If you had to give freshness a colour (or colours), what would they be? I’m guessing green would be the most natural choice and white too because it’s clean and light. In the mood for a light-as-air meal that wouldn’t induce a food coma, I came up with this noodle soup, with only green or white ingredients. The thin soup and rice noodles sit like feathery down in your tummy, and yet are supremely satisfying because the deeply chickeny broth is scented with garden fresh basil, lime leaves, coriander and green chillies.
Since the base is chicken stock, you could either boil half a chicken in one and a half litres of water and use both the stock and the meat; or you could use stock cubes (about 2-3) to make the broth and use cooked and shredded chicken breasts or legs (I prefer skinless thighs since they pack more flavour and are juicier). And don’t be afraid of the green chillies, their heat reduces significantly on boiling, but if you still want to play it safe, pop in whole green chillies instead of chopping them and remove before serving.
Green And White Chicken Noodle Soup
- 2 heaped cups shredded cooked chicken thighs
- 200 g Chinese flat rice noodles
- 400 ml coconut milk
- 11/2 litres chicken stock with fat removed
- 2 cups Chinese cabbage shredded
- 4-5 kaffir lime leaves
- 4 fresh green chillies finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
- 1 inch piece of ginger finely sliced
- 1/2 cup rfresh coriander or cilantro roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh sweet basil roughly torn
- 1/2 cup peanuts roasted and roughly crushed
- 2 tbsps Thai fish sauce
- Salt if required
- Juice of 2 limes for drizzling
- Boil water in a large pot, turn off the heat, put in the noodles, cover and let cook for 7-10 minutes. Drain, run under cold water and set aside.
- In the same pot, pour in stock and coconut milk and gently bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and toss in the ginger, garlic, green chillies and lime leaves. Cover and boil for 5-10 minutes until the flavours are well incorporated into the stock.
- Now add the chicken, cabbage and fish sauce. Simmer for a further 5-7 minutes. Put in the noodles and basil and cook for 2 minutes more. Check the seasoning and turn off the heat.
- Ladle immediately into deep bowls, drizzle with a dash of lime juice, sprinkle with coriander and crushed roasted peanuts and serve.