WHB – Hanoi Noodle Soup

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Hanoi Noodle Soup

Weekend Herb Blogging is one of the few blogging food events that I’ve managed to participate in fairly regularly. This week marks the third anniversary for this event, and with it, some exciting news. Kalyn is turning over the reigns of WHB to Haalo at Cook (Almost) Anything Once.

For this special three year event, I have used, yet again, my favorite herb, cilantro. In this recipe, cilantro plays one of my favorite uses for it, as a fresh garnish. Cilantro is my parsley. Everything (well practically everything) is made better with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro added right before serving. This recipe also marks the beginning of my search for the perfect bowl of noodles. To find out how to make bowl of noodles, I went to How To Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food from Mark Bittman. As usual, Mark does not disappoint. But I know there are lots of different versions of this soup, and I plan on working my way through them, until I find the one that I will call my own.

Hanoi Noodle Soup
(modified a little from Bittman’s)
Serves 4

8 cups broth (I used chicken, though beef is preferred)
4 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 1-inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled
1 onion, quartered
4 cloves
2 bone-in chicken breasts halves
1 pound noodles (I used soba)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
Cilantro leaves for garnish
Lime wedges
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced

Combine the first seven ingredients in a large saucepan and turn the heat to high. After it comes to a boil, turn the heat to low, cover and simmer for 60 minutes. Strain, reserving the chicken and the broth. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred.

Cook noodles according to package directions.

Place the broth back in the pot, turn the heat up to medium, and add the cooked chicken. Divide the noodles among four bowls. Add the fish sauce and generous amounts of fresh ground black pepper to the soup. Taste and add salt or more seasonings if necessary.

Ladle some of the broth and meat over the noodles, then garnish with the cilantro and minced chili. Serve with lime wedges.


This week’s Weekend Herb Blogging is being hosted by Kalyn at Kalyn’s Kitchen, be sure and stop by to see the round-up and help celebrate 3 years!!

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  1. says

    I agree, nearly everything will taste better with a generous sprinkling of cilantro! It’s just a big flavor booster.

    Guess what, I have that cookbook too! I think every dish I’ve made from it has been a hit, and this looks great too.

  2. says

    Oh, you are after my heart here! I love soup, and especially asian style soups. This looks lovely. I’ve not really used star anise, but I do like its flavor. The garnish here of cilantro (yum), chili, and lime is wonderful. I’ll take a LARGE bowl, please!

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