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An easy take on a classic Vietnamese comfort soup wth a ginger-scented broth and lots of satiny noodles. Fresh mint livens up the dish. Recipe can be easily be doubled. From this month's Chatelaine Magazine (February 2009).
- 900 ml vegetable broth (875 mL) or 900 ml chicken broth, about 3 1/2 cups (875 mL)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 slice gingerroot
- 1 star anise (optional)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon granulated sugar, and
- 1⁄2 teaspoon hot chili-garlic sauce
- 0.5 (350 g) package extra firm tofu or 1 cup chopped cooked chicken
- 2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms or 2 cups button mushrooms
- 1 bunch of thin rice vermicelli, about 1 in. (2.5 cm)
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1⁄4 cup shredded mint or 1⁄4 cup basil
- handful bean sprouts (optional)
- 1 lime
- Pour broth into large saucepan set over high heat. Add cinnamon, ginger, anise, sugar and chili-garlic sauce. Bring to a boil. Then simmer over medium-low until flavourful, 5 to 10 minute Remove and discard cinnamon, anise and ginger.
- Meanwhile, cut tofu into cubes. Remove and discard shiitake stems. Slice mushrooms. Oil a large frying pan and set over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and tofu. Stir often until tofu is golden around edges, 5 minute Add to broth. (If using chicken, add now.) Bring to a boil, then stir in noodles, separating as you add. Boil gently, stirring often, until noodles are tender, 3 to 5 minute
- Stir in onions and mint, then ladle into soup bowls. Top with bean sprouts and serve with lime wedges.