A light and super flavorful soup featuring an Asian broth with chicken, Thai basil, ginger and cilantro.
- 1 yellow onion (peeled and cut in half)
- About a 4-inch section fresh ginger (peeled)
- 4–5 pounds of chicken (I typically use bone in breasts and thighs)
- 5 quarts water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 small or 1/2 large bunch cilantro (washed)
- 3–4 Thai basil leaves
- 1 lb rice sticks (steeped in water)
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (leafy tops only)
- 3 cups bean sprouts (about 1/2 pound)
- 2 or 3 Thai or serrano chiles (thinly sliced)
- 2 or 3 limes (cut into wedges)
- Place your chicken, in this case I used chicken backs and some skinless chicken thighs and skinless chicken breasts, in a large pot and add the water.
- Bring to a boil and allow all the “scum” to come up to the surface. Basically the coagulated blood as well as fat. Continue simmering for an additional 15 minutes.
- Pour the everything out into a colander to catch the chicken pieces.
- Make sure you rinse the pot as well as the chicken pieces to get any remaining scum and fat rinsed off. By the way, your chicken will still be raw inside.
- Remove any skin off the chicken as well.
- Now, place the clean chicken back into the clean pot and cover with 5 quarts of water. Add in the fish sauce, soy sauce, ginger, lemon grass, onion, sugar, salt, Thai basil and cilantro. Bring up to a boil then lower to a simmer. You will see that there will be some foam, but it will be white and clear.
- Allow to simmer for 1.5 hours.
- In the meantime, prepare the garnish for the bowls of soup. One of the only ingredients that belongs in the bowl with the soup is rice sticks. You can pick those up at any grocery store nowadays in the international or Asian section. Sometimes they are called pad thai noodles. They also come in the vermecelli thin noodle style. But I prefer the thicker ones.
- Soak them in boiling water for about 10 minutes or until they are tender. Drain the boiling water and cover with cold water. If you are going to be serving the soup for the week (like I do), make sure you store the noodles separately exactly like this, in the cold water. Otherwise if you dumb them in the broth, they will fall apart, cloud your broth…bla bla..nothing good basically.
- For your garnishes, wash some cilantro and roughly chop it. Slice up some chilies if you dare, I just use Siracha in mine. Wash some bean sprouts. They are ohhh so very good for you and perfectly crispy in this soup. Finally, slice up some limes to complete the garnishes.
- After the 1.5 hours, remove chicken bones out of the soup and discard (or share with your dog). Shred the meat with two forks. You do not want it finely shredded, just enough small bite size chunks. Add some of the noodles into each bowl and some shredded chicken meat. Serve garnishes on the side along with some chopsticks and a soup spoon.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 90 minutes
- Category: Soup
- Cuisine: Asian Fusion