Vietnamese Style Chicken Noodle Soup

Recipe Harriet Boucher, Images Ashlee Decaires
Serves 6

Spring is still soup season in my eyes and this version of chicken noodle soup is soul warming and nourishing. The use of Asian herbs and spices brings a bit of culture into this classic soup, and I’m sure it’ll quickly become a family favourite.

1 whole chicken (medium size)
2 litres chicken stock
5cm piece of ginger, sliced
2–3 shallots, sliced
3 lemongrass stalks, bashed to release flavour|
5 star anise
3 cinnamon quills
1 tsp Chinese five spice
1 tbsp coriander seeds
3 kafir lime leaves
2 tbsp brown sugar
¼ cup fish sauce
3–4 tbsp lime juice
3–4 tbsp soy sauce
white pepper
2 carrots, julienned
2 cups cabbage, finely shredded
½ cup Vietnamese mint, roughly chopped
½ cup coriander, roughly chopped
1 pack of rice stick noodles, cooked according to the packet

Place the chicken into a large soup pot. Pour over the chicken stock, then add some cold water until the chicken is fully covered by liquid. Add the ginger, shallot, lemongrass, star anise, cinnamon, five spice, coriander seed, lime leaves, brown sugar and 2 tbsp of the fish sauce. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat until it’s just simmering, almost as low as it can go. Simmer for 1–1.5 hours, until the chicken is fully cooked and starting to fall apart.

Remove the chicken from the pot. Using two forks, shred the meat off the bone and set aside. Place the carcass back into the stock and simmer for a further 30 minutes to reduce slightly and draw out all the flavour.

Strain the stock into a clean pot and discard the flavourings. Add the lime juice, soy sauce, generous pinch of white pepper and remaining fish sauce to taste. Add the chicken, cabbage, carrots and herbs into the pot and heat through. Divide rice stick noodles amongst bowls, then ladle soup over top.

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