Traditional recipes

Turkey pho recipe

Turkey pho recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Soup
  • Turkey soup

With the addition of fragrant spices and rice noodles, leftover Christmas turkey gets a Vietnamese makeover!

4 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 1 whole cardamom pod
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seed
  • 1 (5m) piece fresh ginger, peeled and smashed
  • 1/2 onion, peeled
  • 1 turkey carcass
  • 2L water, or more as needed
  • 450g rice noodles
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • salt to taste
  • 140g leftover cooked turkey, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander (optional)
  • 1/4 onion, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon hot chilli sauce, or to taste (optional)

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:3hr15min ›Ready in:3hr30min

  1. Toast the cardamom pod, cloves, star anise, fennel and coriander in a small pan over medium-low heat until fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Place the spices onto the centre of a 20cm square piece of cheesecloth. Gather together the edges of the cheesecloth and tie with kitchen string to secure. Sear both sides of the ginger and 1/2 onion in the same pan until lightly charred, about 3 minutes on each side.
  2. Place the turkey carcass, water, spice sachet, ginger and onion in a large pot over medium-high eat. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 2 hours.
  3. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to the boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the rice noodles; return to the boil and cook the noodles uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the noodles have cooked through, but still firm to the bite, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink.
  4. Remove the carcass, spice sachet, ginger and onion from the soup. Strain the soup to remove any meat that may have fallen off the bones, if necessary. Season with fish sauce and salt. Divide the rice noodles and turkey meat evenly into 4 large bowls. Scatter the fresh basil, fresh coriander and sliced onion on top. Ladle the soup on top. Serve with a wedge of lime and hot chilli sauce.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(19)

Reviews in English (14)

by KIMAR

I had a very large turkey carcass, so I needed more than 8 cups of water to cover it. Perhaps that was the reason that the broth itself didn't have much flavor, or maybe more cardamom pods, cloves, star anise pods, ginger, fennel and cordiander seeds are needed? I feel that I could have omitted the turkey carcass and the boiling for 2 hours and just used a carton of chicken broth since the flavor of the spices was so very subtle in the broth.-31 Dec 2010

by Callista

My fiancee and I cooked basically this recipe minus the anise & fennel since we don't like those flavors. It is VITALLY important to start with a good broth. One of the other reviewers commented that it took a lot of water to cover the carcass. My fiancee fixed this problem by taking out the largest knife he had and hacking the carcass in half and then in smaller pieces. It's also a good idea to do this for the larger bones too. Inside the bones is where a lot of the flavor and collagen(which thicken the broth) are. It'll fit easier in the pot and make a great broth. For those of you who already put too much water in, long cook times. Leave the pot on the stove for 2-3 hours and cook down the broth, concentrating the flavor until it tastes good. If you didnt use all the drippings for gravy, you could add a small amount in for a very intense turkey flavor.-03 Dec 2012

by arnandlor

I added 4 cloves but kept all the other spices the same and just added them all into the pot and used a chicken carcass and it came exactly as my restaurant down the road. I didn`t do all that sauteeing and it was still excellent - my new pho base recipe!-28 May 2011


15-Min Turkey Pho Recipe

Ever since I learned how to make pho at home, it&rsquos all I could think of when I have homemade broth on hand. Who knew the famous Vietnamese noodles can be recreated in our own kitchen so easily?

Compare to the beef pho we made a while back, the differences with this turkey pho recipe are &ndash

  1. The broth &ndash I&rsquod recommend you use a homemade turkey bone broth, which can be easily made in a slow cooker with turkey bones and turkey giblets. Not ready to make the turkey bone broth yet? No problem. Use any broth you have on hand. But you know what I&rsquod say &ndash homemade is always better.
  2. The protein &ndash This one is obvious. Instead of beef, you use turkey meat.
  3. The vegetables &ndash This part is completely flexible. I used frozen Asian stir-fry vegetables. You can choose any veggies you want.

