Thai Pork and Noodle Soup
Chunks of tender pork, vegetables, and rice noodles are simmered in a rich shiitake mushroom broth that's flavored with lemon grass, cilantro and Thai spices.
Can soup be addicting? Because I can’t seem to get enough of this Thai Pork and Noodle Soup. It’s somehow both substantial and light. The perfect balance of rich, bright, fresh flavor.
The shiitake mushroom broth and chunks of pork give it a rich meatiness that feels substantial and filling.
And yet, you'd have to eat an awful lot of this soup to feel weighed down by it. It's very low in fat and packed with the freshness of lemongrass, cilantro, bok choy, and Thai spices. Topped with sprouts or micro greens, it's a fresh and flavorful meal that's.... well, addicting.
Thai Pork and Noodle Soup
- 2 teaspoon peanut or vegetable oil
- 3 or 4 stalks of fresh lemongrass, thinly sliced (see note below for preparation instructions)
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and minced
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoon + 2 tablespoon fish sauce, divided
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoon Thai Spice Mix, divided
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 8 oz pad Thai rice noodles
- 1 tablespoon green curry paste
- 8 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups bok choy, leaves removed and white stalks cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 cups cooked pork (see note)
- 3-4 fresh limes
- 1-2 cups sprouts or micro greens
- Chili garlic sauce
- Scallions, white part only sliced very thin
- Lime wedges
- Fresh, chopped cilantro
- Heat oil in a large, heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the lemongrass, onion, cilantro, garlic and 3 tablespoon fish sauce. Cook, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon Thai Spice Mix and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute longer.
- Add the beef and vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat, cover and let simmer to blend the flavors for 10 minutes. Strain the broth into a bowl through a fine mesh sieve. Discard the solids and return the broth to the saucepan. (NOTE: The broth can be refrigerated at this point for up to 5 days.)
- Fill another large sauce pan with water, set it over high heat, and bring to a boil. Add the rice noodles and cook until al dente - about 2-3 minutes. Strain and reserve.
- Bring the broth back to a simmer and add 2 teaspoons Thai Spice Mix, 1 tablespoon green curry paste, the mushrooms, and the bok choy. Cook for 5 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the pork. Cook for another 2-4 minutes, until the pork is heated through.
- Add the rice noodles to a large serving dish and pour the soup over the top of them.
- Serve with garnishes, allowing each person to top their soup as they like.
- To prepare a stalk of lemongrass for cooking: Trim all but the bottom 5 inches of a lemongrass stalk. Remove the tough outer sheath. If the stalk is quite tough, you might need to remove a few layers of the outer leaves to get to the tender inner portion. Thinly slice the trimmed and peeled lemon grass on a slight bias.
- Substitute all vegetable broth or all beef broth for the mix of the two, if you prefer.
- To prepare cooked pork: Season 2 large pork chops with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet and brown the chops on both sides. Put the chops in a baking dish and pour in 2 cups of water, broth or apple cider. Cook in a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes. Let cool, remove the meat from the bone, and cut into bite-sized chunks.