Called Pho Ga, this Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup has an unforgettably delicious broth infused with ginger, star anise and cinnamon and finished with fresh, fragrant herbs.
8 to 10 slices ginger
1 to 3 star anise
1 tsp. coriander seeds
2 to 3 cloves
1/2 stick cinnamon
6 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. fish sauce, or to taste
Cheesecloth and kitchen string, for bouquet garni
1/2 (14 ounce) package rice noodles (thin)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, very thinly sliced
Handful cilantro leaves, mint leaves and/or Thai basil leaves
2 green onions, sliced
Handful bean sprouts
Fresh Thai chiles, finely sliced, to taste
2 limes, cut in wedges
Hoisin sauce, for serving (optional)
Sriracha hot sauce, for serving (optional)
To make the bouquet garni: add ginger slices, star anise, coriander seeds, cloves and cinnamon to a double layer of cheese cloth and tie with kitchen string. Set aside.
Add chicken stock to sauce pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce to a simmer. Add bouquet garni, sugar and fish sauce and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, add hot water to noodles and let soak, just until pliable, about 5 to 10 minutes. Drain.
Add chicken to stock. Stir. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes, depending on how thinly sliced the chicken is. Remove bouquet garni and discard.
Add to serving bowls: noodles, stock and chicken. Garnish soup with cilantro, mint, Thai basil, green onions, bean sprouts and chile. Serve with lime wedges, hoisin and sriracha.
Yield: 4 servings.