Asian-Style Chicken Soup

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Here, chicken, vegetables and rice noodles are cooked in a clear, spice-infused broth. An abundance of bright green garnishes liven up this one-dish meal. The more green you add, the healthier and more flavorful this soup becomes.


  • 8 cups (64 fl. oz./2 l) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) water
  • 1 bunch green onions, plus thinly sliced green onions for
  • 2-inch (5-cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 Tbs. Asian fish sauce
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 6 star anise pods
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 to 1 1/4 lb. (500 to 625 g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 Thai chilies or 1 serrano chili, thinly sliced
  • Bean sprouts, basil sprigs, cilantro sprigs and lime wedges for
  • Hoisin sauce for serving (optional)
  • 4 heads baby bok choy
  • 6 to 7 oz. (185 to 220 g) dried rice stick noodles
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


In a large pot over high heat, combine the broth and water. Cut the green onion bunch in half crosswise and add to the pot; add the ginger, fish sauce and sugar. In a tea ball, combine the star anise and cloves and add to the pot. Bring the broth to a boil. Add the chicken breasts and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a plate. Continue to simmer the broth to develop the flavor, 15 to 30 minutes more.

Place the sliced green onions, chilies, bean sprouts, basil and cilantro sprigs, lime wedges and hoisin sauce on a platter and set on the table.

Slice the bok choy crosswise about 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick. Thinly slice the chicken breasts crosswise. In a large bowl, soak the noodles in very hot water for 3 minutes.

Remove the green onions and ginger from the broth and discard, and remove the tea ball. Season the broth with salt and pepper. Add the bok choy, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Drain the noodles, add them to the broth and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes.

Using tongs, divide the noodles and bok choy among 4 warmed deep bowls. Divide the chicken among the bowls. Ladle the broth over the top. Serve immediately, allowing diners to add the condiments at the table. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Healthy Dish of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2014).

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