I was so excited to make the Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup this week for FFwD because I went to Vietnam a few years ago and fell in love with their food. This soup was similar to what they call phở, which is sold everywhere and is traditionally eaten for breakfast! Since my visit, I’ve been making lots of SE Asian inspired curries and soups and either have or know just where to find all the necessary ingredients. Since I’m more comfortable with this genre of cooking I made a few changes to the recipe to suit my personal preferences that I’ve just learned throughout cooking SE Asian cuisine.
First, I didn’t use a cheese cloth to make a sachet of the spices in the beginning. I tied the bunch of cilantro stems together using dental floss so that they would be easy to pick out, and let the star anise float around freely. I used ground coriander and instead of Thai green chili peppers I used a heaping tablespoon of Thai green curry paste. I start off all my curries by letting the curry paste heat up in some vegetable oil for about 30 seconds before adding in the coconut milk and chicken broth. This definitely gave the soup some heat.
I still used the fish sauce but also added the tsp of brown sugar to lighten up the flavor since fish sauce is so strong. I am not sure why SE Asians like tasting fish in a chicken soup but they put fish sauce in everything so I went with it.
I poached the chicken in the broth and then added the rice noodles that I had already boiled along with the lime juice.
All in all, this dish was a big hit – and we served it up traditional Vietnamese phở style with the sweet basil, sprouts, cilantro, and chili peppers on the side.
Here’s a mini Vietnam photo essay to go along the soup: