Sunday, March 14, 2010

Chicken and Cellophane Noodle Soup

My friends who are mostly Asian, like to poke fun at the fact that I come from a very “English/ Australian” family, the type of family that calls the man in the red suit Father Christmas and not Santa, and who likes afternoon tea with scones and biscuits. They joke around at my inexperience in Asian food and regularly bring me samples of their favourite meals so I can experience food that is very different from what I am accustomed to. They have tried desperately to teach me to use chop sticks (yes, that's me below "learning") and how to correctly pronounce “Pho”; which evidently is not said anything like the way it is spelt, something I found out when I embarrassed myself in front of a room full of Vietnamese people.

One of my friend’s mothers is the most amazing cook, and after trying some of her thit heo kho I was inspired to begin cooking Vietnamese food. Since my friend can’t actually cook herself and her mother is not very well versed in English it has been a very long and ongoing process as I have trying to teach myself (trying being the operative word). While I am a long way off being able to whip up a bowl of steaming Pho, I am able to make a simple chicken and cellophane noodle soup, something that is now one of my “go to” meals when I don’t really know what I feel like for dinner. The cellophane noodles really make the dish, when cooked they are plump and succulent and taste so delicious once they have absorbed the slightly sweet and salty chicken broth they are cooked in. I think meals like this are so fabulous as they are simple and you can add so many interesting flavours by garnishing with different herbs. I would normally put coriander, bean sprouts, shallots and possibly some mint with this, but I unfortunately did not have any mint or coriander, so I just used some freshly picked basil from the garden, and it did the job beautifully.

1 garlic clove thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1.25 litres of fresh or store bought salt reduced chicken stock
1 cup of water
2 boneless chicken breast
50g of cellophane noodles, soaked in cold water for 20- 30 minutes
2 mushrooms thinly sliced
2 handfuls of chopped baby bok choy
1 1/2 tablespoons of fish sauce
2 teaspoons of sugar
2 spring onions sliced on an angle
3 tablespoons of fresh coriander and mint
small handful of bean sprouts
In a pot heat the oil over a medium heat, add the garlic and shallot and cook for about 20 seconds, or just until they become fragrant. 
Add the chicken stock and water and bring to the boil for about 2-3 minutes, turn the heat down to a simmer and add the chicken and cook for 8- 10 minutes or  until just done.  Remove the chicken and set it aside to cool down.
Add the noodles that have been soaking in cold water, the mushrooms, fish sauce and sugar and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes (you might need too cook for a little longer if the noodles are not soft). Then stir through the bok choy.
Shred the chicken into strips. Then divide the noodles among 4 bowls and ladle over the broth. 
Place the shredded chicken on top of the noodles and garnish with the spring onions, coriander and bean sprouts.  

 It is best to serve this straight away otherwise the noodles will absorb the all of the broth.

Now all that is left to do is eat and enjoy!

Miss SS xxx


  1. Well done Miss SS! Chopstick use is something that improves over time. Hubby never used them until he was in his 20s and now is a dab hand. I'm sure you'll be adept in no time! :)

  2. Oh yum, I love cellophane noodles! Great dish :p

    Totally going to follow you, would be great if you could do the same for me :)

  3. It seems I am in the same situation as Mr NQN! I am slowly improving on the chop sticks- it is rice that gets me! Oh well practice makes perfect!

    Brisbane Baker I would love to follow your blog! It is really great, and on top of that you are a fellow Brisbanite! :)