Make Ahead

Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

January 28, 2013
3 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This is a very healthy chicken noodle soup that is full of flavour. This dish consists of rice noodles in a delicious chicken broth flavoured by a combination of spices such as cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and cardamom. —Bintu

Test Kitchen Notes

It must have been fate that I found this recipe contest the day after I came down with a whopping cold. This soup offers a lovely, subtly-spiced twist on traditional chicken noodle that made me feel better after just one bowl! I used much more than a pinch of salt and pepper, and several dashes of fish sauce. Lime is essential as a garnish. Rich and flavorful, this is definitely going to be my new flu-season standard! —lazychef

What You'll Need
  • 2 black cardamom pods
  • 1 cinammon stick
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 20 cloves
  • 2 onions
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 piece ginger (about 30g)
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 3 liters water
  • 1 dash fish sauce to taste
  • 1 pinch sugar (optional)
  • 1 pinch black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 pinch salt (to taste)
  • 1.3 pounds cooked rice noodles
  • 1 packet bean sprouts
  1. Split open the cardamom pods and toast them with the cinnamon, star anise, coriander and cloves for about 2 minutes, stirring all the time so they do not burn.
  2. Put spices in a spice bag, seal, and set aside.
  3. Char the spring onions, shallots and ginger (with their skins on) for about 5 minutes. Then peel and set them aside.
  4. Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil.
  5. Put the whole chicken in the boiling water and boil it for 7 minutes.
  6. You will probably get some foam from the chicken floating on the surface. Remove the chicken, discard the water, and wipe the pot clean of the foam.
  7. Return the stockpot to the heat and add in 3 litres of boiling water, the chicken, and the prepared shallots, ginger and onions.
  8. Bring everything back to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer with the lid off.
  9. After about 20 minutes, remove the chicken, carve off the breasts, slice them, and set them aside.
  10. Return the rest of the chicken to the stock pot and simmer uncovered for a further 20 minutes
  11. Add the spice bag into the broth and simmer for another 20 minutes.
  12. Strain the broth and discard the vegetables, spices, and chicken carcass.
  13. Return broth to the pot and adjust seasoning to taste. Add in fish sauce and sugar (if using). Then, switch off the heat.
  14. Quickly blanch noodles and bean sprouts in boiling water to soften them.
  15. Layer food in the bowl in this order: bean sprouts, noodles, chicken breast, and cover these with the broth.
  16. Sprinkle over some black pepper and add toppings of your choice. These can include chopped chiles, cilantro, spring onions, basil, mint, red onion, lime wedges and yellow bean sauce.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Bintu
  • Kitchen Butterfly
    Kitchen Butterfly
  • boulangere

6 Reviews

Bintu April 12, 2013
Whoooooo hoooooo. Excited that this recipe is a community pick. Thank you masses.
Bintu April 12, 2013
Thanks Kitchen Butterfly. I am very glad you tried it. What did you do with the chicken carcass?
Kitchen B. April 12, 2013
From kitchen butterflies youngest daughter: Tonight I made this wonderful dish, but I didn't add so many cloves and I added some lemon grass. When I made the dish I was burning hot, even my mom was sweating. Next time I make the soup I'll surely keep the air conditioner on. The soup was sweet although I didn't throw away the chicken carcass because it would be a waste of money. Thanks Bintu
boulangere January 28, 2013
This looks utterly wonderful!
Bintu January 28, 2013
Thank you boulangere
boulangere January 28, 2013
I'm very happy to have also discovered your beautiful blog. It's fascinating and your foods are going to be a great explorations.