Eat, Noodles
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Phở Turkey

Phở Turkey is a common type of phở that Vietnamese American created around Thanksgiving. This is a new take on the classic chicken phở or phở gà. Around the holiday, grocery stores will offer a promotion for turkeys. My parents inevitably fall for it and buy extra turkeys even though we normally do not eat them besides on Thanksgiving. What we end up doing is using the fresh turkey to make phở and it is a big hit. This phở is healthier and cleaner than beef phở and takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to make from start to finish. There are always people visiting during the holidays so this phở is a good way to feed the masses on a budget.

Difficulty: Easy / Servings: 6-7 bowls / Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes


4.5 lb. of turkey drumsticks (approx. 4)

6 lb. of turkey breast with bone

2 packets of phở spice (1 packet has 1/2  tablespoon of black peppercorn, 2 cinnamon sticks, 10-12 star anise, 9-10 cloves, 1 cardamom and a spice pouch)

1/2 a ginger

1 yellow onion

1 red onion

2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of rock sugar

1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon powder

2 tablespoons of sea salt

1 teaspoon of sugar

Ground pepper to top the bowl of phở

1 can of low sodium chicken broth

phở noodles

Vegetable accompaniment:

1 lb. of bean sprouts

1 bushel of Thai basil

1 bushel of cilantro

3-4 stalks of scallion



Hoisin sauce

Fish sauce

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Rinse the turkey with water to get rid of any impurity.

Roast the phở spice, onion, and ginger at 400F for 15 minutes to release the juice and aromatics. You can do this while the water comes to a boil (next step) so you can have the ginger ready to add to the stock.


Add 6 quarts of water to a large stock pot and bring the water to a rolling boil.

Once the water boils, add 1 tablespoon of rock sugar, 1 tablespoon of sea salt, turkey and ginger. Allow the stock to cook on rolling boil for a total of 1 hour. Skim any impurity that floats to the top.



Skim the impurities and discard them

After 30 minutes of boiling the turkey, add the phở spice pouches to the stock and continue to boil the stock for another 30 minutes (1 hour total). Continue to skim any impurity that floats to the top.


After 1 hour of boiling the turkey, remove the turkey meat and set aside to rest.


Strain 5 quarts of the stock into another pot and add the phở spice pouches. Usually you could get approximately 4.5 quarts of stock from the first boil so add enough low sodium chicken stock to make up the difference to equal 5 quarts of liquid. The chicken stock will also add some depth to the turkey broth.



Bring the stock with the phở spice pouches to a low boil. Season the stock with 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of rock sugar, 1 tablespoon of sea salt, 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon powder. Add the roasted onions and allow the stock to be on a low boil for 15 minutes. Skim any impurity to keep the broth clear.

Dice 3 scallions for garnish and keep the white ends. Add the white portion of the scallion to the stock at the end of the 15 minutes. Turn the heat to low and you are ready to serve the noodle soup. (total broth cook time of 1 hour and 15 minutes)


While the broth is finishing, boil the phở noodles according to directions. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Thinly slice the white and dark meat to top the phở .


Prepare the condiment plate with beansprouts, lime, Thai basil and cilantro.


Serve the bowl of noodles with some dark meat and white meat and garnish with thinly sliced onions, some cilantro and a sprinkle of ground pepper. Make sure there is a side of Hoisin sauce, Sriracha and fish sauce to taste.

In order to properly eat phở , top the bowl with some bean sprouts, Thai basil and cilantro and add a squeeze of lime, hoisin sauce and Sriracha. All of these flavors will meld together for a delicious soothing bowl of noodles.

Try other versions of phở  such as Phở Bò (Beef Noodle Soup) or Phở Chay (Vegetarian Phở Noodle Soup).

For more recipes, visit our EAT page or Recipe Index.

Authors: Susan Tran and Chau Hoang

This entry was posted in: Eat, Noodles
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