With the above three items prepared, you&rsquoll be able to whip up this mouthwatering turkey pho recipe in just 15 minutes, seriously! Hope you enjoy!


I am a food blog

We had Thanksgiving at my brother’s house this year (back when it was Canadian Thanksgiving, over a month ago!) and the part I was most looking forward to was the leftovers: specifically, the turkey bones. I had thought that my mom was making the turkey and bringing it over so I was certain that she’d let me have them. When I arrived (bringing along a simple quinoa salad), I realized that my sister-in-law was the official turkey roaster of the night. All of a sudden I got a little shy and didn’t want to ask for the bones.

I mean, it’s a little strange, even if it is family, right? I was thinking that she had the bones destined for a wicked turkey soup, or even better, turkey congee, so I didn’t say anything even though I’d been dreaming of Turkey pho. But then, at the end of dinner, she offered up the bones to my mom, who offered them to me!

Actually, now that I think about it, it was a good thing that my mom didn’t make the turkey because the last time wanted to make a turkey to bring over to my brother’s place, there was an incident that involved half-raw turkey, a locked oven and takeout fried chicken. But really, that’s a story for another day.

Back to turkey pho: it’s totally untraditional (I don’t think they have turkeys in Vietnam) but completely delicious, maybe even more so than chicken pho. The broth feels even more flavourful and full of body: it’s clear and incredibly intensely satisfying. To me, there’s nothing that makes me happier than a bowl full of steaming hot noodles. I may not have the best chopstick skills in the world (read: horrible, horrible chopstick skills), but somehow when faced with a bowl of noodles I make it work. Piping hot slippery firm rice noodles, tender turkey, and umami-rich broth – turkey pho: I love you.


Recipe Summary

  • 1 whole cardamom pod
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seed
  • 1 (2 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and smashed
  • ½ onion, peeled (Optional)
  • 1 turkey carcass
  • 8 cups water, or more as needed
  • 1 (16 ounce) package dried flat rice noodles
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup shredded leftover cooked turkey
  • 1 tablespoon shredded fresh basil leaves (Optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (Optional)
  • ¼ onion, thinly sliced (Optional)
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges (Optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chile-garlic sauce (such as Sriracha®), or to taste (Optional)

Toast the cardamom pod, cloves, star anise, fennel, and coriander in a small skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Place the spices onto the center of a 8 inch square piece of cheesecloth. Gather together the edges of the cheesecloth, and tie with kitchen twine to secure. Sear both sides of the ginger and 1/2 onion in the same skillet until lightly charred, about 3 minutes on each side.

Place the turkey carcass, water, sachet, ginger, and onion in a large pot over medium-high eat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 2 hours.

Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the rice noodles, and return to a boil. Cook the noodles uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the noodles have cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink.

Remove the carcass, sachet, ginger, and onion from the soup. Strain the soup to remove any meat that may have fallen off the bones, if necessary. Season with fish sauce and salt. Divide the rice noodles and turkey meat evenly into 4 large bowls. Scatter the basil, cilantro, and sliced onion on top. Ladle the soup on top. Serve with a wedge of lime and hot sauce.


Turkey Pho

This is a refreshing way to use up any leftover turkey you might have from roasting a bird. Chicken works great as well.

2 tablespoons coriander seeds

1 quart homemade turkey stock (or homemade or store-bought chicken stock)

1 bunch scallions (green top parts only), chopped

1 3-inch chunk of ginger, sliced and smashed with the side of a knife

1 teaspoon light brown sugar, or more to taste

1 tablespoon fish sauce, or more to taste

1 to 2 cups kale, chopped into bite-size pieces

½ pound leftover turkey breast, shredded

1 bunch (about 2 ounces) cellophane or bean thread noodles (or enough flat dried rice noodles to serve 2)

1½ tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)

1½ tablespoons chopped scallions (white parts only), for garnish (optional)

1. Heat a cast-iron skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add the spices and toast until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Immediately spoon the spices into a bowl to avoid burning them.

