Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Noodle Soup containing gluten free coconut milk.

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Lemongrass Chicken Noodle Soup is one of those recipes that are easy for me to make because my pantry is well stocked for Asian cooking. If you like homemade soup I recommend you have a small collection of favourite soup recipes that you repeat throughout the year because you love them. That is one of the secrets to creating lots of variety in your cooking.

The second secret is to repeat any new recipe a few times within a short period of time. This gets you familiar with the ingredients and the process. Then even when you haven’t made that recipe for months it is some how familiar and doesn’t seem difficult. Of course you need that well stocked pantry!

Seasonal Strategy

Many of you know I cook with a seasonal strategy in mind. It isn’t always the season according to the calendar; it also includes holidays, special events and dishes that remind me of something.

This soup reminds me of spring because that’s when I’m thinking about what I’ll plant in my garden. Fresh herbs are on that list and I always hope I’ll find a Thai basil plant.

I do buy Thai basil any time of year but in the spring I look for it at the garden centre not the grocery store. It’s one of those ingredients with a unique taste that must be experienced. Substitute cilantro or mint any day of the week but nothing replaces the flavour of Thai basil.

Organize For Success – The Asian Pantry

In my kitchen I always have carrots, red pepper, bottled lime juice and a selection of hot sauces in the fridge.  I try to keep fresh ginger too but it often dries out so I have a backup knob in the freezer along with chopped lemongrass. Dried rice noodles are also in the cupboard in just two widths. Here’s my video showing how I use rice noodles.

Pantry Tips

  • Lemongrass, 1 Tbsp chopped = 1 stalk of fresh lemongrass – For convenience I buy frozen chopped lemongrass. When you see my pictures with fresh lemongrass I most likely bought it for a cooking class.
  • Ginger root – Freeze the whole piece of ginger and grate it right out of the freezer. Peeling is optional.
  • Fish sauce – This is essential for Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. It is in that yummy dipping sauce for salad rolls called Nuoc Cham. You need it!
  • Coconut milk – Canned coconut milk has so many uses I always have plenty in my pantry.

PIN for later…

A bowl of Lemongrass Chicken Noodle Soup and some of the pantry ingredients to make it.

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Get The Tools

Every kitchen needs a few tools but not too many to make soup. Here are some of the tools I use.

  • The largest pot in a typical set of pots is perfect for making soup.
  • A decent cutting board that is 1/2-inch thick or even 1-inch thick so it doesn’t warp or move when you’re cutting.
  • The best quality chef’s knife in the largest size you’re comfortable with. My 10-inch Victorinox is 30 years old and I have knife envy when I look at this fancy selection by Dalstrong. By quality and something you like because it may last you a lifetime.
  • A Microplane grater for grating that frozen ginger.

Let me know in the comments below if you made this soup and how many recipes you have that you repeat throughout the year.

Originally posted September 2015, updated April 2021


More Recipes – Thai & Vietnamese

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Ingredients

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 small carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
1/2 red pepper, cut into thin matchsticks
2 green onions sliced in 1" pieces
2 Tbsp frozen, chopped lemongrass
1 Tbsp minced ginger root
1 Tbsp brown sugar
4 cups GF chicken stock
6 oz wide, dried rice noodles
1 can (14 oz/400 ml) coconut milk
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1 Tbsp Vietnamese fish sauce
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp hot pepper sauce such as Sriracha chili sauce or Tabasco
salt to taste
GARNISHES
2 green onions, sliced
1 cup bean sprouts
Thai basil leaves
4 lime wedges

Directions

1
Heat oil in large pan over medium heat. Saute carrot and red pepper for 3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
2
Return pan to heat and saute green onion, lemongrass and ginger for 1-2 minutes.
3
Add the brown sugar and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
4
While soup is simmering soak noodles in tap hot water for 15 minutes. Drain.
5
Remove broth from heat and pour through a fine strainer to remove green onion, lemongrass and ginger. Return to the pan and add coconut milk, chicken, fish sauce, lime juice, hot sauce and noodles. Reheat and serve.
6
Garnish each bowl with green onion, bean sprouts, basil leaves and lime.

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Ingredients

Directions

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
  • 1/2 red pepper, cut into thin matchsticks
  • 2 green onions sliced in 1" pieces
  • 2 Tbsp frozen, chopped lemongrass
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger root
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 cups GF chicken stock
  • 6 oz wide, dried rice noodles
  • 1 can (14 oz/400 ml) coconut milk
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1 Tbsp Vietnamese fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp hot pepper sauce such as Sriracha chili sauce or Tabasco
  • salt to taste
  • GARNISHES
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • Thai basil leaves
  • 4 lime wedges
  1. Heat oil in large pan over medium heat. Saute carrot and red pepper for 3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  2. Return pan to heat and saute green onion, lemongrass and ginger for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the brown sugar and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. While soup is simmering soak noodles in tap hot water for 15 minutes. Drain.
  5. Remove broth from heat and pour through a fine strainer to remove green onion, lemongrass and ginger. Return to the pan and add coconut milk, chicken, fish sauce, lime juice, hot sauce and noodles. Reheat and serve.
  6. Garnish each bowl with green onion, bean sprouts, basil leaves and lime.