October 27, 2009

Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup + Veggie option

This is a recipe that I learned of a few years ago, which I have added to and adapted over the numerous times I have made it. Since observing local Vietnamese cooking their soups, I have incorporated the idea of creating the broth using only the essential ingredients and placing the remaining elements into serving bowls to avoid changing or spoiling the texture.

In terms of the ingredients, these are only my suggestions. The beauty of these soups is that you can pretty much throw anything you want into the mix – for example if you prefer cabbage, swap this for the pak choi, or perhaps throw in some prawns for diversity.

Serves 2

1 large chicken breast, skinless
Shitake mushrooms, small handful
2 spring onions, chopped small along the length
2 pak choi, chopped roughly into long strips
½ red pepper, cut into long, thin strips
Rice noodles, pre-soaked
Ginger, 1 square inch, grated
2-3 chicken Oxo cubes
2 tblsp Fish sauce
1 tblsp Chinese cooking wine

To serve:
1 spring onion, sliced lengthways into thin strips
Coriander, small handful, chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges
Nam Prik
2 large soup bowls

Begin by preparing all the vegetables.

Secondly, place the noodles in a bowl of hot water. It should take around 10-15 minutes for them to become almost cooked. Remove at this stage, and drain under cold water, then divide equally and place in each bowl.

Boil the chicken breast and Oxo cubes (or alternatively just use chicken stock) in a large saucepan using enough water to make two portions of soup. Once cooked through, turn the heat right down and remove the chicken from the pan.

Add the shitake mushrooms, pak choi and ginger to the chicken broth, keeping it on a low heat.

While the vegetables are cooking, cool the chicken by running under cold water and tear into small, thin strips (this is easy to do if you go in the direction of the grain).

Add to the soup bowls along with the pepper and chopped spring onion.

Add the fish sauce and Chinese cooking wine to the broth, stirring well. Pour the broth over the noodles, chicken and vegetables.

Add the spring onions that have been cut into long strips and the coriander on top of soup. Serve with Nam Prik, lime wedges, spoons and chopsticks.

Veggie option

Create the clear broth using vegetable bouillon (stock) and substitute the chicken for tofu.

While I am becoming a little more partial to the tofu stuff, I can’t unfortunately advise you on the best method of cooking. I will just assume as you have been adept in stumbling onto The Nibbling Toad, you will be tempted enough to Google the cooking technique. Here’s what I came across anyway...

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