2. Add the toasted spices, stock, scallions, ginger, brown sugar, and fish sauce to a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat.

3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes, skimming the surface frequently.

4. Taste the broth and add more sugar or fish sauce if needed. Strain the broth and discard the solids. Add the kale and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes. Remove from heat.

5. Add the turkey and noodles. Allow to sit for a few minutes while the noodles soften.

6. Ladle the broth into 2 bowls. Divide the kale, turkey, and noodles evenly between the bowls.

7. Sprinkle on the garnishes and add Sriracha to taste. Squeeze lime juice to taste before eating.


Turkey pho recipe - Recipes

Do you know the correct pronunciation for that Vietnamese noodle soup spelled P-H-O?

It&rsquos actually pronounced Fa. As in the Deck the Halls song: fa-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la. Well, almost. Not quite. You can hear someone saying &lsquoPho&rsquo correctly here.

I&rsquove known the correct pronunciation for a long time. But I hesitate to use it because when I do nobody knows what I&rsquom talking about. Inevitably somebody will say, &ldquoOh you mean &lsquofaux&rsquo! Why are you calling it &lsquofa&rsquo?&rdquo Then I have to explain what the correct pronunciation is and I feel like a pretentious fop.

Whether you call it faux, fa or play it safe by calling it Vietnamese Noodle Soup, it&rsquos tasty stuff. But I don&rsquot usually make it at home because the traditional authentic Pho relies on a time-consuming process, which you can read about over here.

Instead of that long version, I wanted to do a quick and easy soup that uses up your leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. So I sped things up by scorching some aromatics in a pot (rather than roasting them slowly) and then adding broth to them to extract the flavor.

The result is a rich and flavorful broth to which you add your leftover turkey to warm through. And then you serve it with soaked rice noodles and all the usual fixings like cilantro and/or basil, lime, chilies and bean sprouts.

If you don&rsquot have leftover turkey, use leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken. You can instead turn this into a beef pho by using beef broth and adding very thinly sliced raw beef instead of the turkey. It will cook through in the same amount of time. Easy!


The SouperTip for this soup, the thing that makes it so delicious so quickly is the fish sauce. Vietnamese fish sauce is a very pungent liquid that you store in your refrigerator. And then, anytime you&rsquore making a soup or sauce or gravy and it seems to be lacking a certain meaty flavor, add a few drops of fish sauce. It won&rsquot make it taste like fish. It won&rsquot make it taste like anything. It just adds a subtle background meatiness that it hard to achieve in other ways.


For the broth:

On a gas stove, place a cooling rack over an open flame and place the onion and ginger on top of the rack. Char them directly over the flame until you get a deeply blackened exterior. Alternatively, you can place the onion and ginger on a baking sheet and broil until blackened. This greatly enhances their flavor.

In a large pot (or pressure cooker), place the turkey bones in with chicken broth, water, charred onion, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, coriander seed, salt, fish sauce, sugar and licorice root. Set the pressure cooker timer for 25 minutes. Once it's done, press the button to release steam. Make sure the ball has dropped and remove the lid. If cooking on the stove, let broth simmer (covered) for at least 40 minutes.

When finished, remove the bones, vegetables and spices from broth. Season broth with more fish sauce and sugar if needed.

Prepare the ingredients:

Cook the pho rice noodles according to package instructions and add to serving bowls.

Top the noodles with leftover shredded turkey. Layer on thinly sliced onions with a sprinkle of cilantro and chopped green onions.


The Easy Way to Make Pho at Home

If you haven&apost had pho (pronounced f-uh) before, it&aposs a Vietnamese soup with thin-sliced beef, rice noodles, vegetables, and herbs. The star, though, is the beef broth, which has a slightly sweet edge that is a whole universe of taste unto itself.

Note: there are plenty of other more exotic meats that can go into pho but for today, let&aposs just talk about the basics.

