Y’all… this soup. Holy crap.
A few weeks ago G and I had dinner at Salt in Virginia Beach. To start our dinner, I ordered a bowl of their Asian chicken noodle soup. It was comforting, delicious and just perfect.
Wanting to add a new soup to my repertoire, I decided to try to recreate this soup at home. Luckily, their menu was descriptive and listed most of the ingredients that I would need: Rice noodles, carrots, oyster mushrooms, cilantro, scallions, Napa cabbage and broth scented with lemongrass, ginger and garlic. The commissary had nearly everything I needed, but I had to make a stop by the international grocery store for the lemongrass, chilies and oyster mushrooms.
Side note: if you have never been to an international grocery store, find one in your area and do it! I was a little intimidated by the variety of merchandise the first couple of times I went, but now I’m just in awe. They have so many things I have never heard of, and so many things I want to try.
Back to the soup. Other than the fact I had no clue what to do with the lemongrass, I was ready to get started. Google said you need to bruise it first. One of my neighbors, who is an amazing chef, said to take a heavy knife and beat it. I used a meat pounder, and it worked great. Once the stalks were in the broth, I made the declaration that I wanted to put lemongrass & ginger in EVERYTHING for the rest of my life. It smelled AMAZING. The chilies added a lot of heat to the broth initially, but after straining all of the aromatics out, and adding in all of the vegetables, chicken and noodles, it cooled down a good bit. This soup was completely amazing, and G and I devoured this.. There were so many levels of flavor and textures, and it was just perfect! I absolutely can not wait to make this again. And again. And again…
Asian Chicken Noodle Soup
- 6-8 cups of chicken broth
- 4 stalks of lemon grass
- One inch piece of ginger
- 1 head of garlic
- 4 hot chilies
- 2 T. of low sodium soy sauce
- 2 chicken breasts; thinly sliced
- 8 oz. of oyster mushrooms; roughly chopped
- ½ cup of shredded carrots
- 4 cups of chopped Napa cabbage
- 1 small onion; diced
- ¼ cup of finely chopped cilantro (plus more for a garnish)
- 4 oz. rice noodles (or any noodles you prefer)
- 2 scallions; chopped
- 2 T. of olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Add the chicken stock to a large dutch oven or soup/pasta pot.
- Remove the tough outer leaves from the lemon grass and “bruise” it (beat it with something heavy). Cut into three pieces and add to the stock. Roughly chop the chilies, slice the ginger into thin slices, slice the head of garlic in half (don’t worry about peeling or separating the cloves) and add all of that to the stock as well. Bring the stock to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and let hang out for a while (at least 1-2 hours).
- When you’re ready to make the soup, strain the broth to remove all of the aromatics (lemongrass, ginger, garlic, chilies). Throw those away and set the broth aside. I used the same put for this whole process, so I just dried it out, added the olive oil to the (empty) pot and raised the heat to medium.
- When the oil is hot, add the onions, cabbage & carrots. Saute for about 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add the stock back to the pot and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat, and add the soy sauce, cilantro, sliced chicken, the mushrooms and the noodles. Let simmer for at least 10 minutes (if you use a different type of noodle, you can wait to add those so they don’t get mushy) and then test for seasonings.
- Serve with a little extra cilantro and some slice green onions.