recipe Crispy Chicken Cracklings, (below), for garnish
- 1 green onion, sliced, for garnish
- 1/2 small jalapeño chile, very thinly sliced, for garnish
- 2 lime wedges, for serving
Place the rice noodles in a large heatproof bowl. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Carefully pour enough boiling water over the rice noodles to cover. Let sit for 15 minutes while preparing the soup, then drain and reserve.
In a medium stock pot, bring the chicken stock, cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves, and ginger to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or small sieve remove and discard the spices and ginger. Stir in the fish sauce, brown sugar, and tamari. Add the mushrooms and greens to the broth and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning as needed with fish sauce and sugar.
Divide the noodles between two soup bowls and cover with mushrooms, greens, and broth. Top each soup with fresh herbs, bean sprouts, cracklings (reheated in a 350°F oven, if not freshly made), green onion, and a few jalapeño slices. Serve with lime wedges.
Rendered Chicken Fat and Crispy Chicken Cracklings
MAKES ABOUT 1/3 TO ½ CUP FAT AND ¼ CUP CRACKLINGS Slow-frying chicken skin until it’s chip-crisp and golden brown results in irresistible crunchy and delicious cracklings, as well as rendered chicken fat that can be used as cooking oil.
- Skin from 1 chicken, cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
In a cold skillet, place the chicken skin in one layer. Turn the heat to medium-low. Cook the skin, turning often, until the skin is rich golden brown and completely crispy, 35 to 45 minutes. Using tongs, remove the crispy skin from the pan, letting any excess oil drip back into the pan. Transfer the skin to a small baking sheet or glass container. Pour the rendered chicken fat from the pan into a glass jar with a lid and reserve for another use.
Photography Heami Lee