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Asian-Style Chicken Noodle Soup

Spice Sachet
1   2-in. (5-cm) piece fresh gingerroot, thinly sliced
2   whole star anise
1   cinnamon stick
4   whole cloves
Noodles & Soup
4   oz (125 g) uncooked thin rice noodles
1   large onion
1   tsp (5 mL) vegetable oil
8   cups (2 L) chicken stock
2   tbsp (30 mL) fish sauce
1   bunch fresh watercress
3-3 1/2   cups (750-875 mL) shredded rotisserie chicken meat (1 small chicken)
1   can (15 oz or 398 mL) peeled whole straw mushrooms, drained
  1. For spice sachet, cut a 6-in. (15-cm) square of cheesecloth using Professional Shears. Place ginger, star anise, cinnamon stick and cloves in center of cheesecloth. Gather corners to form a sachet and tie with kitchen twine. Set aside.
  2. Prepare noodles according to package directions (see Cook's Tip); set aside. Finely chop onion using Food Chopper. Add oil to (4-qt./3.8-L) Casserole. Heat over medium-high heat 1-3 minutes or until shimmering. Add onion; cook 2-3 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add stock, fish sauce and sachet to Casserole. Bring to a gentle simmer; reduce heat to low and cook 25-30 minutes or until flavors are blended.
  3. Meanwhile, remove and discard watercress stems. Remove sachet from Casserole using Chef's Tongs; discard sachet. Add chicken and mushrooms to soup; simmer an additional 2-3 minutes or until chicken is hot. To serve, rinse noodles under hot running water; drain. Divide noodles and soup among serving bowls. Top with watercress.

Yield: 8 servings (12 1/2 cups/3 L)

Nutrients per serving: U.S. Nutrients per serving (about 1 1/2 cups/375 mL): Calories 200, Total Fat 5 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 45 mg, Carbohydrate 16 g, Protein 23 g, Sodium 760 mg, Fiber 2 g

U.S. Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 starch, 3 low-fat meat (1 carb)

Cook's Tips: Thin rice noodles are also known as rice sticks or rice vermicelli and can be found in the Asian section of larger supermarkets. If no package directions are given, bring 2 qt. (2 L) water to a boil in (4-qt./3.8-L) Casserole. Add noodles and remove from heat. Let stand 2-4 minutes or until softened. Drain in medium Colander.

Fish sauce is commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine. It can be found in Asian specialty markets and in the Asian section of larger supermarkets.

For an authentic presentation, serve this soup with chili sauce and hoisin sauce.