Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 25 minutes
1 litre (1¾ pints) chicken stock
4 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar or soft light brown sugar
2 lemon grass stalks, sliced in half lengthways
50 g (2 oz) galangal or fresh root ginger, peeled and finely sliced
1 large bunch of coriander, finely chopped, leaves and stalks separate
250 g (8 oz) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into strips
225 g (7½ oz) can bamboo shoots, drained (optional)
200 g (7 oz) vermicelli rice noodles
Put the stock, fish sauce, sugar, lemon grass and galangal or ginger in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Strain through a sieve to remove the galangal or ginger and lemon grass. Return the liquid to the pan and stir in the chopped coriander stalks.
Read also: PESTO AND LEMON SOUP
Add the chicken and simmer gently for a further 4–5 minutes or until cooked through. Add the bamboo shoots, if using.
Meanwhile, put the noodles in a large saucepan of boiling water, turn off the heat and leave to stand for 4 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until tender. Drain well and divide between deep bowls. Ladle over the chicken soup, sprinkle with the chopped coriander leaves and serve immediately.
For chicken & bamboo shoot curry, heat 1 tablespoon groundnut oil in a wok or large frying pan, add 2 tablespoons green curry paste and fry for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add 300 ml (½ pint) reduced-fat coconut milk and 150 ml (¼ pint) chicken stock, the fish sauce, palm sugar, chopped coriander stalks and chicken, omitting the lemon grass and galangal or fresh root ginger. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through, adding the bamboo shoots 4 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Serve with the chopped coriander leaves and steamed Thai rice.