Happy new year, everyone! It’s a brand new year, and how about starting with some healthy comfort food? Because I grew up on Vietnamese noodles soups, they have become my go to comfort food, and I have since converted my husband to share this same mentality. Of course, many cultures share the same comfort food – CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP, so I’m going to share my mom’s recipe for Vietnamese style noodle soup. It’s warm. It’s tasty. It’s belly warming good. Enjoy! (Please, note that all measurements are approximate. Mom said to use your sense of taste for the everything!)
1 Whole Chicken (preferably organic/free-range)
5 lbs of pork soup bones (trimmed of fat)
Banh Pho Tuoi (Pho noodles)
2 TB fish sauce
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt + more for rubbing the chicken down
3 tsp chicken bouillon
Chopped green onion
Deep fried onions (recipe to come from Grandaunt)
Drizzle of sesame oil
Preparing the soup stock:
1. Parboil the pork bones. Cook from cold water and bring to boil. Rapid boil for about 5 minutes. Rinse clean.
2. Add bones to fresh water in stock pot and simmer bones for a minimum 4 hrs
Preparing the chicken:
1. Wash and dry chicken
2. Rub the insides and outside of the chicken with salt
3. Bring soup stock to boil
4. Place chicken in broth and bring back to boil
5. Turn heat off and set for 45 minutes (can be more or less depending on size of chicken)
6. Restaurant Method: Remove chicken from stock and cool down completely in ice bath to allow for chicken meat texture to be more smooth. Mom Method: Immediately rub chicken down with salt.
7. Drip dry (Try to stand chicken vertically with cavity facing down)
8. Shred chicken meat into strips
9. Bring soup stock back to boil and season to taste
Assembling the bowl (your mis en place *snicker):
- Cooked noodles, shredded chicken, fried onions, chopped cilantro, green onion, drizzle of sesame oil
- Ladle hot soup stock and viola!
- If you boiled too rapidly and the soup is cloudy, an onion thrown in during the simmer will fix it and decrease the cloudiness.
- When you are cleaning the chicken, don’t be afraid to literally squeeze the snot out of the chicken.
- Allow chicken to come close to room temp before placing into soup stock to allow for even cooking