Friday, October 15, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie: Vietnamese Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup

I think I tried to make too many changes to Dorie's recipe to meet my needs.  The recipe just did not turn-out for me as I had hoped. 

On Tuesday night, my mother & I went to Lee Lee's Oriental Supermarket to shop for some of the ingredients for the chicken noodle soup.  I should've stayed home.  I don't know what it is about the ethnic grocery stores around here, but they are somewhat filthy & stinky.  I recently visited a local Mexican grocery store, which ended-up being a complete waste of time and money because all I could think about as I sat down to eat my food, was how unsanitary the store was where my food came from.  This became somewhat of an issue for me again with the soup.  Even though everything was cooked, my stomach was churning from all the strange sights and smells of Lee Lee's.

Another issue is that I don't eat much meat. I did use a nice organic chicken broth from Trader Joe's and it smelled really good with the spices and coconut milk, but I didn't poach a chicken or put shredded chicken into my soup. I used more noodles, but after making the soup, I wished that I would've replaced the chicken with some veggies ... maybe some carrots, celery, and a couple other veggies that go well with chicken noodle soups.

I ended up using soy sauce instead of fish sauce.  My mom picked out some fish sauce from Lee Lees. An Asian man in the store was laughing at us for buying it ... not very reassuring! My mom shared some with me, but I just couldn't bring myself to use the fish sauce after seeing the floaties and reading the ingredients label.  I also left out anything that might make the soup too spicy for my young children.  Overall, my version was quite bland, but that was probably entirely my fault.

I did like the lime & coconut milk in the soup.  My husband ate two bowls of the soup and my daughter (Peacock) kept telling me that the soup was SOO yummy!  I think my family thought my version of the soup was OK.  If I were to make this again, I'd have to find a way to jazz it up with some veggies and possibly even more lime juice &/or soy sauce.  It was fun to try something different that I wouldn't have normally made for dinner.

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Elle said...

You might try subbing in some hoisin sauce (its not spicy) for some of the fish sauce next time, iys a little less salty than soy and has a bloder flavor (more like a not-sweet terriyaki sauce)and I wouln't beat yourself up about it, you got a little kid to like it! Thats always a success in my book.

Lizzy said...

It really is interesting to see all the different variations of this soup. I think I was the only one who loved it, so I'm happy to eat all the leftovers!

Saffron said...

Well the kids look like they absolutely loved it, so that's A+ in my book!


Frolicking Night Owl said...

Accidently deleted a post from fellow FFWD blogger, Tia @

She says:
it sure looks like it was a hit with the kiddos!

Sis. Boom. said...

I made it near exact to the recipe and loved it. What I found with the fish sauce is that the flavor that it contributes when combined with everything else is NOTHING like what it smells like in the bottle. I was so worried about it but actually ended up adding more when I was adjusting and salting at the end. Dorie is keeping us busy but if you try this again you might just go for broke and see if you like it after its own brand of alchemy takes over.
Trevor Sis Boom.

♥Sugar♥Plum♥Fairy♥ said...

Hey i think urs turned out great the way i left out the spices too , spicy aint equal to bland but delish at our home:-)

We somehow dont fancy spicy soups,lol,so i think urs is extremely fantastic too!!

Happy day!!

♥Sugar♥Plum♥Fairy♥ said...

Hey i think urs turned out great the way i left out the spices too , spicy aint equal to bland but delish at our home:-)

We somehow dont fancy spicy soups,lol,so i think urs is extremely fantastic too!!

Happy day!!

Andrea at Nummy Kitchen said...

Cute pictures of your little ones slurping the soup :) Only one of my three liked it. Sounds like we made similar changes -- leaving out the chicken and adding more noodles. I agree that some veggies would have been great in this. Looks yummy!

Elizabeth said...

becky! first of all, thank you for always leaving me comments, i love getting them! second of all, your photos are beautiful. and third, marina's report on bach was so cute! she probably doesn't remember me, but tell her hi for me anyway.

miss you!! :)

Margie said...

You might be surprised with Fish Sauce. I used it making Pad Thai and it really made the dish. It is a little scary, but worth a shot.

Kudos for your creativity. I wish I were that clever in the kitchen!

and...cute kids!

Shandy said...

I am sorry you were not crazy about the soup. Your children seem to be loving it though =).

Robyn said...

Ditto on the fish sauce, it really does make the dish in these asian soups, and goes really well with lime. If you like tofu, that would go really well in the soup in place of the chicken. You might also want to try a bit of fresh cilantro and some bean sprouts. Those are pretty common in Vietnamese cooking. Love the pics of your kids.


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