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