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Aromatic Pork and Noodle Soup

Vietnamese pho is built on a long-simmered and aromatic stock infused with charred ginger and onion, spices, and fish sauce, ladled over rice noodles and most commonly served with thin slices of beef. This is not that. We borrowed the technique of charring the onion and toasting the spices to give a quick, weeknight-friendly boost to store-bought chicken stock for this pork and noodle soup.

Prep Time

    •    Prep and cook time: 30 minutes
    •    Yield: Serves 4


    •    1 cinnamon stick
    •    2 star anise pods
    •    1 tsp fennel seeds
    •    2 tbsps vegetable oil
    •    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    •    8 ounces thin rice stick noodles
    •    8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
    •    1 1” piece ginger, peeled, crushed
    •    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    •    1 medium onion, peeled, halved through root end
    •    2 bone-in pork shoulder steaks (about 12 oz. each)
    •    2 chiles de árbol or ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
    •    Mung bean sprouts, fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems, thinly sliced scallions, chopped unsalted, roasted peanuts, and lime wedges (for serving)


  1. Heat a dry large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Cook onion, cut side down, until lightly charred, about 5 minutes; transfer to a plate.
  2. Add chiles (if using crushed red pepper flakes, add with fennel seeds), garlic, cinnamon stick, and star anise to skillet and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add fennel seeds and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 20 seconds (do not burn). Quickly transfer to a large saucepan (reserve skillet) and add onion, ginger, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until broth is flavorful.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in reserved skillet over medium-high heat. Season pork with salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before thinly slicing.
  4. Cook noodles according to package directions. Divide among bowls; add pork. Strain broth and ladle into bowls. Top soup with bean sprouts, cilantro, scallions, and peanuts and serve with lime wedges.

This great family recipe is thanks to Bon-appetit Recipes at


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