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Lemongrass Chicken Soup

The subtle heat of ginger and chile, combined with the bright aroma of fresh mint, enlivens this lightened rendition of chicken soup.

  • servings: 6




  • 2 pounds skinless chicken legs
  • 4 lemongrass stalks, white and pale-yellow parts only, smashed and chopped
  • 4 scallions, halved crosswise
  • 1 onion, halved lengthwise
  • 2 ounces ginger (1-inch piece), 1/2 thinly sliced and 1/2 julienned
  • 1 fresh Thai or serrano chile, seeded
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 10 cups water
  • 5 stems fresh cilantro, plus 1/3 cup leaves
  • 3 stems fresh mint, plus 1/4 cup thinly sliced leaves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts

Cook's Note

In Chinese cultures, lemongrass and cilantro are considered yin ingredients -- cooling elements that are ideal on hot days.


  1. Step 1

    Place chicken, lemongrass, scallions, onion, sliced ginger, chile, peppercorns, and water in a large pot. Cover, and bring to a simmer. Uncover partially, and gently simmer for 1 hour.

  2. Step 2

    Add cilantro and mint stems, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add fish sauce, and strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve. Reserve broth and chicken. Discard remaining solids. Shred chicken meat, and discard bones. Refrigerate broth and chicken separately for at least 4 hours (or overnight).

  3. Step 3

    Skim fat from broth, and reheat broth. Combine chicken, julienned ginger, cilantro leaves, thinly sliced mint, and bean sprouts in a bowl. Divide broth among bowls, and serve with chicken mixture on the side.

Martha Stewart Living, August 2008