Crock-Pot “Cheating” Phở

Making pho at home can take phở-ever, unless, of course, you make it in a slow cooker.


  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 medium onions, whole
  • 2 ounces ginger, whole
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 7 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon rock sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • Rice noodles, cooked
  • To garnish:
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • 1-2 chilies, such as jalapeño, Serrano or Thai chili, sliced
  • 1 lime
  • Bean sprouts
  • Thai basil
  • Culantro (Ngo gai)
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sriracha
  • Sambal


  1. Toast star anise, cinnamon and black peppercorns in a dry skillet over medium-high heat to release their aroma, about 2-3 minutes. Place in a tea bag and add to slow cooker.
  2. In the same skillet, place the whole onions and ginger and roast them over high heat until they're blackened outside and oozing their juices, about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat. Cut ginger into slices and peel onion.
  4. Add onions and ginger to slow cooker, along with chicken breasts, chicken stock, rock sugar, salt and fish sauce. Cover; cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.
  5. Remove all solid ingredients and discard except chicken. Skim top of soup as needed. Shred or slice chicken and set aside.
  6. Now, let's assemble pho! In a large serving bowl, place cooked rice noodles. Add chicken pieces, chopped green onion and cilantro. Pour soup, enough to cover noodles. Sprinkle fried shallots on top and serve with side of chili, lime, bean sprouts, Thai basil, cilantro and sauces.