Lemongrass Chicken Soba Noodle Soup
Often used in Thai, Vietnamese, and Indian cooking, lemongrass adds a fresh, clean, citrus note. Rich in citral (the main ingredient in lemon peel), the stalk helps aid digestion, as does the ginger. Look for fresh lemongrass without brittle or dry ends. Soba is a protein-rich Japanese noodle made with buckwheat flour; you'll find it in most health-food stores and the international aisle in supermarkets.
- Servings: 4
- Yield: makes 7 cups
Photography: Anna Williams
- 4 stalks lemongrass
- 1 pound skinless organic chicken thighs
- Coarse salt and ground black pepper
- 1 small carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 ounce fresh ginger, peeled and minced (3 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 ounces soba noodles
- 2 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
- 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps thinly sliced
- 1 cup thinly sliced bok choy or other Asian greens
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or basil
Remove any tough ends or hard outer husks of lemongrass, cut into 2-inch pieces, and smash with the side of a knife. Tie lemongrass in a loose bundle with cheesecloth.
Rinse chicken and place in a medium soup pot. Add 6 cups cold water to cover chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and skim the surface thoroughly of any impurities that rise.
Lower the heat and add carrot, onion, garlic, ginger, and the lemongrass bundle. Adjust heat so water barely bubbles. Cover and poach chicken for 25 minutes. Lift chicken out of the pot and transfer to a plate. When it's cool enough to handle, pull meat off the bones and shred the meat into large pieces. Set aside.
Add soy sauce to broth and return to a boil. Add noodles, scallions, shiitakes, and bok choy; cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until noodles are tender. Add chicken and heat through. Discard lemongrass bundle. Stir in the cilantro or basil before serving.