Under 30 Minutes
- Coarse salt
- 1 package (8 ounces) thin dried rice noodles
- 1 can (14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 3/4 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil, plus more for garnish
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 piece (2 inches) peeled fresh ginger, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
- 2 small fresh red chiles, halved, stems removed
- 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (optional)
- 1 fresh lemongrass stalk, bottom 4 inches only, crushed
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt. Cook noodles until al dente, about 2 minutes. Drain; rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Bring coconut milk and chicken stock to a gentle simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, process cilantro, basil, garlic, ginger, and 1 chile in a food processor until coarsely chopped, 5 seconds. Add cilantro mixture, fish sauce (if desired), lemongrass, and sugar to broth; simmer 6 minutes. Discard lemongrass.
Add noodles; cook until just heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in lime juice. Finely chop remaining chile. Divide noodles among bowls; top with cilantro, basil, and chile.