Thai Rice Noodle Soup with Chicken

Thai Rice Noodle Soup with Chicken by

Shortly before Christmas, our mail carrier knocked on the door.  He was holding a large Priority Mail box, which we recognized immediately as one of the bigger orders we had sent out the prior week. We both knew that the package must have been marked as non-deliverable by the post office, and was unfortunately sent back to us to correct the address and pay for shipping again.

But when Mark opened the package, he was shocked to see it filled not with spices, but with a variety of mason jars filled with delicious, homemade goodies.  One of our amazing customers - Lynne from Wingshadow Helencia farm in California – had surprised us with all sorts of treats grown on her farm and created in her kitchen, from pickled okra to raspberry fig preserves, from green chili salsa to chipotle in adobo. And candied jalapeños, which are just the perfect addition to my recipe this week – Thai Rice Noodle Soup with Chicken.

[This bowl’s for you, Lynne.  Thanks again for spicing up our dishes!]

Thai Rice Noodle Soup recipe by

The candied jalapeños are sweet and vinegary, with just the right amount of heat.  I love them just as they are to give this Thai soup a punch of flavor.  But I couldn’t help myself, so I also made a simple dipping sauce with them along with minced garlic and a little soy sauce.

You can make your own candied jalapeños to use in this dish and others.  Try out this candied jalapeños recipe.

ingredients for thai rice noodle soup

garnishes for thai rice noodle soup

Once you have your candied jalapeños (you can keep it real simple and just use fresh jalapeno slices too), you are ready to cook up this Thai Rice Noodle Soup with Chicken.

Start with the broth. You can cook it up from scratch in under 10 minutes by just placing boneless chicken breasts in a pot of water along with aromatics & flavorings like garlic, green onion, fish sauce, white pepper, lime juice, and galangal powder.  Essentially you are poaching the chicken while making the broth at the same time.

Thai Rice Noodle Soup by

Blanch some baby bok choy or baby spinach to add some delicious greens to the soup.  And then have fun adding in your favorite toppings like bean sprouts or sunflower sprouts, chopped peanuts, crispy shallots, and fresh herbs such as cilantro, Thai basil, or sawtooth coriander.  I like to serve them on a side plate, so you can add a little bit of each as you slurp your way through the bowl.  That way the herbs retain their freshness, and the crushed peanuts and bean sprouts stay crunchy.

Thai Rice Noodle Soup with Chicken recipe by

This Thai Rice Noodle Soup is a bowl of contrasting textures and flavors, and is absolutely one of our favorites whenever we need a reset.  It’s a wonderful dish to kick off a New Year of healthy eating!

Thai Rice Noodle Soup with Chicken
by Season with Spice
Serves 2-3

1 package (14oz) thin rice noodles – fresh or dried
8 cups water
2 pieces (about 14oz) chicken breasts
4 large garlic cloves – lightly smashed
3 tsp of Season with Spice’s Galangal Powder 
4 green onions – thinly sliced
4 tbsp fish sauce, or to taste
1/2 tsp white pepper, or to taste
Baby bok choy or baby spinach
Freshly squeezed lime juice

Suggested toppings/sides: 
Pickled or candied jalapeño, or freshly sliced jalapeño or red chilies
Fresh cilantro, Thai basil, or sawtooth coriander
Lime wedges Bean sprouts or sunflower sprouts
Chopped peanuts
Crispy shallots

1. To speed up the prep time, use your kitchen scissors to cut the boneless chicken breast into large strips. Add them into a large soup pot, along with the water and smashed garlic cloves. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce heat, and cook at a gentle simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. While the broth is simmering, use a slotted spoon to skim off the fat as much as possible. When done, remove chicken from the pot and let cool on a plate (once cooled, shred the chicken into bite-sized strips).
2. In a separate pot, cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions. Then drain and rinse noodles in cool water for 30 seconds. Place the cooked noodles in each serving bowl.
3. Add the galangal powder, green onions, and shredded chicken into the broth. Stir and bring it to a boil again. Lower to a steady simmer, then season with fish sauce, white pepper, and lime juice. Taste & adjust seasonings if needed.
4. To cook the baby bok choy or baby spinach, place the greens on a ladle (hold them in place using chopsticks) and dip it into the soup for a quick blanch until the greens are just wilted. Remove, and place the greens into each bowl of noodles.
5. Finally, transfer the chicken pieces from the soup into each bowl of noodles. Then ladle the hot soup over. Enjoy!

Cooking Notes: 
- If you have leftover chicken (poached, baked, or rotisserie chicken), you can basically skip Step 1, and then start cooking the soup in Step 3 using an equal ratio of ready-made chicken broth and water. For this short cut version, you can cook up the dish in well under 15 minutes.
- Depending on individuals, 1 package of noodles may serve 2 large bowls to 4 small bowls.  If you prefer larger serving size, just add in more noodles. The amount of broth indicated in the recipe is sufficient for 4 bowls. Add in more broth if needed.