Today is my second day home from vacation and I’m running around while trying to get to the giant pile of laundry on top of my washing machine. Today is also the cook’s recipe choice for French Fridays with Dorie and Cook & Share Food Revolution Day. I think Dorie’s spicy Vietnamese chicken noodle soup is just the kind of light but flavorful meal you want to enjoy at home after vacation. It’s a recipe I’ve wanted to make since joining FFWD and a perfect bowl of wholesome spicy deliciousness that can be shared to celebrate Food Revolution Day.
My garden was quietly producing stalks of fresh Thai basil, mint and cilantro without any idea that a food revolution was brewing on it’s horizon. As it turned out my herbs would be willing participants in an international movement for awareness of the importance of good wholesome food and essential cooking skills in our communities started by Jaime Oliver who has a passion for teaching cooking from scratch. Yes, I pressed my fresh herbs into service for a global cooking day to try and raise awareness for the importance of making meals from scratch using fresh ingredients in our own kitchens, including using herbs from our own kitchen garden plots, just like our parents and grandparents.
I also loaded up my spicy Vietnamese chicken soup with loads of fresh bean sprouts, what can I say(?)- besides I love bean sprouts, graduated from high school in 1972 and can remember the Beatles song “talk about a revolution, when you talk about destruction/ don’t you know that you can count me out”…just like it was yesterday.
I also made a red chili oil to swirl on top of my soup using roasted chili paste mixed into toasted sesame oil. The red chili oil, bean sprouts, chopped raw cashews and fresh herbs are garnishes on top of this soup that should not be missed- just think of your mouth experiencing it’s own taste bud revolution in honor of this important Food Revolution Day.
Adapted from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.
- Stems from 1 bunch cilantro
- 2 points star anise
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon white peppercorns
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
- 2 dried red chilies (I used crushed jalapeno pepper flakes to taste)
- Lemongrass, peeled and chopped
- 6 cup chicken broth
- 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- Salt (amount varies depending on the sodium content of your chicken broth)
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 5 ounces brown rice Pad Thai noodles
- 4-6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Cilantro, Thai basil and mint, torn fresh herbs to taste
- Bean sprouts
- Fresh lime wedges
- Chili oil
- Cashews, chopped
- Put cilantro stems, star anise, lemongrass, ginger, dried chiles, garlic coriander seeds, and peppercorns in a square of cheesecloth and tie bundle together. Add to a stock pot or dutch oven. Add onion, then pour in chicken stock and coconut milk. Season with 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, brown sugar, and a generous pinch of salt and bring to boil.
- Lower to a simmer, slide in the chicken breast, cover the pot and poach the chicken gently for 15-20 minutes or until cooked. Transfer chicken to bowl to cool, turn off heat to soup and keep covered. Cook the noodles according to the package. Once the chicken is cool, shred it with your fingers (a fork can help with this). Bring the soup to a boil again, then lower to a simmer and stir in chicken and noodles. Add more fish sauce, lime juice and salt to taste. Serve in bowls with fresh herbs, bean sprouts, chili oil and cashews.