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Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

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Made with a broth infused with ginger, garlic, chiles, star anise and more, you can imagine the magnificent flavor of this Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup. Through food, Dorie Greenspan shares the Vietnamese influence on the French.

Overhead view of Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Soup in a white bowl next to bowls of limes and peppers

Food Revolution Day

Today is Food Revolution Day and one of my FFwD friends, Mardi, is leading us in the mission to stand up for real food and to keep cooking skills alive. As we have cooked our way through Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table,  we have created dishes ranging from gourmet, restaurant-worthy to simple, homey comfort food.

All have one thing in common, they are made from pure, wholesome ingredients. Mardi has challenged up to remake one of our favorites from the past or try a new recipe from our French tome. I went back to this Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup.

Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Soup in a white bowl next to bowls of limes and peppers


Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

This Asian soup recipe was the 3rd ever recipe in our FFwD queue. Many of my dear Dorista friends were not even members yet! I thought my food styling was pretty keen. Haha. But looking back, I’m relieved I took the bowl outside for some natural light. I thoroughly enjoyed this broth infused with ginger, garlic, chilies, cilantro, star anise, and coriander seeds. Shredded chicken, rice vermicelli along with some lime juice and fish sauce finished this off this incredible soup.

The picky Mr. Bill had raved about a shrimp version of this Asian chicken soup when we created for a Thai themed dinner at our home many years ago. Maybe the cocktails mellowed his taste buds that evening so long ago as he wasn’t as thrilled with this soup. Though I kind of doubt my beer drinker indulged in any Thai cosmopolitans.

That first version had shrimp and mushrooms…both on his “faux” allergy list. Harumph. But this Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup do-over was part of our Mother’s Day menu. Guess who gets her way on that day? Yup, you’re exactly right. Although come to think of it, I get my way almost every day!

I adored the depth of flavor in this Asian chicken soup, but if you’re looking for other soups or stews, here are some winners:

Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

A fabulous Asian soup filled with chicken, noodles and broth infused with ginger, garlic, chiles, star anise

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 4 servings


  • 12 fresh cilantro stems
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 (1-inch piece) ginger, peeled and minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh lemongrass
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 6 cups homemade or less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce, divided
  • 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 5 ounces dried rice vermicelli noodles
  • 4 -6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Serve with: fresh mint leaves, hoisin sauce, and/or sriracha hot sauce


  1. Wrap the cilantro stems and coriander in cheesecloth and tie with a piece of twine. Place in a large soup pot with the onion, ginger, lemongrass, red chilies, chicken broth, coconut milk, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, brown sugar, white pepper, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil.
  2. Once boiling, add the chicken breasts and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the chicken breasts are cooked. Remove the chicken breasts and allow to cool. Once cool, shred the chicken and return it to the soup. At this point, the soup can be refrigerated if not serving immediately.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add dried rice vermicelli noodles. Cook according to package directions and drain in a colander. Set aside.
  4. Add the remaining two tablespoons fish sauce to the soup and add fresh lime juice to taste. Stir in the cilantro leaves and add more salt if needed.
  5. Divide the cooked vermicelli noodles between 4 large bowls and ladle the hot soup over the noodles. Garnish with mint leaves and serve with lime wedges, hoisin sauce, and/or sriracha.

Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup in a white soup bowl with a white soup spoon

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37 comments on “Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup”

  1. Now I know what to do with my star anise! Thank you, Liz =)

    The photo of the soup does look perfect and the spices in the recipe are beguiling.

    Trust you are having loads of fun at the Food Blog Forum =)

  2. YUm! This looks like something we would love.

  3. I can see why you chose this soup for your Mother’s Day treat, Liz. Suits the weather we’re having just now in Paris, as still awaiting the supposed May sunshine and warmth to appear so these warming spices are perfect. Didn’t know it was Food Revolution Day but knew something was in the air: instead held my own Revolution in my daughter’s untidy room this morning (ah, teenagers!) Back to sanity, I’m with you on the real food and cooking at home. Enjoy the Forum and well done on this Ziplist. So many things out there to learn… golly, bravo!

  4. I’ve never had a Thai type soup and the coconut milk sounds very interesting! Have fun on your trip:@)

  5. Thanks for taking part in Food Revolution Day. This was one of my favourite recipes from early on too!

  6. Asian food, and vietnamese soup has been in my to do list forever. I never seem to get around to it, but I´m so glad you got to have it again Liz! Maybe I will too soon. Though I have a faux allegy with fish and shellfish too…

  7. Wowza, this soup sounds like it’s packed with flavor!

  8. Ahhhhh spicy noodles ! Just what I need 😀 It looks so flavorful and refreshingly delicious !

  9. yummy healthy combination

  10. YUM! I love soups like this. Patrick and I eat them often. Healthy, tasty and hearty!

  11. It looks like a wonderful spring soup, Liz. I don’t think I have ever seen coconut milk in Vietnamese recipes, but I’m just a beginner. I need to buy some more books and explore this fascinating cuisine.
    Have fun at the Forum!

