This Salmon Noodle Soup features a light yet flavorful Vietnamese-style broth and medium-cooked salmon chunks. It is delicious, healthy and ready in just 30 minutes.
I got the idea for this salmon noodle soup from Luke Nguyen’s salmon hotpot recipe in The Food of Vietnam cookbook. I make some changes to make it more suitable for a hassle-free meal as well as make it suit our taste better.
The Food of Vietnam, without any doubts, is my most favorite Vietnamese cookbook and I highly recommend it if you love cooking Vietnamese food at home. Luke Nguyen is a great storyteller, and you will feel as if you were traveling in Vietnam and tasting different regional dishes with him when reading this cookbook. The book includes some well-known Vietnamese recipes as well as other inspiring recipes using Vietnamese ingredients and techniques.
To cook this noodle soup, you will need a salmon fillet, and you can remove the skin if you want since we don’t need the skin. For the broth, use good-quality stock (homemade would be the best). Feel free to use chicken stock, fish stock or vegetable broth.
You will also need the following ingredients to make the broth fragrant and flavorful:
- Lemongrass: bruise them slightly to help releasing the aroma. They freeze very well, so you can buy a bunch, store in the freezer and use it to make Vietnamese grilled pork chops or bun cha.
- Dried shiitake mushrooms: they add depth and earthiness to the broth.
- Star anise and coriander seeds: they add fragrance and a subtle sweet and sour flavor. If you have cooked Vietnamese pho noodle soup at home, you probably have them on hand. Find them at Asian grocery stores or you can also order star anise and coriander seeds from Amazon.
- Ginger: it adds a subtle warm note and also eliminates any overly fishy taste.
- Tomato: it adds umami and acidity to the soup. This ingredient is a must in Vietnamese fish soups, such as in fried fish noodle soup.
My choice of noodle for this recipe is rice vermicelli noodles. You can buy them at Asian grocery stores, and the best brand is the Bamboo Tree (Ba Cay Tre). Three Ladies Brand also makes very good vermicelli noodles.
How to Cook Salmon Noodle Soup
This dish can be quickly put together in 25-30 minutes and all the steps are straightforward. That’s why we love having it as a quick and delicious lunch.
First, add stock and all aromatics to a pot and simmer for about 15 minutes to let all flavors meld together. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package instructions and slice salmon into chunks. Once the broth is ready, add salmon slices and cook to medium. Ladle the broth and salmon chunks over vermicelli noodles in your serving bowls.
I like to keep those salmon chunks around 3/4 inch thick. That way, they will cook quickly in the broth to retain the softness. If they are too thick, the outside will be overcooked and dry while the inside is still undercooked. They don’t need to look identical but the thickness should be about the same.
I’d love to hear what you think about the dish, so please feel free to leave a comment. New recipes are added every week so let’s connect on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates. You can find my collection of Vietnamese recipes here.
30-minute Salmon Noodle Soup
- 3 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock (or fish stock, vegetable broth)
- 2 small or medium tomatoes, cut into wedges (about 1/3 lb)
- 2 lemongrass stalks, just white and light green part, slightly bruised
- 1-inch piece of ginger, lightly peeled
- 1 star anise
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- rice vermicelli noodles (2 servings)
- 2/3 lb salmon fillet
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- scallions, thinly sliced (to serve)
- Cover dried shiitake mushrooms in hot water for 2-3 minutes to rehydrate. After that, remove from the soaking water and rinse.
- Add stock to a pot, together with dried shiitake mushrooms, tomato wedges, lemongrass stalks, ginger, star anise, coriander seeds and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. You can place star anise and coriander seeds in a spice pouch for easy removal later.
- Bring the broth to a boil and then lower heat to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes to let flavors meld together.
- While the broth is simmering, cook noodles according to package instructions. Slice salmon into 3/4-inch thick chunks and season with a pinch of salt.
- Once the broth is ready, add 1 tablespoon of fish sauce (more or less to taste). Bring back to a rolling boil and then add salmon chunks. Aim for medium with light pink in the middle. When the broth starts to boil again, the salmon should be almost ready. You can take a salmon chunk out of the broth to test for doneness. Try not to overcook the salmon.
- Add vermicelli noodles to serving bowls. Ladle broth and salmon chunks over the noodles and garnish with scallion slices. Sprinkle some black pepper on top if desired. Serve immediately.