Hawaii’s favorite chicken noodle recipe, chicken long rice soup!

Chicken long rice - Hawaii's chicken noodle soup

Recently, I shared a recipe from my mom’s recipe box for BBQ chicken. Continuing with my culinary exploration of my mom’s collection of recipes, I’m sharing this chicken long rice soup. 

Chicken long rice

Chicken long rice was brought to Hawaii by Chinese immigrants and was adapted by the locals to become the popular dish it is today. It’s now an island favorite that can be found in many local restaurants. 

Bean thread noodles

What is bean thread noodle?

Unlike most chicken noodle soups, chicken long rice is made with bean thread noodles. The noodles are made using mung bean and water and is also called mung bean noodles, cellophane noodles, Chinese vermicelli, or glass noodles. The noodles are also non-fat and gluten-free, so this recipe can be adapted to be gluten-free.

Chicken long rice

Recipe ingredients/variations

Okay, let’s talk about some of the other ingredients. My mom’s recipe uses 4 lbs. of bone-in chicken thighs. Obviously, the soup base will be more flavorful with bone-in chicken, but I used 3 lbs. of boneless chicken thighs because that’s what I normally cook with and have in my freezer. Boneless chicken is also easier to shred using my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. Yes, if you’ve never tried it super easy to do using the flat beater on a low speed. Just make sure you have the pour shield on or you’ll have chicken flying everywhere.

My mom’s recipe also includes a small shredded carrot. It isn’t usually found in most chicken long rice soups, so I left it out when I cooked this batch. However, feel free to add it in if you want. 

Finally, I like green onions and a bit of Chinese parsley (cilantro) as a garnish with the soup. But my kids aren’t Chinese parsley lovers, so I usually just serve with green onions. 

Chicken long rice

Chicken Long Rice - Hawaii's Chicken Noodle Soup

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Chicken soup with bean thread noodles, one of Hawaii's classic chicken soups.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. boneless chicken thighs or 4 lbs. bone-in thighs
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 5 - 6 tsp. Knorr chicken broth powder
  • 1 large onion - thin sliced
  • 8 ounces bean thread noodle/long rice noodles
  • 5-6 shiitake mushrooms - thin sliced
  • green onions
  • Chinese parsley - optional

Instructions

  1. Prep: Place shiitake mushrooms into a bowl of boiling hot water and cover. Let soak while the chicken is cooking (35-minutes). Squeeze water from the mushrooms and slice thin. Set aside. Thinly slice onions. Set aside. Chop green onions. Set aside. 
  2. Add 2 quarts (8 cups) of water with chicken, ginger, and salt into a large pot. Bring to a boil and skim off foam. Lower the heat to simmer and cook for 40 minutes. Remove the chicken and shred. If using bone-in chicken, shred the chicken and discard the bones. Set aside. 
  3. To the pot, add the last quart of water, sliced onions, 5 tsp. chicken broth powder, and mushrooms. Taste broth and if needed, add another teaspoon of chicken broth powder. Turn heat back to medium hight and bring to a boil. Add long rice, cover and lower heat back to simmer. Cook noodles for 5 minutes, turn off the heat, and let stand for 30 minutes. 
  4. The bean noodles are very long, so make sure to cut them with kitchen shears into 4" - 5" lengths. Do this by inserting the scissors into the pot to cut the noodles. Stir and continue cutting until the strands are cut. Stir in shredded chicken to warm through. Sprinkle with green onions and/or Chinese parsley before serving.

Notes

1 tsp. of Knorr chicken powder can be substituted for the 1 T. of salt to season the water when cooking the chicken. A small shredded carrot can also be added to the soup to add color and some vegetables. Serve with soy sauce to add more salt flavor if needed. 

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