We spent a couple months traveling around Southeast Asia, and fell even more in love with the noodle soup. It’s hard to make it authentic without grilling mystery meat on a hibachi on the side of a busy road in Hanoi (maybe it was water buffalo?) or finding Kaffir lime leaves (slightly more feasible, but non-trivial). Regular lime is a decent substitute, and will make a fine tasting- if not exactly right- noodle soup. Ingredients:
- 1 qt chicken stock
- 2 stalks lemon grass cut into 1.5” pieces
- 6 Kaffir lime leaves torn from stalk (or zest from ¼ lime, juice of 1 lime)
- 1 small bunch green onions, chopped
- ½ Tbsp Thai red chili paste
- ½ Tbsp crushed red pepper
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- ¾ – 1 lb of chicken, chopped
- Fresh cilantro
- Rice Noodles
I’m not sure exactly how he makes it (it’s a Ninja secret), and I think some times he coats the chicken in the chili paste and cooks it separately, while other times he puts the paste in the soup and boils the chicken with everything else. Here’s how I’d make it, and it wouldn’t turn out badly.
Put everything but cilantro and noodles in a pot. Bring to boil. Simmer.
Bring water to a boil separately and boil the rice noodles as per directions on the packages. Drain. Serve noodles into bowls and add soup over them. Top with chopped cilantro.