This is a go to winning dish in our household. One pot cooking (apart from cooking the noodles) makes it easy. It is quick to prepare and best of all, the Asian flavours keep it fresh tasting and nutritious.
We make a big pot then keep the noodles and green vegetables separate and add then as required when reheating. Great if you have family with different likes as everyone can boil their own pot and add the vegetables that they prefer in.
For the chicken broth base
1 packet of 500g boneless chicken thigh – fat removed and diced into 2cm pieces,
2 inch knob of ginger – peeled and grated on the fine part of your grater
4 cloves of garlic, smashed and pureed finely with the back of your knife,
2 onions – cut into a small dice as possible,
4 kaffir lime leaves (I prefer frozen but dried are fine, just add a little extra)
150 mls soy sauce,
2 litres of chicken stock (Fresh is best! We regularly use supermarket bought chicken stock too)
Thai fish sauce
In a medium heat pan add a touch of olive oil – Coriole’s is pretty good!! Fry the ginger, garlic and then onion with no colour. Add the chicken pieces and lime leaves, fry for 2 minutes to let all the flavours infuse. Add the soy sauce; cook out for a minute longer before adding half the chicken stock. Bring to the simmer. Once at the simmer the chicken thigh will be cooked through, add the remaining stock to bring the temperature down quickly. Flavour with fish sauce to your desired level. Then chill the whole thing for future use. It keeps well in the refrigerator for 3 days. (Personally I also leave a few bowls worth hot as I want to eat some straight away!)
Whatever you prefer, udon noodles are our preference for this soup, a lovely thick, wheat, filling noodle. Soba and hokkien also work well. Cook and refresh the noodles as per the packets instructions, then store them in the fridge so you can add them as required.
Really this is the part that you can free style. Below I have listed my personal favourites but realistically you can throw any of your leftover market bought vegetables in. Once the base stock is made it is very quick to reheat a bowls worth and throw in your preferred flavours and noodles in then just pass the pot to the next person to do their own, this is especially good if you have a household of people with varying chili thresholds!
Broccoli – cut the florets into small pieces so that they cook quickly. I also cut the stem into batons,
Bok choy – pick each leaf and slice lengthways (the large leaves may need halving across too),
Snow peas – peel and slice lengthways,
Birds eye chilies – slice the whole chili thinly and throw in
Coriander (a little thinly sliced mint is nice too),
Finally finish with a little toasted sesame oil and a squeeze of lemon or lime