Chicken Noodle Soup with Lemongrass

Cover recipe- Fine Cooking,        Chicken Noodle Soup with Lemongrass: April/May 2010

The current issue of Fine Cooking features A Guide to Asian Noodles and Six Inspiring Recipes that Show Them Off.  The cover recipe- Chicken Noodle Soup with Lemongrass– is one of those show-off noodle recipes.  Those pillowy, fresh udon noodles caught my eye, along with the squeezed wedge of lime on the edge of the bowl.  I was intrigued by the photograph, wondering what sort of noodle dish would pair well with lime juice.

The magazine shares, From udon to soba and beyond, Asian noodles make everyday dinners new. Fill your pantry with some of the many options available, and try these easy, inspiring recipes.  I’m in complete agreement with the fact that udon noodles can be the base for really great dinners.  This “soup” recipe is full of all-kinds of of interesting ingredients such as lemongrass, fresh ginger, shiitake mushrooms, basil, chiles, and lime.  Read my notes below to see my take on how it turned out.

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Chicken Noodle Soup with Lemongrass

Yield: Serves 4

Prep Time: 35 min

Cook Time: 25 min

This soup is also a great destination for shredded, leftover roast chicken in place of the chicken breast. Just add it to the soup along with the chiles, basil, lime juice, and soy sauce.


2-1/2 Tbs. canola oil
2 small boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 3/4 lb.), butterflied (cut horizontally almost all the way through and then opened like a book)
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
3 medium shallots (about 4 oz.), peeled and thinly sliced into rings
2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed, outer layers discarded, halved lengthwise, and smashed with the side of a chef’s knife
1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
2 tsp. packed light brown sugar
5-1/2 cups lower-salt chicken broth
3-1/2 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered (1-1/2 cups)
9 oz. fresh udon noodles
1 Thai bird chile (or 1 small serrano pepper), sliced into thin rings
8 large fresh torn basil leaves; plus sprigs for garnish
1 medium lime, half juiced and half cut into wedges
1 Tbs. soy sauce; more to taste
2 medium scallions, trimmed and sliced, for garnish (optional)
1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks, for garnish (optional)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)


1.  Heat 1-1/2 Tbs. of the oil in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Season the chicken with 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper, and cook without disturbing until it’s browned and releases easily from the bottom of the pot, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until the second side is browned and almost firm to the touch (just short of cooked through), 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board to cool.
2.  Add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil and the shallots to the pot. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until the shallots start soften, about 2 minutes. Add the lemongrass, ginger, and brown sugar and cook, stirring, until the ginger and lemongrass sizzle and become fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, and raise the heat to medium high. Bring the broth to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add the mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
3.  Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook the noodles, stirring, until just tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a colander and run under cold water to cool slightly. Drain well.
4.  Use your fingers or the tines of a fork to shred the chicken.  Add the chicken and noodles to the broth and cook until the noodles are completely tender and the chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes.  Discard the lemongrass.  Stir in chiles, torn basil, lime juice and soy sauce; season with more soy to taste.  Divide the noodles among 4 large, deep bowls.  Ladle the soup over the noodles, and garnish with the basil sprigs and scallions, carrot, and cilantro, if using.  Serve with the lime wedges for squeezing.


*I used a serrano pepper (I find the Thai bird chile too hot for my taste).
*Fresh udon noodles can be found in Asian markets, but they should be easily available at your regular grocery store too... wherever the wonton wrappers are found (refrigerated section).
*I used all of the optional garnishes, and I recommend that you do that too.
*Only very skilled chopsticks users will be able to eat this with chopsticks.  The chopsticks shown in the picture above were for aesthetic, photographic value, and then I dragged out my fork to eat the rest.  Yes... a fork.  This "soup" is more like a noodle dish than a soup.  You can sip the broth after you eat up all of the good stuff.  Or use a spoon, cutting up the noodles as you eat.

Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 1/4 of the soup
Calories per serving: 500
Saturated Fat per serving: 2g
Sugar per serving: 4.9g
Sodium per serving: ,span class="sodium">930g
Fiber per serving: 5g
Protein per serving: 35g
Cholesterol per serving: 45mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 59g

Source:  Fine Cooking, April/May 2010

The results:

Everyone in my family loved this.  I was careful not to make it too spicy. This was my first time ever using lemongrass, and I loved the mild lemon flavor that it imparted into the soup. I thought the udon noodles put a great spin on traditional chicken noodle soup.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

Definitely, YES!  It fit the theme perfectly, and showcases a wonderful, unique way to use udon noodles for dinner.

Lori is the founder of She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at

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26 Responses to “Bourbon-Caramel Pumpkin Tart”

  1. 1

    Tieghan — October 7, 2013 @ 5:46 am

    Holy Moly this is such an incredible tart! The bourbon, chocolate and pumpkin combo is so my thing. Plus, it is gorgeous! Perfect for Thanksgiving!

  2. 2

    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie — October 7, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

    It looks so pretty on top of sounding delicious.

  3. 3

    Michelle — October 7, 2013 @ 5:34 pm

    I’m pretty sure I’ll make this in November too!

  4. 4

    Renee @ Awesome on $20 — October 7, 2013 @ 8:37 pm

    I’d leave off the pumpkin seeds, just because they don’t float my boat. Switch that over to toffee bits, and it sounds like heaven. I love boozy desserts.

