Hot and refreshing, this soup combines citrus and spices to create a heady delight.
Servings: Serves 4 to 6
Chicken broth:
  • 1 whole chicken (3 to 3 1/2 pounds), rinsed, neck and gizzards removed
  • 1 piece (6 inches) fresh ginger , unpeeled, cut into 1-inch segments
  • 1 onion , unpeeled, cut into quarters
  • 3 carrots , unpeeled, cut into thirds
  • 3 stalks celery , cut in half
  • 1 stalk lemongrass , leaves trimmed and base smashed
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 serrano or bird chili
  • 2 limes , halved
  • 1 bunch cilantro stems (leaves reserved, for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons salt , plus more to taste
  • Reserved cilantro leaves (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 small chilies , thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 limes , cut into small wedges
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
Place chicken in a large pot; cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce to a simmer. Add ginger and cook about 1 hour. Add remaining ingredients except salt; cook 3 more hours.

Remove broth from heat; let cool slightly. Set a fine-meshed strainer over a large bowl; pour broth through strainer and discard all solids except the chicken. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove skin. Using a fork, shred meat (watch out for stray bones). Season to taste with salt and arrange on a platter along with garnishes.

Reheat broth; season to taste with salt (this may take more than 2 tablespoons). To serve, instruct guests to place chicken and a little bit of each garnish in the bottom of their bowls; ladle hot broth on top.

Note: If you can't find kaffir lime leaves at your local market, try


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