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There’s no better way to describe this poached chicken dish than wellness in a bowl. The delicate and delicious noodle bowl is a shining example of how to make and use poached chicken like a pro. Gently poaching chicken breasts in a liquid thats lightly flavored with aromatics, such as ginger and lemongrass, leads to wonderfully succulent, tender meat with a lovely level of flavoring. In this wholesome dish, we also use the poaching liquid both to cook the noodles and create the light coconut broth. The key to successful poaching is temperature control; once you’ve added your chicken to the pot, you want to keep your poaching liquid from ever reaching a boil. In fact, you should aim to keep the water at a state of releasing wispy spouts of steam from the surface, but never bubbling, throughout the entirety of the cooking process. (It’s not nearly as intense/difficult as it seems.) You should also try to purchase chicken breasts that are roughly the same size so that they cook at the same rate.

Recipe by Well Done


Credit: Kelsey Hansen; Prop Styling: Kashara Johnson; Food Styling: Adam Hickman and Briana Riddock

Recipe Summary

30 mins
1 hr 20 mins
Serves 4 (serving size: 2/3 cup liquid, 2/3 cup noodles, 1/2 cup cabbage, about 1/2 cup chicken)


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Remove leaves from cilantro bunch, and set leaves aside for garnish (about 1/4 cup). Combine stock, water, garlic cloves, ginger, lemongrass, and remaining cilantro stems in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Bring to a boil, and let simmer to infuse flavors, 10 minutes.

  • Add chicken to pan; reduce heat to medium-low, and keep cooking liquid between 160°F and 180°F. Cook chicken until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 160°F, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove chicken from cooking liquid, and let cool 15 minutes. Shred chicken. Pour cooking liquid through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl; discard solids.

  • Return cooking liquid to saucepan over high; bring to a boil. Prepare rice noodles in cooking liquid according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water; drain. 

  • Toss together cabbage, 1 teaspoon of the lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt in a large bowl until combined. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.

  • Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add curry paste; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in coconut milk and reserved cooking liquid, stirring well to combine; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer until reduced to 2 1/2 cups, about 2 minutes. Stir in remaining 5 teaspoons lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and 3/4 teaspoon salt.

  • Arrange noodles and chicken in each of 4 shallow bowls. Ladle broth over each serving; top with cabbage mixture. Serve with lime wedges, and sprinkle with cilantro leaves.