Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Vietnamese Chicken Soup with Rice Noodles

This was in this morning's D&C

Vietnamese Chicken Soup with Rice Noodles

If you are a fan of Vietnamese pho (beef noodle soup), here is a very manageable scratch version using chicken. The recipe was created by Marcie Ver Ploeg of Pittsford, and appears in her 1995 cookbook, Chicken Soup: 75 World Class Recipes to Warm Your Heart and Soul.

1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds, cut up into quarters (include giblets except the liver) or 4 pounds of chicken parts

1 pound chicken wings
1 large unpeeled onion, halved

4 slices of fresh peeled ginger, plus 1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole garlic cloves
6 whole black peppercorns
1½ tablespoons soy sauce

1 package (6 ounces) rice stick noodles (rice vermicelli)
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce, preferably Vietnamese
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup mung bean sprouts

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Place cut up chicken or chicken parts and chicken wings in a large pot or Dutch oven with 8 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, skimming as the foam rises to the top. Reduce heat to medium-low to keep a gentle simmer. Add onion, ginger slices, cinnamon stick, garlic, peppercorns and soy sauce. Simmer, partially covered, for an hour, continuing to skim any foam that rises to the top, until chicken is tender.

Strain the broth, reserving the liquid and the chicken. As soon as the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin and bones. Tear or cut the chicken into shreds. Skim fat from the top of the broth.

Meanwhile, soak rice sticks in a bowl of cold water for 15 to 20 minutes, until soft. Drain and cut into shorter lengths, if desired.

Return the broth to the pot and bring to a simmer. Stir in the fish sauce, minced ginger, sliced scallions, shredded chicken, bean sprouts and rice noodles. Simmer 1 minute to heat through. Stir in cilantro, mint and lime juice, taste and adjust seasonings, adding more fish sauce if needed. Ladle soup into bowls and serve at once.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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