Sunday, June 20, 2010

Thai-Inspired Chicken Noodle Bowl for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Earlier in the week, it was gray and cloudy, I had a bad case of allergy snuffles and needed some chicken soup STAT! Craving Thai flavors and lots of noodles, I threw together a Thai-Inspired Chicken Noodle Bowl. With a broth of chicken stock simmered with lemongrass, ginger, garlic, chilies, and kaffir limes, thickened with lite coconut milk and made hearty with chopped spinach, local corn, mushrooms, shredded carrot and chunks of chicken breast, this noodle-filled soup really hit the spot.

Thai-Inspired Chicken Noodle Bowl

by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes about 8 cups of broth or 5-6 servings)

6 cups chicken stock, homemade or low sodium
4 stalks lemongrass, peeled and chopped or crushed
1/2 cup fresh ginger, sliced into rounds
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 whole Thai or Serrano chilies, stemmed not seeded
5-6 kaffir lime leaves, torn
1 can coconut milk, (I used lite coconut milk)
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
1 cup chopped frozen spinach
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup mushrooms, small or sliced to bite size
1 medium carrot, shredded
2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp (or more) of sambal oelek or other chili paste
juice of 2 limes
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 package noodles of choice, cooked as directed (I used fresh Japanese udon)
2 Tbsp each of cilantro and Thai basil, chopped for garnish

Place chicken stock, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, chilies and kaffir lime leaves in a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for about 25 minutes, until broth is well flavored. Remove from heat, strain broth through a strainer, discard the solids and return the broth to the saucepan.

Add the coconut milk, cooked chicken, spinach, corn, mushrooms and carrot and simmer for 5 minutes over low heat. Add fish sauce, chili paste, lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place a serving of cooked noodles in a bowl, top with soup and top with chopped cilantro. and Thai basil. Serve with extra lime slices or wedges.

Notes/Results: Delicious--with lots of wonderful flavor and texture. I used homemade slow cooker chicken stock but went easy with the chicken breast, picking up a rotisserie chicken and shredding the meat. I used some chopped spinach and some leftover local corn I had in the freezer, mushrooms from the pantry and used my julienne peeler to shred the carrots. If you don't have access to lemongrass or kaffir lime, using the juice and peel of a lemon and an additional lime will give similar flavor--you can also sub a bit of soy sauce for the fish sauce and hot sauce for the sambal oelek if you need to. I would have normally used thick rice noodles, but only had thin ones, and since I really wanted a hearty noodle fix, I used some fresh Japanese udon noodles I had in the fridge. They worked fine and the texture was perfect for slurping. Topped with some fresh Thai basil, cilantro, and extra lime for squeezing, it was a healthy, hearty but not heavy bowl of goodness that I will make again.

Now let's see who is here in the Souper Sunday kitchen:

First up, Lee Ann from Mangos Chili and Z made a Ranch Style Tortilla Soup and says, "I know, it’s Summer, but I don’t need to be sitting around in front of the fireplace wrapped up in my hot pink Snuggie with two feet of snow on the ground to enjoy a delicious bowl of soup. Especially when it’s one of my favorites like Tortilla Soup. About the photo…I promise there’s a big bowl of wonderfully seasoned brothy goodness underneath all those hearty chunky toppings…and lots of it."

Not satisfied with just one Tortilla Soup, Kim at Stirring the Pot had one of her famous "throwdowns" and has two this week. The first is Ellie Krieger's Tomato-Tortilla Soup. Kim says, "A very well-balanced soup which was very well-received by everyone. The lime juice really stands out and the jalapeno gives the soup the perfect amount of heat. I topped the soup with the baked corn tortillas, cheese, and cilantro BUT you could literally top it with all kinds of things: avocado, chicken, maybe some more jalapeno?"

Kim's second soup is Eating Well's Tortilla Soup. She says, "A completely different take on tortilla soup, this one packed quite a bit more heat than Ellie's version. I usually find poblano peppers to be pretty mild, but the ones I used in this recipe were really packing some heat. This recipe was filled with all kinds of texture and was very satisfying, filling and comforting. Everyone liked the addition of the chicken and thought it was more of a meal-based recipe."

So which soup won the throwdown? You'll just have to go visit Kim to see the winner!

Lauren at Healthy. Delicious has an exotic Moroccan Pea Soup with Zaatar Spiced Croutons She says, "I stumbled on a Moroccan chickpea soup in an old cookbook. It looked so good that I immediately decided to go with Moroccan flavors in my soup. The result was fantastic — a richly spiced, velvety broth with just a touch of spicy heat. Crispy croutons that were so good I had difficulty not eating them all straight out of the pan. Spicy peppers that allowed each diner to customize their own dish. No, this certainly isn’t your typical pea soup."

