Image for A Family Recipe for the Holidays

Thanks to board member Hlee Vang for sharing her family’s traditional holiday recipe!

“I love the holidays and the ability to share good, healthy, delicious food with my family and friends. I would love to share a traditional family recipe with you. Bon appétit!” – Hlee Vang

Chicken Coconut Curry Soup with Vermicelli Rice Noodles

Serves 6-8


  • 2 whole chickens
  • 3-5 cans of coconut milk
  • 1-2 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 2-3 small chunks of ginger root, minced
  • 2-3 small chunks of galangal root, minced
  • 2-3 Tbsp salt, to taste
  • 1 handful of dried Star Anise
  • 3-4 dozen quail eggs or 2 cans of quail eggs
  • 3-4 cans of bamboo shoots, chopped
  • 3-4 cans of straw mushrooms, chopped
  • 1-2 lemongrass stalks, halved
  • 6-10 packs of vermicelli rice noodles
  • 2-3 bunches of fresh mint, chopped
  • 2-3 bunches of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 6-8 limes, sliced into wedges
  • 1 banana seed, chopped (can be found at local Asian markets)
  • 1 Napa cabbage, chopped
  • Fish sauce, to taste


1. Prepare and rinse chicken. Place chicken in a large stock pot with lemongrass, star anise, salt, minced ginger root, and minced galangal root. Cover with water so that all ingredients are completely submerged. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer to prepare chicken stock. Simmer for several hours.

2. Once chicken is fully cooked and soft, separate it from the broth. Let chicken cool, then separate the meat from the bones.

3. Prepare bamboo shoots and mushrooms by rinsing and chopping them. Add the vegetables to the soup. Reintroduce the chicken meat and bones as desired. Add quail eggs to the soup.

4. Add cans of coconut milk to the soup. Take one cup of cooked broth and dissolve red curry paste into it. Add dissolved curry/broth mixture back into the soup base. Repeat this step to your desired spice level. Let soup simmer to fully incorporate curry and coconut milk for a short period of time, roughly 1-2 minutes, while stirring.

5. In a separate pot, bring water to a boil. Add vermicelli rice noodles to boiled water and cook. Once noodles are ready, remove from pot and rinse in cold water. Prepare single serving sizes of the noodles in a strainer.

6. To prepare herb garnish, rinse and chop mint and cilantro. Rinse and slice the banana seed and Napa cabbage in half. Slice both Napa cabbage and banana seed into small, edible bites suitable for garnish. Slice the limes into small wedges.

7. To prepare a bowl, add 1-2 handfuls of vermicelli rice noodles, ladle on coconut curry soup, and garnish with herbs to taste. Serve warm with lime wedges. Add fish sauce to taste. Enjoy!