The flavors of this sweet and sour soup are so satisfying. It's no surprise that so many recipes use coconut, curry, lime and coriander. It has kick in all the right places. The coconut and curry make it feel hearty and warm while the coriander and zest add surprising fresh and light tones. It's honestly one of our favorite recipes and friends and family always ask for the recipe. So here it is!
Approximate time: 10 mins
Cut the stems off the cilantro. Chop into small pieces and set aside. Wash the leaves. Set aside 80% of the leaves which will later be added to the soup. The other 20% you can set aside for a garnish. Cut the chicken into thin slices that will cook easily. About 2 by 1 (inches). Set aside.
Take the hard exterior off the lemon grass. Cut it once lengthwise. (Do not cut it into small pieces as you will be removing these before serving). Set aside.
Grate the outside of your two limes and save the zest for later. Roll the limes with the palm of your hands to loosen the juices. Squeeze into a bowl and save for later. Also save the lime leaves if you have them (these are often hard to find).
Grate the frozen ginger and set aside.
Julienne the carrots into thin slices. See a one minute tutorial here. Or if you have a spiralizer you are also use that.
Now that you've prepare all your ingredients, you will find the actual cooking part much less stressful!
A can of coconut milk has a top layer of cream and a bottom layer of liquid. Scoop the thick coconut cream from the top of just one of the cans into a large stockpot set over a medium-high heat. Melt the cream, add the curry paste and stir for a few minutes until they begin to sizzle.
Add the cilantro roots and chicken and sauté until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Add the coconut juice from the first can and all the contents of the second and third cans along with the chicken broth, carrot, lime leaves, lemon grass, fish sauce, ginger, and lime zest and juice. Simmer for 20 minutes or so.
Stir in the bean sprouts. Add the rice noodles, gently pushing them beneath the surface of the broth. Turn off the heat and let stand until the noodles soften, about 3-5 minutes. Rice noodles just need to soak in the hot water (no cooking required) but you don't want to over cook them so keep an eye on them and use your judgement.
Stir in most of the cilantro leaves. Scoop out the lemon grass stalks. Taste and season with a touch more salt (or soy sauce) as needed. Ladle into large bowls and garnish with the green onions and remaining cilantro leaves. Add Sriracha for extra spice.