Vietnamese Chicken and Glass Noodle Soup – Mien Ga

This Vietnamese chicken and glass noodle soup is guaranteed to comfort and bring a little bit of happiness on any miserable day!

There are times in Canberra that are so cold I believe the only ones roaming outside are the white walkers (Game of Thrones characters that are frozen and weird). On these days, I generally avoid leaving the comfort of my bed, but when my little girl is awake even the laziest of us must eventually get up.  The upside of being cold is that it opens up to a number of winter warmer recipes.

Vietnamese Chicken and Glass Noodle Soup - Mien Ga

Making Chicken Soup from Scratch

My version of this dish uses my chicken stock recipe that forms the base of a lot of my soups. It requires a few more ingredients than most other recipes but I believe it is well worth it. I believe that it is of utmost importance for the stock to be on point in a noodle soup dish. If the soup is lifeless and bland then the whole dish will fall flat on its face no matter how good the other elements are. So, give your stock a little extra love and care, and it will go a long way in developing a fantastic soup.

Garnishes are Important!

If you haven’t noticed by now, I am a sprinkler. I can’t help but garnish all my dishes to kingdom come. The flavour, colour and texture these elements adds to the soup just takes it to a whole other level.

The must have garnish in this particular noodle soup is the deep fried shallots. It available at mainstream and Asian groceries. This bad boy really ties everything together and adds an amazing flavour to the noodle soup. However, I do appreciate that getting these ingredients maybe hard for some. If you can, try not skimp on the garnishes!

Vietnamese Chicken and Glass Noodle Soup - Mien Ga

Optional Dipping Sauce

This chicken and glass noodle soup is a much lighter soup then something like a rich beef pho. Therefore the chicken meat can be slightly on the bland side for people who like punchy flavours. This is purely optional… but my family likes to dip the bits of boiled chicken into a ginger and fish sauce mixture. It gives the dish a bit of kick that I really enjoy.

So if you wanting little burst of flavour, give everyone a small dipping bowl with:

  • 1 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 1 tsp of finely chopped ginger
  • A few drops of lemon juice

My Tips for Success

  • Avoid over cooking the chicken. For this dish, the meat should be firm not falling apart.
  • There will be a fair bit of leftover boiled chicken meat. Keep for the following days in the fridge for meals like pies or sandwiches.
  • Do not over cook the glass noodles! It is OK to have them a little under before serving since they will continue to cook once the boiling soup is poured over them.
  • Don’t cook the black fungus in the soup. It sometimes imparts a weird flavour that ruins the taste of your delicious soup.
  • ALWAYS serve this dish with plenty of fried shallots!!!
Vietnamese Chicken and Glass Noodle Soup - Mien Ga

Other Similar Recipes

My last words on this post is like all my others. Give this recipe a go. It is a dish I serve regularly to my family and have fine tuned over numerous attempts. So I can assure you that it tastes great!

– Scruff

Vietnamese Chicken and Glass Noodle Soup - Mien Ga

Vietnamese Chicken and Glass Noodles Soup – Mien Ga

This delicious chicken soup with glass noodles or mien ga is a Vietnamese dish that is guaranteed to comfort! Mien ga is a perfect recipe for lunch or dinner with the family on any cold and miserable day!

  • 20 gm shredded black fungus / wood ear mushroom ((available at Asian groceries and buy the one that is already shredded))
  • 300 gm glass / cellophane / bean vermicelli noodles

Soup Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (1.8 kg / 4 lb), (cleaned and not frozen)
  • 2.5 L boiling water
  • 2 brown onions, (quatered)
  • 5 garlic cloves, (flattened)
  • 1 large swede / rutabaga, (peeled and chopped into small pieces)
  • 2 carrots, (roughly chopped into small pieces)
  • 30 gm ginger, (sliced)
  • 5 coriander roots ((buy coriander with the roots attached) (Optional) )
  • 3 – 4 tbsp fish sauce, (depending on your taste)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • fresh cracked pepper, (to your taste)


  • 4 tbsp fried shallots ((highly recommended and available at Asian groceries))
  • 2 spring onions, (chopped)
  • 1 bunch coriander, (chopped (optional))
  • 2 fresh chillies, (chopped (optional))
  • 1 lemon, (cut into wedges (optional))
  1. Soak the black fungus in plenty of boiling water.  Leave aside. 

  2. Prepare the vegetables and chicken. (Note 1)

  3. In a stock pot (5 L – 6 L), bring 2.5 L of water to the boil and add the whole chicken breast side down. Allow the chicken to boil vigorously for 5 mins and spoon up all the scum that accumulates on the surface. (Note 2)

  4. Turn down the heat to medium low and add the salt, pepper, sugar and all the vegetables to the stock pot. Continue to simmer on a medium – low heat for 45 minutes. Remove any visible scum build up on the surface of the soup.

  5. After 45 minutes, turn off the heat and leave with the lid on for 10 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the pot and check the chicken is cooked. If not, pop it back into the pot and cook until done. (Note 3)

  6. Strain the soup and press out as much liquid from the vegetables as you can. Afterwards, keep the soup pot on low heat with the lid on. (This stepped can be skipped if serving the vegetables with the soup) 

  7. Drain the shredded black fungus and boil it in plenty of water in a separate small pot for 10 minutes. Then scoop the fungus out and set it aside for assembly.

  8. Add 3 tbsp of fish sauce to the soup and check the seasoning. Adjust according to you taste. If here is too much fat floating on the surface, scoop it out with a spoon. (Note 4)

To Serve

  1. Ensure the soup is brought up to a solid boil.

  2. Prepare the bean vermicelli noodles as per the packaging directions. Place the soften vermicelli noodles into each bowl. (Note 5)

  3. Tear chicken pieces and lay them along with some black fungus on top of the noodles.

  4. Pour the boiling soup over noodles and then sprinkle the garnishes over the top.

  1. Cutting the vegetables into smaller pieces will help the soup extract more flavour.
  2. The chicken does not need to be completely submersed in the water. 
  3. Keep the chicken whole for as long as possible to stop it from drying out. Also, there will be some chicken left over from the meal. Be sure to have a recipe in mind to use up the leftovers.
  4. If you need to stretch the soup out with more boiling water, then I suggest adding chicken bouillon powder and more fish sauce. This will help maintain the flavour of the soup.
  5. I use Pine Brand Vermicelli Noodles which suggests a soak time of 7 + mins. However, not all noodles are the same, so it is best to go with the instructions on the packet.


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