Yes, You Can Make Pho At Home

You can go the long (and authentic) route and make the stock yourself. It&aposs pretty involved, but Chef John is here to show you how to make pho broth. He&aposs using beef shanks here in his Spicy Vietnamese Beef Pho. For a richer stock, you could use the traditional oxtails.

The Easier Way to Make Homemade Pho

Or, you can go the simple route and buy the broth. I&aposve used this pho broth from Pacific Foods before and it&aposs quite good.

How easy is it when you buy the stock? You can make this recipe 8 hours faster! Here&aposs how:

  • Prep the Noodles. Normally, rice noodles need soaking. Just follow the package instructions.
  • Slice the steak. How do you get it so thin? Freeze the raw steak for 10-15 minutes, so it&aposs easier to manage with your sharp knife.
  • Quick note: most pho starts with raw steak—the hot stock cooks it in the bowl. But if you want it cooked before, just sear those thin slices in a skillet.
  • Heat the stock. You want it very hot (180-200 degrees, so it cooks the steak).
  • Assemble the garnishes. Don&apost skimp—they&aposre seriously my favorite part. Don&apost forget Sriracha!
  • Pour the broth over the noodles and beef, add your garnishes, and break out the chopsticks.

Isn&apost that just pho-nominal? (Incidentally, "Pho" based puns are their very own cottage industry. Case in point, one of Seattle&aposs most successful pho eateries is called "What the Pho.")


  • 3/4 teaspoons five spice powder
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1 tablespoon annatto seeds
  • 1/3 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 8 -10 whole cloves
  • 4 quarts water
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium-sized onion, quartered
  • One 4 ½- to 5-pound bone-in whole cooked turkey breast, thawed if frozen
  • One 2-inch piece unpeeled ginger, pounded
  • One 14-ounce package dried rice vermicelli
  • 1 scallion, sliced thinly

Place all of the spices in a skillet over medium heat. Toast for 1-2 minutes, shaking occasionally, and put the spices in a piece of cheesecloth. Tie up the cheesecloth with kitchen twine to form a pouch.

Fill a large stockpot with the water. Add the pouch of spices, celery, garlic, and onion and bring to a boil over high heat. Next, add the turkey and boil for 2 hours.

Remove the turkey and let rest until cool enough to handle. Shred the meat and strain the soup. Return the soup to the pot and place over medium heat. Add the vermicelli and let simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the noodles are soft. Add the scallion and serve.


Chef Ron Hsu’s Recipe for Leftover Turkey

“My mother always made some sort of broth with all the leftover turkey from Christmas and Thanksgiving meals,” says Ron Hsu, executive chef of Atlanta’s Lazy Betty, the inventive tasting-menu-focused restaurant he opened in Candler Park in February 2019. He named the restaurant—playfully—for his hard-working mother, who operated several Atlanta-area restaurants from 1998 to 2008, and who passed away in May. “I’ve taken on doing this too, and I love pho. Nothing hits the spot like a hot steaming bowl of noodle soup in cold weather.”

photo: Andrew Thomas Lee

Holiday meals for Hsu’s family were always epic affairs. “My mom immigrated seven siblings over from Malaysia, so our house was always the central location for gatherings,” he says. “It was very common for us to have up to forty people at our house.” Hsu’s recipe is the kind that can simmer away all afternoon—right after a Christmas lunch or a few days later as fuel for a college-football gameday. “Usually, after all the eating was done and the broth was simmering, we would have multiple tables of mahjong (a kind of Chinese version of rummy) going,” Hsu recalls. “The tables were organized according to skill level and age. For those who didn’t play mahjong, Christmas movies and football were the other options.”

This year, a pot of leftover turkey pho will likely be on Hsu’s stovetop when the University of Georgia takes on Baylor in the Sugar Bowl. “I went to UGA for undergrad,” Hsu says. “Go Dawgs!”


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