The Unorthodox Epicure — Chicken & Bamboo Shoot Noodle Soup (Bun Mang Ga)

For the next couple of weeks, the Jimmy Rockford and I are getting a well-deserved separation from one another.  I will instead be celebrating Christmas on Chestnut Lane — and cooking in a real kitchen with real pots and pans — assuming I’m able to complete the to-do list my bride handed me when I pulled into the driveway.

Fortunately, we still have to eat.  And whether or not you’re a fan of Asian-inspired soups, this one is definitely worth a try.

If you celebrate Tet, or can go to your corner market for dried bamboo shoots and duong phen, please take it easy on me. My version of Bun Mang Ga isn’t exactly like the bowl you’ll get at Nguyen Thi Thanh in Ho Chi Minh City. But it is a delicious stick-to-your-ribs Vietnamese-style soup, made from ingredients that you can find at just about any American supermarket.

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Chicken & Bamboo Shoot Noodle Soup (Bun Mang Ga)

Bun Mang GaWeb

Bun Mang Ga — A delicious stick-to-your-ribs Vietnamese-style soup

4.7 from 3 reviews
Chicken & Bamboo Shoot Noodle Soup (Bun Mang Ga)
 
My version of Bung Mang Ga isn't exactly like the bowl you'll get at Nguyen Thi Thanh in Ho Chi Minh City. But it's a delicious stick-to-your-ribs Vietnamese-style soup, made from ingredients that you can find at just about any American supermarket.
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Asian
Ingredients
  • 1 – Chicken (about 3 lbs), cut into 8-9 pieces
  • 8 cups (2 qts) – Chicken stock (or water)
  • 6 – Garlic cloves
  • 1 – Small onion, diced
  • 1 – 1-inch nub, Ginger
  • 1 – Smoked ham hock (optional)
  • 2 TB – Sugar
  • 2 TB – Soy sauce
  • 4 TB – Fish sauce
  • 6-8 – White or crimini mushrooms, halved
  • 1 – 8 oz can, Bamboo shoots, drained
  • 8 – Green onions, sliced into thirds
  • 1-2 – Jalapenos or other medium-hot pepper, sliced
  • 1 bunch – Cilantro, chopped
  • 2 – Limes, quartered
  • 12 oz – Rice noodles, prepared per package instructions
Instructions
  1. In a Dutch oven or stockpot, add chicken, garlic, onion, ginger and ham hock (if using) to chicken stock; Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  2. Simmer for about 25-30 minutes; Remove chicken and set aside; Strain the liquid, discarding the solids.
  3. To the stock, add the sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, mushrooms and bamboo shoots.
  4. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, skimming as necessary.
  5. Add chicken back to stock and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add green onions; turn off heat and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Serve with rice noodles.
  8. Garnish with peppers, cilantro and lime slices.
  9. Season with extra fish sauce if desired.

 

Comments

  1. Janet Anderson says:

    How can a smoked ham hock be optional? It’s a different soup without it!

  2. I’m so glad you get to spend Christmas at home. The soup looks amazing! 🙂

  3. Yay – you’re home for the Holidays. Have a great time Adam. As always, another great recipe. You don’t see bamboo shoots much anymore? Do you agree?

    • adamjholland says:

      Thanks, Lea Ann. Only on the bottom shelf … or when the local Chinese dive runs out of water chestnuts. 😉

  4. I’m loving the jalapeno, lime and ginger – I don’t think I’ve ever had Vietnamese food but this looks fantastic. Get that to-do list done!!

  5. I think I can do this. It sounds good. If I can’t get a ham hock could I possibly…… whispering here…. smoked ham? I have some leftover.
    I have the week after Christmas off. This looks like a good addition to my play in the kitchen list.
    SO glad you are home for the holidays. Have fun. Be blessed.

    • adamjholland says:

      Some smoked ham scraps, for lack of a better word, would work just fine Jill. This is a clear but full tasting soup that is pepped up by the garnish. Merry Christmas to you! 🙂

  6. The soup looks so flavorful! I will have smoked ham leftover after the holiday so I will be making this soup – as soon as I can find bamboo shoots! So glad you are home for a while. Bet that bed is going to feel so good – and taking a shower in a place more than a closet! 🙂 Merry Christmas!

    • adamjholland says:

      Thank you, Kelli. It’s a good soup. As for my bed — the one at the Jimmy Rockford is more comfy because it has one of those memory foam thingies on it. But the shower.. Oh, the shower. While I was away, Catherine had the contractors in our master bedroom and now I have a walk-in travertine shower with a funky shower head that sprays in three different places. (Why couldn’t we do this before we were prepping the house for the real estate market?) Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  7. Wow. i can almost taste this. Have the family coming in after Christmas and I always like to spice things up a bit with a non-traditional meal before we open our late presents! This is in the running, Adam. Happy holidays!

  8. This soup looks and sounds so amazing! It has all of my favorite tastes in one place. Can’t wait to try.

  9. Made this during the holiday season. Ate some before Christmas and just defrosted the leftovers. Even better after sitting for a while.

    I used dehydrated bamboo shoots. I had no idea they had such a distinct, somewhat acidic taste. I’ve always thought they were just an added texture.

    I wish I knew how smelly the re-hydration process was before I did it, but the result was well worth that pain. Also found out later that there is a fresh/not canned alternative, as well. Not sure whether that has to be boiled to deal with the natural toxin, but anything is better than the canned, flavorless stuff.

    • adamjholland says:

      I was going to ask you how that turned out. Glad it was good. I’ve dealt with the dried shoots once — in a cooking class years ago. If I remember correctly, they were already prepared for us but I remember getting a quick 101 on them. You should consider keeping dried lily buds in your pantry. They are mostly used in traditional Chinese cooking but the consistency and light flavor make them excellent for other dishes.

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