It’s officially winter in Melbourne and I hated it. I always get sick during winter and this year is no exception. Since the start of July my nose has been nothing but runny and blocked. I had two fevers, and am feeling weaker all the time. After almost 10 years living in Melbourne I can only accept the fact that my body is not really made for cold and windy weather. My immune system is lower in winter, when people around me get sick, I would immediately get infected too.
I have been eating a lot of comfort food – mostly soup. I ate bowls of pho and ramen noodle for dinner. Somehow noodle soup is the best food to cure my weak body. It gives me warmth after the last spoonful and I can sleep better that night. However it is impossible to eat out every night without breaking my wallet, and I don’t wish to spend hours simmering my own ramen and pho broth as well.
I learnt how to make something easier and doesn’t cost a lot of time but still flavourful. I am so grateful that we have plenty of resources that we can find from Google, and found this recipe by Thaifood, I used the recipe to make this Thai chicken noodle soup by using chicken stock as my base and some fragrant Thai herbs like lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaf, chillies, lime juice and a great all-rounder for Thai dishes, the fish sauce. I omitted the coconut milk as I want to keep it light but feel free to add it if you love coconut milk.
The broth tastes very aromatic and comforting, a little bit spicy and you can definitely taste all the herbs that only needs half an hour to infuse their flavours into the broth.
I used some basic toppings such as chicken breast and button mushrooms. The dish doesn’t need a lot of toppings because the important element of this Thai chicken noodle soup is that lovely chicken broth – but of course you are welcomed to explore and use other toppings as well.
- 1 stalk of lemongrass, bruised and roughly chopped
- 1 galangal, cut into thin strips
- 1.5 litre of chicken stock
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 red chili, minced
- 5-6 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 shallots, sliced
- 2 tbsp of fish sauce
- 2 chicken breast
- 4 button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tbsp of lime juice
- 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
- four servings of dry rice vermicelli
- coriander leaves, chopped
- limes, halved
- Marinate chicken breast with salt and pepper. Rest for 5 minutes. Heat oil in a wide saucepan over medium heat. Place chicken breast (skin-side down if there's skin) and cook for 3 minutes, flip and cook for another 3 minutes or until browned. Remove from heat and place them on a cutting board to rest. Slice chicken after it's cooled down.
- In the same saucepan, saute lemongrass, galangal, garlic, chilli, kaffir lime leaves and shallots for two minutes. Add chicken stock. Bring to a boil and turn the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the stock and remove the herbs. Add mushrooms and boil for another 10 minutes. Add lime juice and fish sauce. Season to taste and keep warm
- Prepare the rice vermicelli by placing it in a bowl of hot water and let it soak until it becomes soft in 3 minutes. Divide the rice vermicelli and hot chicken soup into 4 bowls, top with sliced chicken breast, and garnish with lime and coriander leaves.