Ambroisie: Chicken Pho Soup

Ambroisie: Chicken Pho Soup

by Annee de Mamiel |

This has to be my "go to" meal, I would eat it every night if I could... The pungent aroma will always take me to sunnier climes but the taste and balance of flavours just hits the spot. I hope you enjoy it and would love to know how you get on with it!


Serves 2, generously


  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce (or tamari) 
  • 1 tbsp honey 
  • 1 tbsp mirin 
  • 4 Chicken thighs 
  • 1 garlic clove 
  • 1 litre chicken stock, ( * see note below)
  • 6 slices of ginger
  • 1 tbsp lime juice,
  •  additional lime wedges for serving
  • 2 long fresh red chillies, sliced lengthways (or 1 tsp dried chilli flakes)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce 
  • 3 star anise, whole
  • 6 coriander seeds 
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves 
  • bean sprouts
  • 2 lemongrass stalks 
  • a handful bok choy, mange tout, shredded greens
  • 100g brown rice udon noodles (or rice vermicelli) 
  • spring onions, trimmed and sliced
  • mint, thai basil, coriander 

Mix a tablespoon of dark soy, with a tablespoon each of honey and mirin. Pour into a small roasting tin, add the chicken thighs and turn them over in the mixture till lightly coated. 

Roast at 200C/gas mark 6 for about 25-30 minutes, with some garlic, occasionally turning the thighs over in the honey and mirin. They should be very dark and sticky.

to make the soup base pour the stock into a large pot and bring to a simmer. Bruise the Lemongrass stalks and add to the pan with the ginger, lime juice and the star anise, chilli, coriander seeds, and kaffir lime leaves.  Bring to a low simmer and cook gently for 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat and leave to stand. 

Strain the infused stock through a sieve into a clean pan and add lime juice and fish sauce. 

Boil a pot of water for the noodles and cook as per instructions, stirring regularly to separate them, drain well.   

Divide the noodles between two deep bowls. Slice the chicken from its bones and add to the noodles together with the bok choy, mange tout, bean sprouts, sliced mint, thai basil, spring onions and coriander leaves and additional chilli (sliced thinly), then ladle over the stock. 

Add a wedge of lime, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, adding a little extra lime juice or fish sauce if needed.


* Chicken stock – I like to make my own with a slight variation. Try