Mrs Sam is feeling a little poorly, so Mr Sam made everyone’s favourite get well food – Chicken Soup, only Vietnamese in style.
I have tried to make this soup with as little fuss as possible. It may take a while, but most of that time is just letting the broth simmer away while you relax.
If you want the broth to come out clear, then after the chicken parts have had their initial 5 minute boil, tip out the water, wash the chicken and pot then fill up with new water and boil again – this removes most of the impurities. I personally think it is enough just to skim off the scum on top of the water.
This soup takes almost 2 hours to make, so from scratch it is not exactly a whip up after work dinner. However almost all that time is in making the broth, which you can do ahead. Make the broth when you have time on the weekend, then during the week reheat and add the breast (which you could poach on the day), sprouts, noodles, coriander and lemon juice.
- 1 Organic free range chicken
- 3 medium red onions
- 1 nob of fresh ginger
- 2 tbsp fennel seeds
- 2 whole star anise
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 bunch of coriander
- 1 packet of bean thread vermicelli noodles
- 1 cup fresh mung bean sprouts
- 1/2 lime or lemon
- Fill a large stockpot with water, and place on a high heat to boil.
- Switch your oven onto grill, throw the onions and ginger onto a tray, and place under the grill.
- Turn the onions and ginger every now and then, grilling for 15 minutes, until the skin blackens. This will caramalise and sweeten the flesh.
- With a meat cleaver, or similar large sharp knife, cut the chicken breasts off your chicken and set aside.
- Roughly hack the rest of the carcass up into chunks, trying to break as many bones as possible, as it is the marrow in the bones that give most of the flavor. Discard any large sections of skin, such as what covered the breasts.
- Once the stockpot is boiling, through the chicken meat except the breasts in. After about 5 minutes of boiling, skim the scum off the top of the water.
- Add the spices to the water – fennel seeds, star anise, coriander seeds, sugar, fish sauce, oyster sauce and the stems of the coriander (leaving the leaves to add in at the end).
- Take the onions and ginger out of the oven, skin and toss into the water.
- Turn the heat down low, and slowly simmer the broth.
- Place the chicken breasts in the broth. Cook the chicken breasts for 15 minutes, then remove and cool to the side. Once cool, shred the breasts into large chunks.
- Continue to simmer the broth for 1 to 1.5 hours, reducing and flavouring it.
- Check the seasoning, add more sugar or fish sauce if required.
- Pour the broth through a sieve to strain into a bowl. Add the noodles to the bowl and allow to stand for a couple of minutes as the noodles soften.
- Add in the shredded chicken, coriander leaves and bean sprouts and squeeze over the lemon.
Grill the onions and ginger until the skin has blackened.
Remove the chicken breasts and set aside. Hack the rest of the carcass into chunks.
Boil the carcass for 5 minutes, skim of the sum then add the spices.
Add the skinned onions, ginger and chicken breats to the broth and simmer for 15minutes. Then take the breasts out and simmer the rest for at least an hour.
Strain the broth and combine with the breasts, coriander leaves, noodles, been sprouts and lemon.