SERVES 2-3 as a main entree
12-16 oz. rice noodles (OR enough fresh or dried noodles for 2-3 portions)
6 cups good-quality chicken stock
1-2 stalks fresh lemongrass, minced OR 4 Tbsp. frozen prepared lemongrass
1/4 to 1/2 lb. chicken breast or thigh, chopped into small pieces (or use leftover roasted chicken + bones)
1/2 cup good-quality (thick) coconut milk
3-4 kaffir lime leaves (available fresh or frozen at Asian stores)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, shredded
1 red chili, sliced, OR substitute 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili or cayenne pepper
1 large carrot, sliced
1 Tbsp. oyster sauce (I used Golden Dragon brand)
1/2 to 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
2-3 cup bok choy (or baby bok choy), chopped
generous handful fresh coriander
Optional extra vegetables: handful mushrooms and/or broccoli segments
Optional: 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
Prepare the noodles according to instructions on package. Drain and rinse through with cold water to keep from sticking. Set aside.*
Bring stock to a boil in a large soup pot. Add the prepared lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and the chicken. Boil over medium-high heat 3-4 minutes.
Reduce to medium heat and add the garlic, galangal/ginger, chili, and carrot. If adding mushrooms, add them now. Simmer 2-3 more minutes.
While soup is simmering, add the oyster sauce and fish sauce as well as 1/2 Tbsp. sugar.
If your bok choy is the large variety, add only the thick white stalk pieces now (the green leaves take only seconds to cook, so reserve those for later). If using broccoli, add it now too. Continute simmering the soup 2-3 more minutes.
Lastly, add the leafy greens of the bok choy. Stir and simmer 30 seconds.
Reduce heat to low. Add the coconut milk, stirring well to incorporate.
Taste-test for salt, adding more fish sauce if not salty enough. If too salty or sweet for your taste, add 1 Tbsp. lime or lemon juice. If too spicy, add more coconut milk. If too sour, add another 1/2 Tbsp. sugar.
To put the soup together, mound a generous amount of the cooked noodles in each bowl. Ladle over the hot soup and top with fresh coriander. Note: this soup can be served with chili sauce on the side for those who like it extra spicy. ENJOY!
---- (beccah notes)
So, I can't get kafir leaves in my area. I just skip using them & add the juice of a whole lime at the end. Also, I think the coriander is actually cilantro since coriander seed comes from the cilantro plant. As to the noodles, I just use rice noodles & I stick them in at the end