COOKING WITH THE CHARLES: A big bowl of happiness from Vietnam

Slow cooker chicken pho
Slow cooker chicken pho

Slow cooker chicken pho

This recipe is (hopefully) just starting to bring us into spring - a Vietnamese dish that is eaten at all times of the day over there. Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

While you might not fancy this over a bowl of cornflakes it is a great fresh bowl of happiness, leaving your lips tingling and a smile on your face.


200g flat rice noodles

1 tbsp fish sauce

1 medium whole chicken

4 tbsp dark soy sauce

1tsp Chinese five spice

2 red chillies sliced

4 garlic cloves halved

1 onion roughly chopped

20g fresh ginger sliced

6 spring onions

100g bean sprouts

25g coriander leaves picked

1 red chilli sliced

1 lime cut into wedges


1 - Put the veg in the slow-cooker. Stir in the five-spice powder, one litre of water and soy sauce until well combined.

2 - Remove the skin from the chicken. Do the same with the legs, snipping off any skin around the wings or leg tips with scissors.

3 - Place the chicken, breast-side up, in the slow-cooker, pushing it down among the vegetables. Season all over with salt and pepper.

4 - Cover and cook on high for 4½ hours, or until the chicken is completely cooked through and very tender.

5 - Drain the contents of the slow-cooker into a large bowl. Place the chicken on a chopping board and strip the meat from the carcass, thickly slice. Cover with foil.

6 - Skim off the fat from the stock collected in the bowl using a large metal spoon. Pour the stock into a clean saucepan, stir in the fish sauce and place on a simmer.

7 - Half-fill a separate saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Add the noodles and cook until just tender, stirring regularly to separate them. Drain well.

8 - Divide the noodles equally among four deep serving bowls. Top each with chicken, spring onions, bean sprouts and coriander. Ladle over the hot stock and season with soy. Garnish with the remaining sliced chilli, lime wedges and sriracha hot sauce.