Recipe Review: Lime Chicken Soup

I have a weakness for soup noodles, especially when it's cold out - it's a perfect wintry comfort treat, so I was especially eager ...

I have a weakness for soup noodles, especially when it's cold out - it's a perfect wintry comfort treat, so I was especially eager to try Candice Kumai's Lime Chicken Soup (yes, I'm still loving her cookbook because everything is both delicious and actually healthy!), which is based on Vietnamese pho (which I love!). (And yes, I recognize that it's "officially" spring, but until it actually warms up it's still winter to me!)

This recipe was definitely somewhat more difficult in terms of figuring out how I was supposed to prep the vegetables, but aside from that it's super easy so I think next time I make it it'll go really quickly!

8 cups chicken stock, homemade or store-bought
4 star anise (I didn't use any because Trader's didn't sell it and I didn't feel like trekking to Whole Foods as well to hunt them down.)
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes or 1 dried chile pepper (optional)
2 cups shredded leftover chicken (As if I have "leftover" chicken...I ended up buying the ready made cubed chicken from Traders and using that.)
1 medium carrot, peeled, thinly sliced, and julienned
1 cup sugar snap peas, thinly sliced on the bias
8 oz rice noodles
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon sea salt, or to taste (I didn't end up adding any salt)
Chopped cilantro to garnish (I didn't use any as I'm not a fan of cilantro)
Sriracha hot sauce (optional - I didn't use any because I didn't have any. I know, how am I Asian and don't have Sriracha? Luckily, it was spicy enough that I didn't feel like I needed to add any in)

More after the jump:
To prep:

I had look up what "julienned" meant, and it just means long, thin slices. So I confess - I attempted a first try before realizing I had no idea what I was doing, and went to google how to julienne a carrot. I ended up throwing out my first carrot because it was completely wrong! How to julienne a carrot: slice it thinly on the bias (guess that's what she meant by "thinly sliced"), and then stack the slices on top of each other and cut them into slivers. (See photos One and Two.)

For the snap peas, literally just cut them on an angle. (See photos Three and Four.) Be careful because sometimes the peas will just pop out! I had a few shoot out and fall into the sink.

For the chicken, since I didn't have a full chicken breast, I literally just smushed the cubed chicken into a 1 cup measuring cup, breaking the pieces apart. Not fancy, but it works. (For the end result, see photo Five.)

1. In a stockpot, bring the stock, star anise, and chili flakes (if using) to a boil
2. Add the shredded chicken and sliced carrot. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
3. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring some water to a boil. Blanch the snap peas (ie. pop them into the boiling water for about a minute), shock them in an ice bath (ie. after a minute's up, use a slotted spoon to scoop out the snap peas and dump them in an already-prepped bowl of ice and water, to stop them from cooking further - see photo Six), strain, and set them aside. 
4. Add the rice noodles and snap peas to the stockpot. Cook for additional 5 minutes.
5. Add the lime zest and juice. Season the soup with the sea salt, as needed. (The soup was flavorful enough that I really didn't feel the need to add any salt, and I'm normally the first one to add hot sauces and flavoring to thing!)
6. Serve up the noodles in individual bowls. Garnish each bowl of noodles with chopped cilantro, if desired.
7. Squeeze a bit of Sriracha on top, if desired.

Makes 6 servings.

For a text-only copy of the recipe with my notes, click here
For the original recipe, click here

For all Recipe Reviews, click here

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  1. yummy!! The mix of flavors sound so good!

  2. I'm a super picky eater but surprisingly I think I eat every ingredient in this soup!! Love when that happens b/c it sounds delish!


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