It seems that my friend Reeni at Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice and I were of the same mind this week, combining Thai flavors with noodles, and she has a gorgeous Thai Coconut Shrimp Soup with Noodles to share. Reeni says, "A Thai inspired soup recipe with shrimp and noodles, one of my recent favorites and new go-to soup! It’s fast, healthy and completely delicious! The creamy coconut broth is laden with flavor. It’s rich and sweet with little hints of spicy heat and citrus. I customized it and turned it into a main dish soup with the addition of rice noodles. And fresh corn straight from the cob. Because I adore the flavor of corn with coconut milk."

girlichef is here with a gorgeous Grilled Eggplant, Couscous, Toasted Pine Nut & Herb Salad. girlichef says, "I prefer to just eat my couscous like a barbarian, but since Near East was generous enough to send me some for free, I figured I'd better figure out something to show it off a bit. I made two dishes using the exact same's a little "dressier" if you's a little simpler. Both were every bit as delicious as the sum of their parts." Visit her to check out her fancy "plated" version of this tasty salad.

I am so happy to welcome my friend Pam from Sidewalk Shoes to Souper Sundays this week! The fact that she is here with her beautiful Pam's Bistro Salad makes it all the better. She says, "I have a confession. I have absolutely no idea what a bistro salad is. I imagine it is a main dish salad that you eat while sitting at a bistro. Since I have never been to a bistro, this is all just hearsay. My definition is that it is a main dish salad with an egg on top. Stick an egg on top of salad and I am immediately transported to an outdoor cafe, with a slight breeze, and a glass of perfectly chilled white wine. This is how my imagination works." Pam had me at the pork sausage on top of her salad! ;-)

Joanne from Eats Well With Others has a colorful and healthy Pesto Rice Salad this week, inspired by some late "spring cleaning." Joanne says, "So I opened up my freezer. For what I'm not quite sure anymore. And no fewer than three containers of last summer's pesto. Attacked me. And as for that pesto? I showed it. I threw it into a rice salad along with some cherry tomatoes and locally grown asparagus. A dish that satisfied my every spring craving. Good thing, because summer's coming. And I have grand designs on stealing (err...borrowing...) as much basil from my dad's soon-to-be flourishing plants as possible."

Michelle from Ms. Enplace is back with us and she made some hearty Sausage Gravy Breakfast Sandwiches. Michelle says, "It was hard putting this "recipe" into words and measurements because it started as one of those things that you (I mean I--why am I blaming you?) forgot to plan/shop for. One of those we're-starving, there's-nothing-to-eat, what-are-we-going-to-eat days. At my house this tends to happen on weekends. The Husband loves these hearty sausage-egg-biscuit thingies for breakfast...and weekend lunches...and supper. And I can make them without having to waste my evil eyes on my starving family. I'll save those for other, more deserving situations."

A new face to welcome to Souper Sundays is Daphne at Food Junkie From Texas, with a favorite sandwich revisited--Peanut Butter & Jelly--updated and healthier. Daphne says, "Instead of plain peanut butter, I decided to make some of the healthy peanut butter dip (minus the chocolate chips) I made a couple weeks ago and use that on the sandwich. It was perfect! AND instead of the "reduced sugar" jelly I just used some sliced sugar at ALL! I thought it turned out very yummy and so did my son. It made a quick lunch after his baseball game today." Welcome Daphne!

Natashya from Living in the Kitchen with Puppies made homemade bagels and turned them into some delicious Chicken Salad Sandwiches. She says, "Chicken salad has to be up there in the top ten sammies of all times. Along with BLTs, egg salad, corned beef on rye... you get the picture. But chicken salad on an Everything Bagel? Outstanding. And a homemade everything bagel to boot? Simply divine."

A fantastic bunch of dishes! Thanks to everyone who joined in this week. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays link on the side bar for all of the details.

Happy Fathers Day! I hope you get to spend time with or time thinking about all of the special dads in your life. Have a great week.


  1. Brava! Lovely combination of soups, salads and sammies! Great diversity of flavours.
    Thanks for all your hard work - and kudos for getting up the energy to make such an awesome and flavourful soup when you are snuffley!

  2. great combination of flavors!

  3. If anything was going to make you feel better it was definitely that soup! And this round-up...such an awesome conglomeration of dishes!

  4. Glad I visited this morning on a full stomach!

    Your soup is gorgeous and the photo parade is really to-die-for. Scrumptious!

  5. Oh yum, yum, YUM, Deb! You've got my attentiont on this one. What a gorgeous bowl of deliciousness!!

  6. Everything looks amazing! I could totally use a bowl of your soup right now for my sniffles...ugh allergy season.

  7. What a wonderful noodle bowl, I love the flavors there! Yum!

  8. I hope you are feeling better. That is an awesome soup and the round-up today was chock full of good things to eat. Have a good day. Blessings...MAry

  9. I bet that tasty bowl of soup really hit the spot! I hope you are feeling better. We were on the same wavelength...thanks for including me! Wonderful round-up. I'm craving tortilla soup now and bagels.

  10. Oh the Thai noodle soup looks so good! It reminds me of a lighter version of Tom Kha Gai, which I adore.

  11. Looks like you and Reeni were definitely thinking alike last week and I like it. I love having a soup full of noodle when I'm not feeling well. Hope the allergies are better!

    I'm loving the looks of this week's roundup. The noodle soups, the pb and j sandwich with sliced strawberries, and Natashya's bagels...they're all calling my name.

    Thanks for another good looking roundup!


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