Chicken Soup Recipe: This popular Burmese dish features noodles doused in a mild curry sauce with a
consistency that’s somewhere between soup and gravy. Topped with different
accompaniments of contrasting textures and flavors, it’s a one-dish meal that’s
perfect for everyday eating and when entertaining guests.
Time: 1½ hours (1 hour active)
Makes: 6 to 8 servings
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, chopped (1 tablespoon)
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (2 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 pounds boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped (2 cups)
2 teaspoons ground paprika
Three 13½-ounce cans coconut milk (5 cups)
7 cups chicken stock
½ cup garbanzo bean flour whisked into ½ cup warm water to
make a smooth, runny paste
2 pounds fresh or 1 pound dried thin Chinese egg noodles
(like chow mein noodles)
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices
4 tablespoons ground dried red chilies, pan-roasted until dark
1 large sweet onion, halved, cut into thin crescents, and soaked in
2 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
1 cup cilantro sprigs
3 limes, quartered Fish sauce
In a medium bowl, combine the fish sauce, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and
turmeric. Add the chicken and mix well with your hands (use gloves to prevent
your nails from being stained ochre by the turmeric). Set aside.
In a medium heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over mediumhigh heat until it becomes runny and starts to shimmer. Stir in the onions and cook until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the paprika and mix until the
onions are well coated.
Tumble in the chicken and raise the heat to medium-high. Stir and cook until
the chicken is no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk and stock
and bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from
curdling. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer gently for 20
minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Stir in the garbanzo bean flour paste and return to a boil. Simmer over
medium-low heat until the sauce is thick like heavy cream, 5 to 10 minutes.
Adjust the consistency with more stock for a thinner gravy or more garbanzo
bean flour for a thicker gravy. Taste and add more fish or soy sauce if necessary.
Reduce the heat to very low and keep warm until ready to serve.
Just before serving, cook the noodles in a large pot of water according to
package directions. Tip into a colander over the sink and rinse under cold
running water. Drain and place in a bowl. Toss in a little oil to prevent sticking.
Divide the noodles among individual bowls and ladle about 1½ cups sauce
over them. Garnish with eggs, chilies, onions, cilantro, limes, and fish sauce as