Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thai Rice Noodle Bowls


Is it soup yet? Not as we know it, but this soupy noodle bowl, or a variation of it, can be found in cafes and on street corners throughout Asia. This is the ultimate DIY meal. Pick a noodle, some protein and a vegetable and you have a meal in minutes. I use wide rice noodles here; they're paired with leftover chicken in a broth flavored with Thai fish sauce. I do fuss a little and make my own crisp fried garlic . It's available in some grocery stores but what you buy is no match for what can be made at home. Make no mistake about it - this dish is about noodles that happen to find themselves floating in a little broth. It's really not a soup. If you're still trying to overcome holiday indulgences this light but filling noodle bowl will really hit the spot.

Thai Rice Noodle Bowl

1/2 pound wide dried rice noodles
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 heaping tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
5 cups chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
2 cups chopped cooked chicken, shrimp or pork
1/4 cup Thai fish sauce
1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
3 scallions (white and tender green), thinly sliced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

1) Bring three quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Remove from heat. Add dried rice noodles and let sit until tender enough to eat, about 10 minutes. Rinse with cold water. Drain and set aside.
2) Heat oil in a small skillet until it shimmers. Add garlic and cook until it is golden brown. Pour oil and garlic into a small heatproof bowl. Set aside.
3) Bring chicken broth to a boil. Add chicken, pepper flakes if using, fish sauce and black pepper; simmer until meat is heated through, about 2 minutes.
4) Divide noodles among 4 soup bowls. Top each serving with reserved garlic and oil mixture. Ladle broth and chicken over noodles; sprinkle with scallions and cilantro. Yield: 4 servings.

Adapted from a recipe by Nancie McDermott

I sending this recipe on to Presto Pasta Night sponsored by Ruth at Once Upon A Feast. This week's event is hosted by Ivy at Kopiaste.


noble pig said...

Very nice. The crispy garlic sounds like a nice addition.

Ning said...

Ahhh...Chicken Noodle Soup, one of our comfort foods... :) the addition of fried garlic makes this very fragrant!

Mary said...

This is a personal favorite. Bob and I eat differently at this time of year. I seem to lose my appetite for a while after Christmas and prefer much lighter foods. Nothing stops Bob.

Cathy said...

The broth is always my favorite part of the soup. This is healthy to be sure but looks like it packs a flavor punch.

Maria said...

I could eat a big bowl of this! I love noodles!

Allie said...

This sounds way better then the chicken soup I made for dinner. I like the addition of the garlic yummy!

lilyng said...

One of my favorites on snow day

Pam said...

This looks delicious. Light, healthy and very flavorful.

Ivy said...

Thanks for participating at PPN. Never had rice noodles before but the dish sounds very comforting.

mikky said...

this is great... light and tasty... :)

Lisa said...

Ahh, your recipes are looking so good for this cold weather. Love this soup.

Paula said...

My littlest would love this. She can't eat wheat, and rice noodles are a staple for her now. She loves Thai food, so this is just right for her! Yum!

Mary said...

Paula, I hope your little one will enjoy the soup.

Marie said...

This noodle bowl sounds fantastic. The combination of chicken broth, garlic and fish sauce sounds like a homerun!

diva@sugarbar said...

this looks so so good..something so comforting and perfect for this weather!

Mary said...

Just a quick hello to all and a special welcome to those visiting for the first time. I hope you'll come often.

Jon said...

I used to make a soup like this often.Great stuff.Another condiment that I used was white vinegar with chopped hot green chiles added.

Mary said...

Hi Jon, welcome to my blog. I hope we'll see you often. It is a good soup and I have others.

Soma said...

perfect comfort food! I like the way u added the crispy garlic.

Mila said...

Mary...I would eat this soup all winter if I could! I stopped making it because I over indulge on the noodles :(

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