My cousin gets the credit for introducing me to what became the inspiration for this soup. She brought the original recipe with her and said we should make this for dinner. When my cousin says “should” what she really means is “will”, but usually I’m game for whatever plans she concocts, so it works out anyway!
The recipe as written turned out great, however, I can’t help myself when I start tackling a new dish to look for ways to streamline, adjust seasonings, etc. The original recipe had one start with a whole chicken and boil it to make the broth, then separate out the meat and bones. I’m no fan of boiled meat, and picking out bones is time consuming, to say the least.
I also changed the kinds of noodles used because I liked the texture better. Some of the ingredients were supposed to be added as toppings as the soup was served, but I wanted to have something that I could make in advance, freeze, then pop into the microwave as-is for busy night dinners. So I fixed it. Yay me!
The soup itself is light enough to be served even during the summer, yet still warming and hearty enough to satisfy in the middle of winter. I switched from adding chicken to whole shrimp, but you could do either. I also really like ginger, so I add quite a bit, however feel free to reduce the amount some, or add more if you want!
Ginger-Lime Noodle Soup Recipe
- 8 cups chicken broth (find low- or no-salt added if using premade, as other ingredients add a lot in this recipe, vegetable broth can also be used)
- 3/4 lb. shallots, thinly sliced (yellow onion can be substituted)
- 1/4 cup peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
- 2 cinnamon sticks (about 3-4 inches each)
- 4 whole star anise
- 6 ounce package of mung bean noodles (also known as glass or cellophane noodles, rice noodles can also be used)
- 1/4 cup fish sauce (find it in the Asian food section, or a specialty market)
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 12 ounces bean sprouts
- 2 1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 1/2 cups sliced green onion
- 1 pound raw shrimp, tail on (frozen is fine)
Put the first five ingredients into a stock pot on the stove, cover, and turn to high heat. Bring just to a boil, then turn down to a low simmer and continue to cook for an hour.
Mung bean noodles often come in very long lengths that are awkward to serve, but don’t break apart easily when they are dry. I like to put the noodles into a bowl and ladle out enough broth to cover them. The hot liquid softens the noodles, and then using clean scissors, I can cut them up into smaller lengths. The noodles and broth are then returned to the pot.
Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and continue to simmer on low just until the shrimp are cooked through and completely pink. The soup can be served immediately, but like most, will improve in flavor if allowed to “age” a day. It can be served hot or cold and freezes well for serving later. The noodles will look odd at first as they thaw, but once they are heated through will return to their original texture.