This is an amazing noodle soup… filled with yummy flavor. I saw the recipe in the New York Times and liked it but I changed it as I was cooking and tasting.. I think my version is much better…
- 1 pound chicken thighs with bone and skin
- 2 stalks fresh lemon grass, bruised with the handle of a heavy knife and tied in a knot
- 6 kaffir lime leaves, fresh or frozen (optional)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1½ tablespoons coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 3 shallots, peeled and halved
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1½ teaspoons turmeric
- 2 tablespoons finely minced ginger
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil
- ½ cup coconut cream
- Juice of one large lime
- 2 tablespoons chopped mint, Thai basil and cilantro leaves
- 1 pound noodles of choice
- Quartered limes
- chili paste (such as sambal) for serving
Place chicken pieces in a medium pot with lemon grass, lime leaves (if using), salt and 2 quarts water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Skim off any foam and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer until chicken is tender, about 45 minutes, skimming as needed to make a clear broth. Remove chicken pieces from broth and set aside. Remove and discard lemon grass and lime leaves; reserve stock in pot. When chicken is cool enough to handle, discard skin and bones and shred and chop meat into bite-size pieces.
Meanwhile, combine peppercorns, coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a small food processor. Pulse until ground. Add halved shallots, garlic, turmeric and ginger and pulse to a thick paste. (Add a little water if needed.)
Heat peanut oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. When very hot, add spice paste and cook, stirring until paste is cooked and beginning to separate from the oil, about 5 minutes.
Add the stock to the cooked spices. Bring to a simmer and cook 10 minutes.
Transfer the broth in a blender and blend all the aromatics and spices. Transfer back to the pan and bring back to a boil. Add the coconut cream and check for seasonings. Turn off heat under soup and stir in lime juice and garnish with the herbs. Cook noodles according to package directions.
To serve, divide noodles in large soup bowls. Ladle chicken pieces and soup. Top with lime pieces, chili paste and some sautéed greens (I used mini bok choys)