Chao- Asian Chicken Soup for Your Soul by phoboy99



I felt a little under the weather this morning and was thinking I need a great “comfort food” Vietnamese style. So I went with my father to another “old school OG” Vietnamese restaurant called Pho Nguyen Hue. This restaurant has been around for years, I think it was maybe one of the first Pho places in Little Saigon. My father calls this place the “gossip center” since it is full of older clientele who knows good Pho and there is always a group of old guys out front sipping their coffee/ Tea and smoking and just “kickn it” talking about politics, social stuff, and in general the happenings in Little Saigon.  I think it is very European in culture and I hope to be one of those guys when I retire.

So what is the best thing at Pho Nguyen Hue? Obviously the Pho, but I came for my version of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” Chao. Chao or sometimes called rice Con-gee or Rice Porridge has been around for centuries. It is very simple to make, Basically it is a pot of rice and water that has been slow boiled to a porridge consistancy and mixed with chicken or beef broth with hints of ginger, green onions and depending on what meat you want to add, fish, beef, chicken, shrimp or pork. I had Chao Bo which is ground up seasoned beef. My father had the Chao Long, which was the soup with all of the insides of the pork like intestines, heart, kidneys, blood jello in other words the crazy stuff you see Andrew Zimmerman or Anthony Bordain eats when they go to Vietnam.

I myself I like a simple cooked Chao Bo (ground beef) but one of the thing s that Pho Nguyen Hue has that I grew up with is Vietnamese Blood Sausage. Sounds Yummy Right? Before you gag, this was something I ate before I knew what it was so I was already accustomed to it. Pho Nguyen Hue makes this dish very well. with pieces of blood jello, rice, and basils all rolled up in a steamed sausage and sliced to be dipped in a very salty sour brine shrimp sauce. So I hope I didn’t gross you all out but if you have an adventure to try something unique and COOKED and especially authentic you must order the sausage. Finally to accompany our Chao was a fried long donut fresch  with is salty and cooked golden brown. It’s like a crispy donut/crouton on top of the soup for some crunch.

 Live a little dangerously and  I promise you won’t be sick. Pleaes comment me back if you venture to try out the Chao Long or the blood Sausage. The Hungry Buddha Belly gives Pho Nguyen Hue 4 RUBS OF THE BELLY. 5 alone for the Basil Blood Sausage.  FEAR FACTOR HERE WE COME!


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Excellent post! I love beef pho, and quite enjoy the tendon etc we get in the soup here in Adelaide. I have never been offered blood sausage, but I know I would like it as I love English black pudding 🙂
In Malaysia we had jellied blood in soups.
Good on you for attempting to dispel the ewww factor for people!

Comment by sweetrosie

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