Monday, 14 February 2011

Recipe: Easy Oriental Soup

Comfort Food with a Kick

If you like noodles, chillies, and using your imagination for quick meals, this Chinese-style chicken soup is for you. I adapted the recipe from a Waitrose Everyday Recipe called hot & sour chicken soup - mine is more like a broth and it reminds me of the traditional Chinese Hot Pot restaurants and the pure, warming flavours of meat and noodles cooked really simply (check out a fab one in Edinburgh).

You'll need a selection of the following (although the chicken, noodles and chilli are fairly essential in my opinion):

Groundnut oil - 1 tbsp
Small Chicken Breast - 1 per person, cut into slices
Red chilli - thinly sliced; I used one, but if you like more heat add more
Ginger - thinly sliced, about an inch
Lemongrass stick - chopped, optional - gives a little Thai flavour
Fish sauce - if going down the Thai route, I sometimes add a few drops
Vegetable stock & water - upto 2 litres; I used 1 litre for two people
2 small Pak Choi or other Chinese leaf / cabbage
Handful of mange tout, or similar
Fresh rice noodles - Asda thin noodles with spring onion are good, 250g pack
Dark soy sauce - 3 tbsp
Rice vinegar - 1 tbsp (I used a dash of red wine vinegar and increased the soy and sesame oil)
Sesame oil - 1 - 2 tbsps
Small can of bean sprouts
Chopped red chilli, fresh coriander and crushed cashew nuts to garnish.

I usually improvise according to the ingredients I've got but here's the gist of the recipe:

1. Heat the groundnut oil in a large pan, add the chicken, chilli, ginger, and sliced lemongrass and stir until chicken is sealed and slightly coloured.

2. Mix the vegetable stock cube with boiling water and add to the pan, bring to the boil then simmer gently until the chicken is cooked through (about 5 minutes).

3. Add the bean sprouts (drained), mangetout, pak choi and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.

4. Mix the soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil together and stir into the pan with the noodles, for a further 2 minutes (or adjust according to packet instructions - remember the vegetables may wilt / overcook).

5. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander, chilli, and cashews and serve.

Yum yum yum! Photo to follow when I next make it!

:-)