  5. 5

    Faith — October 9, 2013 @ 5:26 am

    I am so smitten by this isn’t not even funny. Everything about it is calling my name!

  6. 6

    Joanne Eats Well With Others | Bourbon-Caramel Pumpkin Tart — October 10, 2013 @ 4:34 am

    […] find your eyes bugging out of your head at just the thought of such a thing, then head on over to Culinary Covers for my post and the […]

  7. 7

    Heather @ Sugar Dish Me — October 10, 2013 @ 5:56 am

    Caramel recipes that call for butter make me nervous– I have flubbed them up one too many times! BUT. I think you have convinced me and also my sister will love me forever if I make her this. I had no idea you all formed this blog! What a super idea! 5 gold stars and a handful of chocolate chips.

  8. 8

    Abbie @ Needs Salt — October 10, 2013 @ 6:52 am

    Wow, this tart is outstanding! You did such a gorgeous job with this, Joanne! Simply fabulous.

  9. 9

    Dan from Platter Talk — October 10, 2013 @ 7:24 am

    Beautifully done! I’ll have another slice, please!

  10. 10

    Jessie — October 10, 2013 @ 8:22 am

    I will take the WHOLE tart, thanks :)

  11. 11

    Ruthy @ Omeletta — October 10, 2013 @ 10:48 am

    Ahh– so THIS is the pepita topping deliciousness!! I can’t get over how good that sounds. Yes to every pumpkin flavor imaginable this year, I can’t wait to check this issue out.

  12. 12

    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic — October 10, 2013 @ 11:59 am

    My eyes definitely bugged out when I saw this! It looks so good!

  13. 13

    Meg — October 10, 2013 @ 12:29 pm

    This looks absolutely amazing! The cornmeal crust definitely calls to me.

  14. 14

    Veronica — October 10, 2013 @ 4:23 pm

    Wow, what an awesome combo with the cornmeal crust and the bourbon caramel with the pumpkin. To die for!

  15. 15

    Reeni — October 10, 2013 @ 6:54 pm

    I had to come over so I could drool some more! This would be perfect for Thanksgiving! Or this weekend. . .

  16. 16

    Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking — October 10, 2013 @ 7:17 pm

    Oh my goodness this pie looks amazing!!

  17. 17

    Tracey — October 10, 2013 @ 7:58 pm

    It’s such a gorgeous tart and the fact that it combines so many awesome ingredients just makes me want it even more!

  18. 18

    Dawn @ Valley Computer Solutions. — October 10, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

    This looks like the perfect dessert for the fall season. I loved the candied pumpkin seeds.

  19. 19

    Kelster — October 11, 2013 @ 1:36 am

    you’re missing a unit measurement for the cream cheese.

  20. 20

    suzie waclawski — October 11, 2013 @ 9:28 am

    I am not sure how much cream cheese goes into this 4-8oz or just 4oz

    • Joanne Bruno replied: — October 11th, 2013 @ 9:36 am

      So sorry about that!! I updated it – it should read 4 oz.

  21. 21

    Bev Sonmor — October 12, 2013 @ 5:52 pm

    I am so disappointed in my bourbon caramel pumpkin tart. I just finished making it for tomorrow’s thanksgiving dinner, I’m having 8 for dinner and am ashamed to have to serve it. The caramel topping took at least twice as long to come to the right thickness, and the amount was so pitiful, I would need to at least double it to get coverage for the top. I used the 1/3 cup amount for the bottom, and was shocked to see the Pitiful amount left for the topping. I will have to serve it as is. I swirled what was there and it’s pretty awful! This is the first recipe that has not lived up to your reputation; I’ve been receiving your magazine for about 4years and always look forward to making at least one recipe, which always turns out, until now! Sincerely Bev sonmor

    • Joanne Bruno replied: — October 13th, 2013 @ 6:01 pm

      Hi Bev! I’m so sorry you had so much trouble with the caramel!! Just to clarify, we are just a recipe review site and have no affiliation with Fine Cooking at all whatsoever and did not actually have any part in the recipe writing ourselves. That being said, caramel can be tricky to make and I generally fail 9 times out of 10, even with a good recipe. It’s always hard to interpret how thick is the “right thickness” since it does thicken as it cools. In the end, I had about 1 cup of caramel after all the reducing and thickening so maybe aim for that next time?

  22. 22

    Amy B — October 13, 2013 @ 4:34 pm

    thanks so much for reviewing this. That magazine jumped off into my cart as well for the same reason. I was planning on making it for Thanksgiving and am glad to hear that it is as delicious as it looks

  23. 23

    Foodiewife — October 19, 2013 @ 11:20 pm

    I subscribe to the digital version of Fine Cooking, and when I saw this gorgeous tart I decided I wanted to make it. You beat me to it. Great job, and I’m glad to know it’s worth every fat gram. I don’t care. Pumpkin and caramel…be still my heart.

  24. 24

    Stuff I've Gotta Share and You've Gotta See | Recipe Girl — October 22, 2013 @ 8:14 am

    […] is what’s been happening on my other blog- Culinary Covers- the last 2 weeks! >> Bourbon- Caramel Pumpkin Tart (I’m thinking this is a “Thanksgiving dessert” possibility) Payday Peanut […]

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