Thursday, February 9, 2012
Hanoi Noodle Soup with Chicken, Baby Tatsoi and Bok Choy
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is a wonderful soup for lunch or a light supper. I make it often because it comes together quickly and the ingredients I need to make it are readily available. While I live in a small city, the presence of a university assures there are ethnic markets for Asian, Indian and Hispanic ingredients. As a matter of fact, it's easier to buy those ingredients here, than it was when I lived on the Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel. Today's soup is a cross between Hawaiian Chicken Long Rice and Vietnamese pho, and if you enjoy either of those dishes, you'll love this soup. It starts with a good chicken broth that's given a flavor boost with the addition of aromatic vegetables and herbs. The broth is used to poach chicken and an assortment of Asian vegetables until they are tender but still retain their crunch. The vegetables used here are the leaves and stems of bok choy, or Chinese cabbage, and a vegetable called tatsoi, which is a member of the mustard family that has spinach-like leaves that have some tang. The tatsoi can be omitted if you are unable to find it. While the vegetables steam away, the rice noodles are soaked and briefly cooked. If you are unable to find fresh rice noodles, use the dry version and cook them according to package instructions. The soup is built in layers in bowls that are chock full of noodles and vegetables swimming in broth. This is good stuff and it is guaranteed to warm winter weary souls. You will want to add salt and pepper to the broth before ladling it into bowls, and, if you do not want to pass hot sauce at the table, add it, or pepper flakes, at this point as well. I hope you will try this soup. Not only is it delicious, it is also quite low in calories and I think you'll love the freshness of the vegetables that are used to make it. Here's the recipe.
Hanoi Noodle Soup with Chicken, Baby Tatsoi and Bok Choy...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite adapted from Saveur Magazine
8 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh ginger
6 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
1/2 cup fresh cilantro (leaves), divided use
1/2 cup fresh mint (leaves), divided use
2 bone-in chicken breasts
1-1/2 pounds baby bok choy, chopped crosswise in 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 pound bahn pho (1/2-inch wide Vietnamese rice noodles)
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
4 ounces baby tatsoi (baby)
Optional: Tuong Ot Toi (Vietnamese hot sauce), Sriracha or hot pepper flakes
1) In a medium stockpot, bring chicken stock to a simmer over medium heat. Add ginger, garlic, 1/4 cup each of the cilantro and mint leaves, and chicken. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 20 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook chicken. Remove chicken and allow to cool. Tear each breast into about 6 pieces, discard bones. Strain broth and return to pot over low heat.
2) Meanwhile, soak noodles in hot water until softened, about 5 to 10 minutes. Cook noodles in boiling water until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse well with cold water.
3) Add bok choy to broth and simmer 5 to 10 minutes.
4) Divide noodles among six bowls. Add chicken pieces, scallions, remaining 1/4 cup each mint and cilantro, and tatsoi. Pour hot broth and bok choy over top. Serve with Tuong Ot Toi or Sriracha. Yield: 6 servings.
One year Ago Today: Hot Fudge Sauce
Two Years Ago Today: Stilton and Apple Soup