Monday, July 12, 2010

Nui Ga - Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

I like to change things up every now and then. I can't eat rice everyday, and yes I do prefer noodles over rice. I love slurping noodles and the warmth of hot broth in my tummy. So at least 2-3 times a week I have to make a pot of some kind of noodle soup. But on those busy days when I don't have time to hover over the stove all day, nui ga is my quick fix.

Nui ga is definitely my ideal comfort food. It always bring me back to my childhood when I use to experiment with my mom's nui ga. I use to put different condiments in my soup to give it a little something more. One day it could be soy sauce, sometimes ketchup, but mostly hoison sauce. Of course my mom did not approve of this behavior but I was just a kid. I don't do it as often now but I do grab the bottle of ketchup if I ever feel nostalgic.


1 Cornish hen
1 sweet onion
2 carrots
pasta of your choice ( I like using rice pasta)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon mushroom seasoning
black pepper
minced green onions
minced cilantro

1. Wash chicken and scrub with plenty of salt.
2. Peel carrots and chop into bite size.
3. Add 4 quarts of water to pot and let it come to a boil and then add the chicken, 1 sweet onion, and chopped carrots, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 tablespoon mushroom seasoning.
4. Let chicken cook in pot.  Remove scum when necessary.
5. Once chicken is cooked, a Cornish hen will take about 30-45 minutes, remove and let cool down. 
6. Once chicken has cooled, remove from broth and shred chicken.  I usually throw the bones back into the broth and turn the heat to low.
7.  Make final adjustment with more salt and sugar if needed. 
8.  Boil the pasta to al dente.  Drain and rinse with cold water. 
9.  If you are serving a lot of people as once, you can throw the pasta into the broth.  Let it come to a boil and then transfer to serving bowl.  Top off with cilantro/green onions and black pepper.
10.  If you are eating individual bowls, I would transfer to smaller pot to heat of individual bowl. 


henno said...

Yum, that looks great Thuy!

Anonymous said...

where did you have this in Vietnam? I dont think there is such a thing as nui ga in Vietnam.

phamkat said...

I'm Vietnamese, but born here in the States. I grew up eating this soup, and it is basically our version of chicken noodle soup. Except instead of a Cornish hen, we used a full sized chicken. And my only variation on this is that I also add chopped onion into the pot as the chicken is being cooked. So simple, yet delicious! Asian comfort food for sure. I bet this dish is not sold on the streets of Vietnam, but definitely all my aunts, friends' moms know nui ga.

Thuy said...

I don't remember nui ga on the streets of Vietnam either but it's what I and many of my Vietnamese friends grew up eating. I do throw in a whole onion in the pot if I have some laying around. Chicken noodle soup is like the universal comfort food, i'm sure every culture has their own version of it :)

Anonymous said...

Thuy! You're my hero! My mom would make this soup for my siblings and I when we were younger and I can't wait to make it for myself now that I live on my own and far far away from my family (i live in Chicago and my family is Houston, TX). I have one question... After the chicken is cooked and remove from the pot, do i pour out the water in the pot? Or do i use it as my broth? Please help!!! Thnks Thuys!


Thuy said...


After you cook the chicken in a pot of water, the water becomes a broth. From there you just want to enhance the broth with other ingredients such as ginger, salt, sugar, and fish sauce. Hope that helps :)

Anonymous said...

I loved the nui I ate in Cu Chi at a small street cart when I went to visit my mother's aunt in Vietnam last summer. So fresh and simple, but very tasty! Thanks for sharing! :)

Anonymous said...

yum, this looks great! One long will the chicken cook for?

Thuy said...

You cook the chicken until it's cooked all the way and that will depend on the size of your chicken. You can always cut your chicken down the center and make sure it's not bloody and the meat is firm. If it's not ready, throw it back in the pot.

Becca Julia Barrett said...

Can I use just chicken breast to make this?

Thuy said...


I prefer bone-in chicken to make the broth. Chicken breast alone will not make a sufficient brogh for the soup.

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