Northern Vietnam: Phở Gà

Restaurant: Pho Ga 69
City: Oakland, CA

I had phở gà for lunch today! Phở gà translated into English is “chicken noodle soup”. It is also served with a ginger scallion sauce, which is minced ginger and green onion cooked with oil. This dish is very similar to Hainan chicken, in terms of the type of chicken (free-range) and sauce served with it.

pho ga

You can also order shredded chicken noodle soup (phở gà xé) at this place, which uses chicken breast instead, if you want to eat healthier or if you’re too lazy to eat the meat off the bones.

Phở gà can be found almost everywhere in Hanoi. If you’re in San Francisco or the North Bay, I’ve heard Turtle Tower serves excellent phở gà!

Viet World Kitchen has a good description of this dish:

If you’ve had the original beef phở then you’re bound to want to explore the chicken version, which is slightly lighter in flavor, but delicious still.

While beef phở may be the version that most people know and like, chicken phở is also excellent. In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in phở gà (pronounced “Fuh Gah”) within the Vietnamese American community, and a handful of restaurants are specializing in the delicate noodle soup. Some of them use free-range gà chạy or gà đi bộ (literally “jogging chicken” or “walking chicken”), yielding bowls full of meat that has a flavor and texture reminiscent of traditionally raised chickens in Vietnam.

Also, can you tell that the type of noodle is different from the southern phở?  Here’s the info, from Vietnam Online:

When eating a bowl of Pho in Hanoi, customers do not have options of noodles. They just have only one kind of noodles which is big in width and thin in depth. In Ho Chi Minh City, when having a Pho, they would ask what kind of noodle you would like to have: the primary one (like Hanoi’s Pho) or the thinner one both in width and in depth.

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