Green Curry Pho with Chicken
I like this soup because it comes together quickly for an easy weeknight dinner and reheats well the second day. This is not traditional Vietnamese pho, as it is essentially a hybrid between Vietnamese pho and Thai green curry. The green curry paste adds a savory element with a hint of spice while the coconut curry adds sweet creamy flavor. I love the rich creamy coconut-based broth with the rice noodles and sweet potatoes added for a flavorful, filling dinner. Serve this dish with both soup spoons and chopsticks so that you can pick up the long rice noodles and slurp the broth. For a shortcut on a busy night, substitute the chicken breasts for shredded rotisserie chicken.
For the green curry pho:
2 large chicken breasts, bone in, skin on (about 1½ pounds)
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt, to taste
1 large sweet potato, peeled and sliced into circles
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
¼ cup green curry paste*
2½ cups coconut milk
2 (9-ounce) packages thin rice noodles*
4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons fish sauce*
1 cup sliced baby Bella (cremini) mushroom
½ cup of green onions, sliced lengthwise
½ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup chopped Thai basil (optional)
Sliced Fresno chilies
Hoisin sauce, as needed
Sriracha, as needed
For the green curry pho:
Preheat the oven to 350°. Rub the chicken breasts with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil then season with salt. Place on baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the chicken is completely cooked through. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Once the chicken is cool to the touch, shred into strips using two forks. Discard the bones and skin and set aside.
Toss the slices of sweet potato in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil then arrange in a single layer on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until the sweet potatoes are tender and the edges begin to brown, about 20 minutes.
Heat a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, add the remaining olive oil and heat through. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the green curry paste, and let cook until fragrant, about an additional 30 seconds. Add the coconut milk, stirring to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer then reduce the heat to low and let cook for 5 minutes.
Bring a medium pot of water over medium-high heat to a boil. Cook the rice noodles, stirring occasionally, until tender but not mushy, about 6 minutes. Drain in a colander under cold water, then divide the noodles among the serving bowls.
Add the chicken broth, fish sauce and mushrooms to the curry mixture. Return the mixture to a simmer and let cook for about 15 minutes. Add the sweet potato slices then remove from the heat.
Arrange the green onion, cilantro, basil, jalapeños and Fresno peppers on a small plate and serve on the side so toppings can be added as desired. Ladle the soup into bowls over the rice noodles, and add desired toppings. Serve with hoisin sauce and sriracha on the side, and add as desired.
*Note: Green curry, fish sauce and rice noodles can be found in the international section of your local grocery store, at an Asian market or online (Amazon has everything).