Sunday, November 2, 2014

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

We have officially reached soup season. There is a chill in the air, great root vegetables at the farmers' markets, and I'm looking to do some advanced winter food prep. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy soups in the moment, but I like them even better the next day once all the flavors have had a chance to blend together. And I also like to freeze at least half of each batch of soup. This makes for great lunches far superior to any jarred variety.

I've made Thai soup before, but this was my first one to feature lemongrass and bok choy. I wasn't able to find fresh egg noodles, so I opted to use rice noodles. I think any type of thin noodle will work well in this soup.

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup (serves 4)


  • 12-16 oz. fresh egg noodles (or enough fresh or dried noodles for 2-3 portions)
  • 6 cups good-quality chicken stock
  • 1-2 stalks fresh lemongrass, minced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 lb. chicken breast or thigh, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 3-4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal or ginger, shredded
  • 1 red chili, sliced, or substitute 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili or cayenne pepper
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 1 TB. oyster sauce
  • 1/2 TB brown sugar
  • 2 TB fish sauce
  • 2-3 cups bok choy, chopped
  • Coriander to season 
  • Optional: 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice


Prepare the noodles according to instructions on package. Drain and rinse through with cold water to keep from sticking. Set aside.

Bring stock to a boil in a large soup pot. Add the prepared lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and the chicken. Boil over medium-high heat 3-4 minutes.

Reduce to medium heat and add the garlic, galangal/ginger, chili, and carrot. Simmer 2-3 more minutes.

While soup is simmering, add the oyster sauce and fish sauce as well as 1/2 TB sugar.

If your bok choy is the large variety, add only the thick white stalk pieces now (the green leaves take only seconds to cook, so reserve those for later). Continue simmering the soup 2-3 more minutes.

Lastly, add the leafy greens of the bok choy. Stir and simmer 30 seconds.

Reduce heat to low. Add the coconut milk, stirring well to incorporate.

To ensure a good balance, taste test for saltiness. Add more fish sauce if not salty enough. If too salty or sweet for your taste, add 1 Tbsp. lime or lemon juice. If too spicy, add more coconut milk. If too sour, add another 1/2 TB sugar.

To put the soup together, mound a generous amount of the cooked noodles in each bowl. Ladle over the hot soup and top with fresh coriander.

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