Bamboo is one of my top favourite ingredients in a soup. Bamboo comes in a few forms, I like to look for young bamboo that’s yellow. With this ingredient, we’re making bún măng gà, which is a Vietnamese noodle soup with chicken and bamboo. This dish is classically made with Duck instead of Chicken, but because Chicken is much more affordable, I love using it over Duck anyday. In my opinion, this is one of the simplest yet most complex tasting Vietnamese dishes.
If you order bún măng vịt at a Vietnamese restaurant, it would be served as a fragrant duck noodle soup (with no duck pieces!), along with a plate of duck served on top of shredded cabbage. Read along for the full ingredient list, and trust me, it’s fairly effortless for a load of flavour!
Here’s a few tips for that perfect bowl of Bún Măng Gà
- Bamboo differs! If you look for the yellow bamboo at the grocers, there are some packages with young or older bamboo – I would select the younger one, as it’s a nicer bite, and sometimes find the older one to be tougher. There’s also white bamboo, which is used for sour fish soups!
- The goal is a clear broth. Make sure to attentively skim any scum, as skipping this would change the taste of the soup.
- Do not skip the dipping sauce! It’s similar to the beloved Fish Sauce dip, but just more concentrated, with a hit of grated ginger, which goes so well with chicken.
Recipe: Bún Măng Gà (Vietnamese Chicken & Bamboo Noodle Soup)
Bún Măng Gà (Vietnamese Chicken & Bamboo Noodle Soup)
- 454 g bamboo shoots see Note 1
- 2 tbsp neutral oil
- 1 shallot
- 1½ tbsp garlic minced
- ¼ tsp granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp chicken powder Knorr is my preference
- 4 chicken legs thigh and drumstick attached, with skin on
- 1 lb chicken carcass
- 4½ L water
- 140 g ginger unpeeled, sliced into 1-inch chunks
- 100 grams rock sugar
- 3 tbsp chicken powder Knorr is my preference
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- ¼ cup fish sauce
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 inch ginger
- 1½ tbsp garlic
- ½ lime or 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 thai chili pepper to taste
- 454 g vermicelli rice noodles
- cilantro chopped
- 2 stalks green onions thinly sliced vertically
- white cabbage shredded
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- Add oil to the pan and saute garlic & shallot until fragrant.2 tbsp neutral oil, 1 shallot, 1½ tbsp garlic
- Add bamboo shoots. After 3 minutes, lower the heat and add sugar, salt and chicken powder. Set aside.454 g bamboo shoots, ¼ tsp granulated sugar, ¼ tsp salt, 1 tbsp chicken powder
- Prep the chicken legs and carcass by rubbing clean with salt on all sides, then rinse chicken and pat dry.4 chicken legs, 1 lb chicken carcass
- To a large pot, bring 4.5 litres of water to a boil. Once boiled, add chicken and ginger. Simmer for 25 minutes on medium, and skim off any foam. (see Note 2)4 chicken legs, 1 lb chicken carcass, 4½ L water, 140 g ginger
- Remove chicken from the stock and set aside to cool. Discard ginger.
- Add soup seasoning to pot: chicken powder, rock sugar, and fish sauce. Add shallot & bamboo mix to the pot. Continue to simmer on medium heat for 30 minutes.454 g bamboo shoots, 100 grams rock sugar, 3 tbsp chicken powder, 2 tbsp fish sauce, 1 shallot
Dipping Sauce (see Note 3)
- Add garlic and ginger to mortar and pestle, pound until a rough paste is created.1 inch ginger, 1½ tbsp garlic
- In a pan, heat up water and mix in sugar. Turn off heat.⅓ cup water
- Add fish sauce, garlic & ginger mix, remaining water and lime (or rice vinegar). Add chili to taste (optional).¼ cup fish sauce, 1 inch ginger, 1½ tbsp garlic, ½ lime, 1 thai chili pepper
- To serve, add noodles, soup and bamboo to bowl. Garnish with cilantro, onion, lime and green onion.cilantro, 2 stalks green onions, white cabbage
- In a side bowl, arrange portioned chicken legs on top of cabbage. Ladle sauce over, or dip chicken directly in sauce.white cabbage, 4 chicken legs
- Note 1: Bamboo differs! If you look for the yellow bamboo at the grocers, there are some packages with young or older bamboo – I would select the younger one, as it’s a nicer bite, and sometimes find the older one to be tougher. There’s also white bamboo, which is used for sour fish soups!
- Note 2: The goal is a clear broth. Make sure to attentively skim any scum, as skipping this would change the taste of the soup.
- Note 3: Do not skip the dipping sauce! It’s similar to the beloved Fish Sauce dip, but just more concentrated, with a hit of grated ginger, which goes so well with chicken.