Like pho? Then this Cambodian chicken noodle soup will probably be right up your alley. Chicken is cooked in a lemongrass and garlic broth until falling apart tender. The meat is then combined with a little fish sauce, some fresh herbs and chile, and naturally gluten-free rice sticks, or noodles. Forget that gluten-filled Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup (or any other canned variety) next time you’re sick- garlic, basil and chile peppers have all been used as natural remedies to ward off the common cold and other illnesses.
Of course, there’s no reason to wait until you’re sick to try this gem; it’s healthy and relatively easy to make. And for you Canadians who celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday, this recipe would also be a great way to use up any extra turkey lying around … just use some of the bones for the initial stock (with the lemongrass and garlic) and then remove the bones prior to adding some shredded turkey.
Cambodian Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup
Yield: 4 appetizer-sized servings
* 10 cups water, divided
* small handful (about 4-6 ounces) Thai rice sticks (linguini shaped rice noodles)
* 1 pound chicken parts (leg, thighs or breasts), skinned but with the bone left in
* 2 stalks lemongrass, woody outer leaves removed and then smashed
* 2 cloves garlic, smashed
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 2 teaspoons palm sugar (can substitute regular sugar)
* 2 Tablespoons fish sauce, plus extra for serving
* juice of two limes
* green onions, cut on the diagonal into 1/2-inch pieces
* 1 hot red chile (I used a jalapeno pepper), minced
* handful of thai basil, roughly chopped
* handful of cilantro or sawtooth herb leaves, roughly chopped
Heat 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Remove from heat and add the rice sticks. Let sit until noodles have softened. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Bring the remaining 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan and add the chicken, lemongrass, and garlic. Return to a boil and skim the surface. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until the chicken is very tender.
Remove the chicken to a plate and let cool just enough so that you can shred the chicken meat and return it to the saucepan. Add the salt, palm sugar, and fish sauce, lime juice, green onions, minced chile, basil, and cilantro or sawtooth herbs and stir to combine.
Place a small heap of cooked noodles in each bowl and then top with the soup. Serve with extra fish sauce on the side.