Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

We’re back with French Friday’s with Dorie and this week we’re doing the Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup.  Here’s my rundown.

So as I was making this soup and beginning to take my pictures, it occurred to me that “man, this soup is white”.  Let’s just say it was a theme, and for a cooking post that mainly relies on pictures, well, that wasn’t a very good portend of what was to come.  I made a white broth, cooked in it white meat (chicken) and added white noodles.  Hmmm, that sounds interesting…So there aren’t many pictures this week, just a couple of highlights and hopefully with my green on green garnish it jazzed up the final picture enough to let you get a glimmer of how delicious it was, and it was delicious!

My takeaway thoughts this week were if you’ve never made soup before, this is your soup.  It came together “Rachel Ray” fast, but actually tasted fancy and complicated.  This easily could be made on a busy weeknight and finished in under an hour.  Usually when a soup comes together fast it isn’t tasty, but Dorie layers the flavors and the coconut milk, chilies, lime juice and ginger all work together and create a wonderful harmony of flavors.  I will make this again.  You can find the book and the recipe here.

First I made the broth.

Ok, it doesn’t look white yet, but just wait.   It uses chicken stock (I had some homemade, lucky me), and coconut milk cilantro, star anise, coriander, onion, garlic ginger, red chilies, a touch of fish sauce (it scared me and I used very little), and a bit of brown sugar.  This is your soup base and you let it come together simmering the chicken in it.  I used boneless breasts and I’d use bone in breasts if I did it again.  I think they have more flavor and I think it keeps the chicken softer and more moist.

Now behold the whiteness.  There are charming little flecks of red from the chilies, but all in all pretty monochromatic.  A couple of hints here, simmer very gently and your chicken which is really poaching in the broth will be even more tender.

One thing I didn’t love was cooking the noodles in a separate pot, but I think it was necessary don’t want too much starch in the broth, but I hate dirtying another pot.  Anyhoo, I did what I was told and then added the noodles and shredded chicken back to the pot.  And, oh, YOUR DONE.

Isn’t this the perfect soup for a cold fall day?  I think it turned out perfectly, the heat of the ginger and the chilies was cut by the lime and the coconut milk and the noodles and chicken added enough presence to make it a real meal.  And it does look kinda pretty.   She suggests a host of condiments you can put on, but I only went with the lime and the cilantro, but it did break up and also called back to the flavors in the dish.  I served it with a salad and some crusty bread, I mean the broth was kind of begging for dunking.
Make this now, it’ll make you happy.

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4 thoughts on “Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

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