  12. This looks like such a wonderful soup. I will have to give it a try one day! I actually didn’t make this one. My first recipe for French Fridays was the Hachis Parmentier, which was in the fourth week of the group. I was on vacation when the group first started. Have a great time in Fl., Lizzy! Bring back some good info!

  13. Love this fresh, flavorful and easy soup, Liz! It looks so delicious!

  14. Love Vietnamese soup. Awesome photos, Liz.

  15. This soup looks and sounds delicious. We love so many Vietnamese dishes.

    I hope you’re having a blast in Orlando!!

    And that you remembered your camera this time. LOL


  16. Thanks for the tip on ziplist, it’s what I’ve been missing for sure. I’m going to check it out.
    This is absolutely one of my favourite soups, I make it at home often, I find the one’s at restaurants just too salty.
    Good luck at the blogging conference, looking forward to hearing all about it.
    Thanks for leaving the lovely comments on my blog, Liz, I so appreciate it. I loved your reference to the shoes (all of them, in fact); what you didn’t see is how many heels I did bring that weekend! Not really outdoor shoes with the snow but walking around the hotel they were fine!

  17. Looks delicious! We love Pho and this is a great version!!!

  18. I’m still learning how to use ziplist. How nice is this soup. It’s on my list of to-make from Dorie-one day soon:)Have fun in Orlando this weekend, Lizzy!

  19. Liz, have a wonderful time at the Food Blog Forum in Orlando! Your Spicy Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup looks so wonderful and fresh and delicious! I adore this kind of food!

  20. This is a favourite for us, too. It’s fun to take a fresh look at something and your update looks beautiful. I also think ti’s just right that you got your way on Mother’s Day. Hope you have a wonderful time at FBF!

  21. I wish I had gotten involved with this group from the beginning, but I wasn’t even blogging back them. I am definitely going to try this recipe. This is the kinda of food my family loves on a regular basics. Great looking soup… Happy REvolution Day!

  22. You know I love these fantastic Asian flavors. it’s 84 degrees out today… but I would still welcome this savory bowl of soup. 🙂

  23. We loved this soup-the flavors are so good!
    Have a wonderful time at the food bloggers conference and happy food revolution day 😉

  24. I love all the aromatics in this soup, so tasty!

  25. I remember this one. It looks terrific! I like that you usually get your way at home! Great choice to share for Food Revolution Day. Have fun in Orlando.

  26. I love this kind of a soup. It has the best flavours. And I totally believe in Food Revolution Day xx

  27. I could just dive into this hot bowl of soup right now!

    Have a great time at FBF! I can’t wait to hear all about your trip.

  28. Yes, star anise in my cupboard too – never use it! Haha! Great soup!

  29. Fresh and very flavourful! I love this noodle soup.

  30. Yummers, we love spicy noodle soup dishes and this one looks and sounds fantastic! Great use of so many flavorful spices and herbs too – can’t wait to try it Liz!:)

  31. What a comfort kick’in noddle soup…..
    just perfect thought my rainy days lately..
    i think i’m prefer with seafoods like shrimp or fish fillet with freah fish bones stock…
    your photophaph make me drolling!

  32. That looks lovely and fresh. Enjoy the event and say hi to Kim.

  33. Nana and I joined I believe the following week or so….it was the Helene Marie Apple cake week 🙂 I missed this and it looks divine. You have inspired me to go back and try it. And you had me chuckling at the faux allergies- too funny and I think we all have someone in the family with such. My kids tease me because I always said I was allergic to cats, and that is why we couldn’t keep one. In fairness, I always sneezed non stop when visiting friends with cats- I do like the little buggers 🙂 When we kept our feral kitten I never had a sneezing attack so my kids fail to believe I am not fibbing 🙂 I may need to make them some amazing soup to right things over……

  34. Mmmm! I love vietnamese soup, but I’ve never tried to make it myself! This is going on my to-do list for sure 🙂

  35. Beautiful, Liz. This is one of two recipes that I haven’t caught up on yet (I came in on week 4). After seeing your version and Patty’s version, this will have to be on my list soon.

  36. This was a good choice, Liz. You’re right, I never made this spicey soup because I hadn’t yet joined FFWD. I intend to try it soon (looks delicious) just as I hope to try Paula’s cheddar quick bread (never made that either). I am getting several ideas from Doristas this week. Have a wonderful time at the Food Blog Forum. I already know you will probably win something great (tell them you don’t need another Kitchen Aid Mixer, however). Glad you remembered your camera equipment. Travel safely.

  37. This looks so fresh and vibrant Liz – perfect for sharing on FRD.

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