·      Pressure cooker

·      Strainer

·      Large bowl

·      Sharp knife/cutting board

·      Measuring spoons



  • Large brown onion, peeled and quartered

  • Fuji apple, cored and quartered

  • 3 stalks lemongrass – trimmed, halved and crushed

  • 2 – ½” coins of galangal or peeled ginger

  • 1 stick cinnamon

  • 1 ½ TB coriander seeds

  • 5 whole cloves

  • 5 star anise

  • 4-5# whole chicken, rinsed with innards removed, fatty areas trimmed

  • Bunch of cilantro stems

  • 2 tsp sea salt

  • 2 TB fish sauce

  • 1 tsp sugar


·      Lime wedges

·      Leaves from 1 bunch cilantro

·      ½ red onion – cut thinly on a mandoline

·      White or Garlic vinegar*

·      1 10 oz package rice vermicelli Asian noodles – soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes, drained, rinsed in cold water

·      Shredded chicken meat

·      Scallions – cut on the bias

·      Sriracha or serrano chilis cut on the bias – for more heat


1.   Heat up the bowl of your pressure cooker to medium-high. Place the ginger, apple, and onion in the dry bottom and char the edges, turning frequently. Next add the lemon grass, cloves, coriander, star anise and cinnamon stick and toast until fragrant (about a minute).

2.   Add about ½ the water, the chicken (breast side up), cilantro stems and sea salt. Cover with the remaining water to “max” line, secure lid and turn on high. Wait for an audible large plume of steam to appear and then set your timer and pressure cook for an additional 15 minutes. Take off the heat and let the pressure decrease on its own (about 20 minutes). Release any residual pressure and remove lid carefully.

3.   Use tongs (or the silicone sling) to carefully transfer the chicken to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let cool for about 10 minutes.  Remove the skin and shred the meat – cover and set aside. 

4.   Strain the broth using a fine sieve or layers of cheesecloth in a strainer.

5.   Immediately season the broth with fish sauce, salt and sugar.

6.   Soak the rice noodles in just boiled water until pliable and opaque. Drain, rinse in cool water and set aside.

7.   Ladle hot broth into a bowl, followed by some noodles

8.   Add shredded chicken and other add-ins

9.   Finish with a squirt of Sriracha, a couple of squeezes of lime and tsp or two of garlic vinegar

You’ll never say “WTF” again without giggling!


·      ½ cup water

·      ½ cup white vinegar

·      ½ cup granulated sugar

·      1 tsp ground chili paste

·      2 tsp finely chopped garlic

·      ½ tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and boil until reduced by half. It should have the consistency of whipping cream. Use immediately or put in a glass jar, covered, for up to 2 months in the refrigerator.