Friends, this Chicken and Rice Soup with Chillies is ugly. I am just going to say it. It is. It doesn't photograph well - trust me I have tried. One day I will have the skills to make this look beautiful, but sadly I am not there yet and the only reason that worries me is because I fear you'll look at it and say "hard pass". But don't ok? If like me you love spicy food, food that nourishes and is light, but so satisfying then this soup is right up your alley.
This Chicken and Rice Soup with Chillies is the Cambodian version of a classic chicken soup. I am not going to pretend to have learnt this recipe from my Cambodian grandmother (I don't have one). It is adapted from a book named Chillies which I have borrowed from the library an absurd number of times. I have made some adaptations to make the flavours bolder and brighter, but should you want a more mellow soup halve the ginger and omit the green chillies from the broth base. Then either don't add the green chillies at the end or keep them whole so that the soup retains its fragrance, but not it's bite.
If you want to make the Chicken and Rice Soup with Chillies even healthier you can use brown rice instead of white, simply simmer for longer. Please do note that once you add the chicken and stir it even the bigger chunks will shred. If you are prepping it ahead of time then add the ingredients in the last step when you're ready to eat.
Chicken and Rice Soup with Chillies
- 2 meaty chicken quarters
- 2 stalks lemongrass
- 4-5 inch piece ginger, washed
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp whole black pepper
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 onion (quartered)
- 2 green chillies
- 4-6 dried red chillies
- 2 stalks lemongrass
- ½ cup rice
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- 2-3 minced green chillies
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- 2 scallions, green parts only
- Combine all the broth ingredients and 7 cups water in the Instant Pot on the Soup setting for 30 minutes. If cooking stove top then bring to a boil and simmer for an hour.
- Skim any dark residue off the top and strain the stock
- Shred the chicken when it is cool enough to handle and set aside
- Pour the broth into a pot (or back into your IP)
- Bruise the bottom of the lemongrass stalks to get the flavour going, cut into big chunks
- Add the lemongrass to the pot and bring to a boil
- Now add the rice and simmer till it's done, about 15 minutes
- Mix the salt, pepper and juice of half a lime in the pot, taste, adjust seasoning if needed
- Stir in the shredded chicken, cilantro, chillies and scallions.