Noodle Soup with Amaranth

An Asian-inspired noodle soup, similar to Vietnamese pho.


4 people


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
  • 5 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 star anise
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 3/4 pound fresh Chinese egg noodles
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 pound amaranth, tough stem ends discarded and cut into 4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 Chinese roast duck, about 3/4 pound, cut into thick pieces (optional)


In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil.  Add the shallot and sauté for about 15 seconds until fragrant.  Add the broth, bring to a simmer, and reduce the heat to low.  Add the ginger, star anise, and cinnamon stick, then cover, and simmer for 30 minutes to infuse the broth with the spices.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot filled with water to a boil.  Add the noodles and allow to cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until tender.  Drain and set aside.
Add the fish sauce and salt to the broth and remove and discard the ginger, cinnamon stick and star anise.  Add the amaranth and allow to cook down for about 1 minute.  If using, add the duck pieces and allow to simmer for 2 minute more, to heat through.
Divide the noodles among 4 bowls, and ladle the soup over them.  Serve at once.


Asian Vegetables, Sara Deseran, 2001