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Vietnamese Chicken Vermicelli Noodle Soup (Bun Ga)

This Vietnamese Chicken Vermicelli Noodle Soup (Bun Ga) is light yet comforting and delicious. It is a perfect noodle soup for all year round, whether it's summer or winter.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Breakfast, Main Dish, Noodle and Soup
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: bun ga, chicken vermicelli noodle soup
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 358kcal
Author: Sophie

Ingredients

  • 2.75 lbs chicken parts (backs and necks) (or use a whole chicken)
  • 2 lbs bone-in chicken thighs or breasts, or mix of both (omit this if you use a whole chicken)
  • 10 1/2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 thumb-sized pieces of ginger, peeled
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2-3 large shallots, peeled
  • 2 black cardamom pods, slightly crushed open
  • 4 star anises
  • 1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • rice vermicelli noodles
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, very thinly sliced
  • scallions, thinly sliced
  • Cilantro, roughly chopped
  • black pepper

For parboiling the chicken parts

  • boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons white wine

Instructions

  • In a pot over high heat with boiling water, add chicken backs and necks, 1 teaspoon of salt and white wine. Parboil for 2-3 minutes, and then rinse the chicken parts under water. Set aside.
  • Prepare all aromatics (ginger, garlic and shallots). Put all the spices (black cardamom pods, star anises and coriander seeds) in a spice pouch.
    Spices for Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup
  • In a clean pot, add chicken parts, chicken thighs and/or breasts and 10 1/2 cups of water. Bring it to a boil, skim off any foam or impurities. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add 2 teaspoons of salt, ginger, garlic, shallots and the spice pouch to the pot. Partially cover the pot and leave it to simmer very gently.
  • After about 15 minutes, when the chicken thighs are fully cooked, transfer them to an ice bath. Amount of time may differ if you use chicken breasts. Continue to simmer the broth for another 25-30 minutes.
  • While the broth is still simmering, prepare vermicelli noodles according to package instructions and garnishing herbs (kaffir lime leaves, scallions, cilantro). Also shred the chicken meat. Add noodles, chicken meat, herbs and black pepper to serving bowls.
  • After 25-30 minutes, add 3 tablespoons of fish sauce to the broth (more or less to taste). Bring the broth back to a boil, and then ladle broth into serving bowls. Serve immediately.

Notes

If the broth has more fat than you want, skim off some of the fat before adding broth to serving bowls. Don't remove all of the fat since that's where the flavor is.
You can poach some egg yolks and serve with the noodle soups. A lot of people in Vietnam like to eat noodle soups with poached eggs.

Nutrition

Calories: 358kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 112mg | Sodium: 2943mg | Potassium: 416mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 210IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 2mg