Chicken stew with herbs – a ‘must-try’ dish for tourists

You surely know about Vietnamese beef noodle soup, which the soup base is so decent that makes this soup unforgettable and distinguishable.
May 27, 2019 | 11:28

Vietnamese chicken stew or “Gà tần thuốc bắc” in Vietnamese, is known for its medicinal properties. It's the cultural equivalent of chicken noodle soup when you feel sick. In addition to its purported healing properties, it has a reputation of enhancing lactation for breast-feeding mothers.

Chicken stew with herbs – a ‘must-try’ dish for tourists

Vietnamese instant noodle with chicken stew with herbs.

The instant noodle with chicken stew with herbs is one of Hanoi’s most attractive dishes. Why is this stew special ? Because the chicken is cooked with a variety of herbs. Apart from being delicious, this dish is also healthy and fulfilling. Consumers have two choices: the ‘regular’ chicken or a miniature chicken named a black-bone silky. The chickens are soaked with aromatic medicinal herbs. Next, they are placed over heat, helping the meat soak up all of the flavors while simmering. After that, noodles will be added to the stew.

You may need only chicken wings and drumsticks because these parts of chicken are really delicious for making a stew. The fat from the chicken wings combining with the lean from drumsticks help us balance the bitterness from the herbs’ flavors. You might don’t like this soup first, but you’ll wanna try it again. Mugwort is very bitter for someone who first tries this herb. So, you can use just a little bit of mugwort but never give up on this plant, otherwise, you won’t have the original of this chicken stew.

The soup requires several ingredients called thuốc bắc (traditional Chinese medicinal herbs and roots). It's composed of several kinds of dried mushrooms, gojee berries, ginseng, almonds, dried dates, dried jujube, dried lily bulbs, dried longans and fresh ginger. The addition of dried fruits makes a delicious broth with a complex flavor and natural sweetness.

Chicken stew with herbs – a ‘must-try’ dish for tourists

The soft and sweet chickens will make those who eat them once cannot forget.

Choosing the right chicken also is very important. An old chicken is too tough while a spring chicken may not bring the right flavor. However, when choosing the perfect chicken, the cook will need to marinate it in spices and salt for about half an hour before simmer it with nuts, seeds as well as medicinal herbs.

The instant noodle with chicken stew with herbs includes a bowl of noodles, sprinkled with bean sprouts on top. Then, blackened chicken is piled over the noodles and sprouts, followed by bitter mugwort or “rau ngải cứu” and the trademark black broth./.


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