Thai Chicken Noodle Soup
Comfort food, but on the lighter side.Print
Fish sauce adds that aromatic something to this soup that’s hard to put a finger on, but definitely characteristic of what makes Thai cooking so unforgettable. It’s an anchovy extract that is commonly used in Southeast Asia as a cooking sauce to add a salty, savory taste to dishes. With its intense flavor, just a dash or two is used to highlight seafood or meat dishes.
Rice vermicelli noodles are thin noodles with a delicate texture and mild flavor that can be used for stir fries, noodle soups, and chilled noodle salads. I used brown rice vermicelli noodles for this Thai Chicken Noodle Soup, but you can use any kind you like, and you could also use thicker rice noodles if you prefer, or even just use cooked angel hair pasta . I served this to my husband and three 13-year old boys, one of whom had never tasted a Thai soup before, and he loved it. The other said he had Thai food all of the time (which I know to be true), and he also loved it.
- 8 ounces rice noodle vermicelli
- 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1/3 cup minced shallots
- 2 tablespoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
- 1 (5-ounce) container fresh kale, chopped
- 2 (13.5-ounce) cans coconut milk
- 1 jalapeno, minced (see Note)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- Zest and juice of 2 limes
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves (optional)
1. Cook the rice noodles according to package directions, and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking.
2. Bring the chicken broth with the shallot and the ginger to a simmer in a large sop pot or Dutch oven. Add the chicken, cover, bring to a simmer, then lower the heat and continue to simmer for 3 minutes. Let sit, covered, for 10 to 12 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through, then remove the chicken to a platter with tongs, and let cool slightly. Shred when it is cool enough to handle.
3. Meanwhile add the kale and coconut milk to the broth and return to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, until the kale is tender. Add the shredded chicken, cooked rice noodles, red pepper flakes, lime zest and juice and cilantro (if desired) and cook until it returns to a simmer.
4. Serve hot, in bowls.
You can take the seeds out for a milder soup, or leave them in for a bit more heat. For a very spicy soup use another jalapeno.