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Allergy Safe Recipes

Vietnamese-Style Lemongrass Chicken Noodle Soup

Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken Noodle SoupPhoto credit: Chris Gonzaga

By Alisa Fleming

Asian soups are typically off-limits with gluten concerns, but this recipe uses wheat-free tamari and traditional rice noodles as seamless alternatives. The addition of light coconut milk adds depth, but not dairy, to the flavorful broth.

Makes: 4 servings
Free of: gluten and all top allergens (optional soy)

Soup Ingredients

  • 2 (10 to 12-inch) lemongrass stalks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup diced spring onion or green onion, white parts only
  • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 4 cups chicken broth (look for allergen-free brand)
  • 6 oz dried rice noodles
  • 1 14-oz can light coconut milk
  • 2-3 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken
  • 1-2 tbsp wheat-free tamari or coconut aminos (for soy-free)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Thai bird chili or serrano pepper, sliced into thin rings (to add heat; optional)
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt


  • 1 1/3 cups bean sprouts
  • 2 green onions, green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 small carrot or red bell pepper, cut into skinny matchsticks
  • 4 large Thai basil leaves, sliced (or 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves)
  • 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges


  1. Trim both ends of lemongrass stalks, cut in half (for 4 smaller stalks), and remove the hard outer layer. Slice each stalk open vertically, turn flat side down, and “bruise” by pressing down firmly with flat side of a knife or lightly crushing with a meat mallet.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute 3 minutes. Add lemongrass, ginger and sugar and saute 1 minute. Add broth, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes.
  3. While broth is cooking, prepare the rice noodles according the the package directions.
  4. Remove lemongrass and ginger from broth. Stir in coconut milk, cooked chicken, soy sauce or aminos (to taste), lime juice, sliced chili (if using) and salt (to taste). Bring back to a simmer to heat through.
  5. When noodles are done, drain, rinse and divide among 4 bowls. Top each serving with 1/3 cup bean sprouts. Ladle on hot broth. Top with green onions, carrot or bell pepper sticks, and basil or cilantro. Serve with lime wedges; diners can squeeze in juice to taste.

*A Note on Coconut
Coconut is technically a fruit. While most allergists do not consider it a tree nut, if you are nut allergic, ask your doctor if coconut is safe for you.

Alisa Fleming is a contributing editor to Allergic Living magazine and the author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance and Casein Free Living, and founder of

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