Recipes Soups Poultry and Meat Soups Indonesian Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup
Indonesian Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup

Indonesian Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup

Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 6
Shallots, which are covered with a golden brown or purplish skin, grow in a similar way to garlic, with a number of small bulbs clustered together at the root end. Milder than onions, shallots are used throughout Southeast Asia as an aromatic base for dishes, and are thinly sliced and fried for garnishing soups, fried rice and noodles.


  • 8 cups water
  • 1 Tbs. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1/2 lb. bone-in chicken breasts, skin removed
  • 1/2 lb. bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
  • 3/4 lb. rice vermicelli
  • 2 green jalapeño chilies
  • 7 shallots
  • 2 fresh ginger slices, peeled
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 5 blanched almonds
  • 2 Tbs. chopped lemongrass
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 5 Tbs. canola oil
  • 2 Tbs. fish sauce
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 hard-cooked eggs
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 green onions, sliced on the diagonal


In a saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the 1 Tbs. salt and the chicken and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, until the chicken is opaque throughout when tested with a knife, about 30 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a plate and let cool. Reserve the broth.

Meanwhile, soak the vermicelli in water to cover for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Seed and chop 1 of the chilies. Chop 4 of the shallots and the ginger slices. In a mortar, combine the chopped chili, chopped shallots, ginger, garlic, almonds, lemongrass, turmeric and coriander and grind together until a paste forms. Add 1 to 2 Tbs. water if needed to facilitate grinding. Set the chili paste aside.

Thinly slice the remaining 3 shallots. In a small fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 3 Tbs. of the oil. Add the shallots and sauté until crisp and dark brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the remaining 2 Tbs. oil. Add the chili paste and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Pour the reserved broth through a fine-mesh sieve into the saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Stir in the fish sauce and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Shred the chicken into thin pieces, discarding the bones. Halve the remaining chili lengthwise, remove the seeds and thinly slice on the diagonal. Quarter the hard-cooked eggs lengthwise.

Bring a large saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Add the drained noodles and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and divide among warmed individual bowls.

Divide the shredded chicken, bean sprouts, cilantro, green onions and sliced chili evenly among the bowls. Ladle the hot broth over the top and garnish with the eggs and fried shallots. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Asian, by Farina Wong Kingsley (Simon & Schuster, 2003).