Vietnamese chicken and rice noodle soup
Fresh herbs, chilli and bean sprouts add texture and lift to the spice-laden broth.
Vietnamese chicken and rice noodle soup. Photo: Marina Oliphant
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3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 cinnamon quill
2 star anise
10 cloves garlic, crushed
10cm ginger, peeled and sliced
1 red onion, sliced
1.7kg organic chicken with the breasts removed (reserve for another dish)
2 tbsp salt
2 stalks lemongrass
6 kaffir lime leaves, whole
6cm piece galangal, sliced
3lt cold water
3 tbsp fish sauce
50g palm sugar
6 spring onions, sliced on an angle
1 punnet shiitake mushrooms, each sliced in half
1kg wide fresh rice noodles, rinsed in hot water
3 large red chillies, sliced
250g bean sprouts
1 bunch of mixed herbs such as Asian basil, Vietnamese mint and standard mint, left as sprigs to be picked at the table and piled into the broth
1 lemon, cut in wedges
In a large stockpot add the oil and all the spices and toast for three minutes over a medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger and red onion and cook for three minutes.
Add the chicken, salt, lemongrass, lime leaves, galangal and water. Bring to a simmer over a high heat, reduce heat to low and continue to simmer for one hour.
Lift the chicken out and strain the broth.
Put the strained broth back on the heat, season with fish sauce and palm sugar and bring back to a simmer.
When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull all the flesh from the legs and carcass and set aside half for your fried rice.
Drop the other half of the meat into the soup along with the spring onions, shiitake mushrooms and noodles and heat for three minutes. Ladle into bowls and pass around the chilli, bean sprouts and the herbs and lemon to squeeze over.
Drink: Jasmine tea or lager.