VIETNAMESE CHICKEN AND RICE SOUP
TIME: 1 HOUR
YIELD: 4 TO 6 SERVINGS
GF (USING HOMEMADE CHICKEN STOCK, THIS PAGE)
In this pho-like soup, chicken stock is heavily seasoned with ginger, star anise, and cinnamon, and loaded with shredded chicken, soft rice, and plenty of herbs, chiles, and onions for garnish. The combination of flavors is pungent, fresh, and robust, and it has become one of my all-time-favorite chicken soups. The recipe comes from Elizabeth Street Café in Austin, Texas, adapted here to work in the pressure cooker.
Note that the recipe calls for kombu, a type of dried seaweed that’s available at Asian markets and health food stores, which adds an umami richness to the stock. But if you can’t find it, you can leave it out.
8 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade (see this page)
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
2 4 x 4-inch pieces dried kombu (see headnote)
1 4-inch-long piece fresh ginger, peeled, sliced into 4 coins, and smashed with the side of a knife
6 star anise pods
1 4-inch cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
¾ cup sushi or glutinous (sticky) rice
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce, plus more to taste
2 teaspoons palm sugar or light brown sugar
2 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded if desired and thinly sliced
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems, coarsely chopped
½ cup thinly sliced white onion
- In the pressure cooker, combine the stock, chicken, kombu, ginger, star anise, cinnamon stick, cloves, and 2 cups of water. Cover, and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, rinse the rice in a sieve under cold running water until the water runs clear.
- Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes; then release the remaining pressure manually. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a plate. Remove the solids from the stock with a slotted spoon or a small sieve.
- Stir the rice, fish sauce, and palm sugar into the stock. Cook on high pressure for 1 minute.
- Meanwhile, shred the chicken.
- Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes; then release the remaining pressure manually. Return the shredded chicken to the pot.
- Taste, and season the soup with more fish sauce if necessary. Divide the soup among individual bowls. Top with the scallions, jalapeños, cilantro, and onion, and serve.