Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: Makes 2-3 Meal-Size Bowls
- 6 cups good-tasting chicken broth (add bones if you have leftover roast chicken or turkey)
- 1-2 fresh chicken breasts or thighs, chopped into small pieces, OR 1-2 cups leftover roast chicken (or turkey)
- 1 stalk lemongrass., finely sliced and minced, OR 3 Tbsp. bottled or frozen prepared lemongrass
- 3-4 kaffir lime leaves, OR substitute 1 bay leaf
- 1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, grated or sliced into thin strips
- 1 large carrot, sliced
- several bunches baby bok choy, separated (or other added greens of your choice)
- 1 red chili, minced, OR 1 tsp. chili sauce OR 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 2-3 Tbsp. fish sauce (to taste)
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup coconut milk
- white or black pepper (to taste)
- generous handful of fresh coriander
- 8-10 oz. dry flat Thai rice noodles, or other noodles of your choice
- optional: 1 tsp. sugar, to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to just under a boil and add the noodles. Remove from heat and allow noodles to soak 5-8 minutes, or until soft but still chewy ("al dente"). Drain and rinse briefly with cold water to keep from sticking.
- Using a large soup pot, bring chicken stock to a boil over high heat. Add the fresh or roasted chicken, lemongrass, galangal or ginger, carrot, whole lime leaves (plus chicken or turkey bones, if available). Boil on high for 1 minute, then turn heat down to medium and cover with a lid. Allow soup to simmer for 5-6 more minutes, adding bok choy when chicken is nearly cooked.
- While continuing to simmer the soup, add the chili, garlic, lime juice, plus 2 Tbsp. of the fish sauce. Stir well.
- Turn heat down to minimum and add the coconut milk (add up to 1/3 cup for creamier soup). Stir to incorporate.
- Taste-test the soup, adding more fish sauce until desired flavor/saltiness is reached (how much you will need depends on how salty your stock is). If it tastes too salty, add another squeeze or two of lime juice. Add more chili if not spicy enough, or more coconut milk if the soup is too spicy. If the soup is a little too sour for your taste, add 1-2 tsp. sugar (to balance out the lime juice).
- To serve, place a generous mound of noodles in each bowl, then top with the hot soup. Finish with a final sprinkling of pepper and fresh coriander. If desired, serve with Thai chili sauce, either store-bought or my own homemade Nam Prik Pao Chili Sauce (homemade recipe) to give your soup an extra kick of spicy flavor. ENJOY!