Chicken sotanghon-Filipino's favorite noodle soup. Comforting, light, and so easy to make. Made of shredded chicken, mung bean glass noodles, and vegetables.
What is Sotanghon?
Sotanghon is the Filipino term for glass noodles made of mung bean starch. While rice noodles are opaque, glass noodles are semi-translucent. Thus, also sometimes called cellophane noodles.
When cooked, glass noodles become chewy and springy in texture. It's bland and has no flavor making it perfect for stir-fries and soups as it can easily absorb the flavors of sauces and other ingredients.
Chicken Sotanghon Soup
One, if not the most popular way we enjoy glass noodles is making it into a soup, particularly with chicken. When the cold rainy season starts, chicken sotanghon would be there to keep us warm and happy.
You will only need a few simple ingredients to make this delicious glass noodle soup-chicken, broth, mung bean glass noodles, and vegetables.
What type of glass noodles
It is important to note that there are different kinds of glass noodles. Some are made of potato starch, sweet potato, and even tapioca.
For chicken sotanghon, you need to use the one that is made of mung beans. Carefully check the back label and make sure it says "mung beans" and nothing else
You can find this in most Asian supermarkets and Filipino stores.
Best part of chicken for sotanghon soup?
Use bone-in, skin-on chicken to make a flavorful soup. In this recipe, I use different parts of chicken like thighs, breasts, wings, and legs.
What vegetables to add?
You can pretty much add any lightly flavored vegetables to this soup but carrots and napa cabbage (my personal favorite) are the signature ingredients of chicken sotanghon.
Here are other vegetables you can add:
- Pak choy
- Green Beans
Secret to a good soup
Use the best chicken broth or best chicken bouillon you can find. And don't skip the fish sauce for that signature Filipino flavor. I swear it makes such a big difference compared to just using salt.
I also love adding Chinese celery, also known as leaf celery instead of "regular" celery for its aromatic leaves. You can find this in most Asian supermarkets.
Why is chicken sotanghon orange?
Just like kare kare, chicken sotanghon is also known for its "orange-ish" color. This is due to the use of annatto seeds. It's a natural food coloring from the plant called achiote tree. This is completely optional. So don't worry if it's not available.
How to Make it
Here are my top tips on how to make the best chicken sotanghon soup you'll ever have:
- Soak the glass noodles in water until soft and plump.
- Saute the onions and garlic to bring out their natural flavor.
- Brown the chicken until no longer pink then season with fish sauce-the secret to a delicious soup. I use the same technique when making tinolang manok.
- Simmer (don't boil) until the chicken is tender enough to shred.
- Shred the chicken and discard the bones - to make it easy for the kids to eat.
- Add the vegetables and cook until just tender then add the noodles. Simmer just until it has absorb the flavor of the soup
- Serve and enjoy!
Chicken sotanghon is filling on its own. But you can definitely add some eggs (hard-boiled or soft-boiled) for extra protein.
Garnish with green onions and toasted garlic just before serving.
Just like any other soup, this is best served warm and freshly cooked.
Glass noodles soak up liquid very well. It is important to pre-soak it before adding it to the soup so it won't absorb too much liquid. Have hot water ready just in case you need to add more liquid to the soup.
Make it healthier
If you're watching your fat intake, remove the skin and trim off excess fat from the meat. You can also double the amount of vegetables if preferred.
Watch the Recipe Video
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Chicken Sotanghon (Glass Noodle Soup)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 small onion (diced)
- 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 450 grams /1 lb chicken thighs (bone-in, see note 1)
- fish sauce (to taste)
- 6 cups chicken broth (see note 2)
- 3 stalks Chinese celery (or regular celery, chopped )
- 1 small carrot (julienned)
- 6 to 8 napa cabbage leaves (chopped)
- 113 grams or 2 bundles mung bean glass noodles (see note 3)
- salt and black pepper (to taste)
- ½ teaspoon annatto powder (optional)
- hot water (add as needed)
Choice of Toppings and Garnish
- boiled eggs (slice)
- toasted garlic (chopped)
- green onions (chopped)
- Soak glass noodles in water until soft. This can take 15 minutes or more so you can make the soup in the meantime to save time. Drain and cut into bite-size lengths.
- Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cook until fragrant and translucent. Add chicken, cook until no longer pink. Season with fish sauce.
- Pour chicken broth. Cover with lid and simmer until tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove scum off the surface. Add hot water as needed.
- Transfer chicken to a plate. Shred with 2 forks. Discard bones.
- Dissolve annatto powder in 1 tablespoon water. Add to the pot and stir. Add carrots, shredded chicken, glass noodles, and the white parts of the napa cabbage. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Taste, season with black pepper and salt as needed.
- Add the remaining napa cabbage. Simmer until soft. Add more hot water as needed. Transfer to serving bowls and top with choice of garnishes. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes and Tips:
- Chicken - you can also use other parts with skin or without skin. The bones and the skin will make the soup more flavorful.
- Chicken broth - use homemade or dissolve 2 pieces chicken bouillon in hot water.
- Glass Noodles - also known as mung bean or glass noodle bean vermicelli. Available in most Asian stores and online.
- Nutrition - toppings, and garnishes not included in the calculation.
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