This Asian inspired Chicken Vermicelli Soup is so flavorful and filling. This soup is my Fall and Winter comfort food, never failed to keep my warm and satisfied on cold rainy and snow days.
What could be more comforting in a cold weather than a bowl of homemade soup? This Chicken Vermicelli Soup is so flavorful and packed with flavor, quite filling and absolutely delicious.
In the Philippines, we call this soup “Sotanghon Soup”. Sotaghon is a type of noodles similar to Vermicelli Noodles. It is thin, almost like glass noodles and are quite famous for use in soup or as dry noodles like ‘Pancit’. In terms of texture, Vermicelli noodles is softer and faster to cook but both are quite delicious in each own way. This recipe is quite simple to make, so you will have a nice filling chicken soup in less than 1 hour. There is one ingredient here that is probably new to you if you are not used to Asian cooking. The ingredient is the Annatto powder, which gives the broth the vibrant yellow color. You can buy this in the spice section of the grocery, or sometimes in the international section or in Asian stores. The trademark of this soup is the vibrant yellow color and so for more authentic experience, I recommend that you use the Annatto powder. If you can find the ‘Achiote’ seeds, that would even be better. I find that the Annatto powder is easier to find than the ‘Achiote’ seeds so this is what I used. If what you have it ‘Aciote’ seed, simply submerge a tablespoon of it in hot water or cook it in hot oil to extract the color and flavor.
What is Vermicelli Noodles?
Vermicelli is a traditional type of pasta round in section similar to spaghetti, but thinner in diameter. The term vermicelli is also used to describe various types of thin noodles from Asia. In Vietnam vermicelli is the same as angel hair pasta or capellini. (Source: wikipedia)
Because of the cold weather, I immediately felt like having a soup, really hot soup for lunch. I had been thinking of making a Chicken Vermicelli Noodles Soup for quite a while now, and I think today is the day. I have a lot of soup in my blog and I have so many favorite soup, but soup that reminds me of home are the one close to my heart and special to me. This Sotanghon Soup, Chicken Noodle Soup (Mami), Chicken Macaroni Soup (Sopas), Chicken Porridge (Arozcaldo) are among my favorite soup in the Philippines.
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 clove Garlic – minced
- 1 small Yellow Onion – thinly sliced
- 1 Small Chicken Breast
- 1 tablespoon Chicken Powder
- 1 teaspoon Annatto Powder – available in Asian stores or in the international section of grocery or spices section
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt (add gradually)
- 1/4 Black Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Red Chili Flakes
- 2 tablespoon Green Onion
- 3 cups Chicken Broth
- 50 – 75g Vermicelli Noodles
- Cilantro – add as much or less as you prefer
- Annatto Powder: Can be substituted with turmeric powder, Saffron (although this is quite expensive) or a mix of paprika and turmeric powder, or chili oil just be mindful of the amount as it could get spicy.
- Fresh Chicken: Substitute with rotisserie chicken
- Chicken Broth: Substitute with vegetable broth (homemade or store-bought)
- Chicken Powder: Substitute with chicken bouillon cubes
Can I Make this without Annato Powder?
Yes, you can still make this without annato powder. Annato powder is more for giving the soup color but it doesn’t impact much of the taste. In the video, I made this without annato powder. I only added drizzle of chili oil when serving it.
What is Annatto Powder?
In the Philippines, we usually use the ‘Achiote’ seeds to make this recipe. The way we use it is we either submerge it in hot water or hot oil to extract the red color of the seed. Now a days, the Annatto powder is the more convenient substitute for the ‘Achiote’. Annatto is an orange-red condiment and food coloring derived from the seeds of the achiote tree native to tropical regions from Mexico to Brazil. It is often used to impart a yellow or orange color to foods, but sometimes also for its flavor and aroma. Its scent is described as “slightly peppery with a hint of nutmeg” and flavor as “slightly nutty, sweet and peppery”. (Source: wikipedia)
How Much Vermicelli Noodles to Use?
You can vary the amount of noodles that you. I usually make this a serving for 2 – 3 and I use about 50 – 75g of noodles. You can use less if you want to have more broth. If you decide to add more noodles, you might need to add more broth otherwise you will get less broth in your soup. Vermicelli noodles tends top soak up the broth as you leave it longer. I always buy the single serving bundle of vermicelli so that I can easily control the amount depending on what I feel like. This is how a 50g looks like.
- Submerge Vermecelli Noodles in a bowl of water. Let sit while you make the soup.
- In a separate pan, simmer chicken breast until chicken is cook through. Remove from the pan, and shred the chicken or cut into small pieces. You can use your fingers to do it, or use a thong and a fork to shred the chicken. Set aside (including the broth).
- Alternatively, if you have leftover rotisserie chicken, you can also use that for this recipe. Skip step 2.
- You can also cook the chicken along with the soup. Simply cut the fresh chicken into bite size pieces and cook with the rest of spices in step 3.
- In a heated pan, add oil, garlic and onion. Saute until onion is no longer translucent. Add shredded cooked chicken, annatto powder, salt, black pepper, red chili flakes, green onion and chicken powder. Cook for 1-2 minutes then pour in the broth then add the vermicelli noodles. Bring to simmer, taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
- For the broth, if you cooked the fresh chicken separately, use the broth from that
- Serve and garnish top with cilantro, green onion and a sprinkle of red chili flakes or chili oil.
Serves 2 – 3
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It’s SOUP time!
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Hearty soup…perfect for winters!!
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Yes, so comforting 🙂
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Looks delicious and great on a cold day.
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How much vermicelli is used? I don’t see it in the recipe. Thanks!
How much of the vermicelli and what would be a substitute for them?
I updated the recipe post. About 50 – 75grams. You can use more or less of that, but if you use more, you might need to add more broth and spices so it doesn’t taste waterdown. I’ve never made this with other noodles, but some who cannot find vermicelli make this using pasta noodles, look for any thin noodles.
I would really like to make this, but the recipe doesn’t say how much Vermicelli to add? Vermicelli isn’t listed in the ingredients.
The ingredients don’t list cilantro. How much do I use?
Step 3. In a heated pan, add oil, garlic and onion. Saute until onion is no longer translucent. Add shredded chicken, annatto powder, salt, black pepper, red chili flakes, cilantro and chicken powder. Cook for 1-2 minutes then pour in the broth then add the vermicelli noodles. Bring to simmer, taste and adjust seasoning as desire
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For the cilantro, you can add as much or less as you like. For me, I would use about handful, about 1/4 cup because I love Cilantro. Some people do not like it so they totally skip it.