Saturday, September 5, 2009

Assemble your own Rice Noodle Soup

1-2 packages Spring Roll Wraps or rice or bean thread noodles.
2 large or 1/2 lb baby carrots julienne
1-2 packages Noki mushrooms
2-3 boneless chicken breast, shredded
1-2 cans whole water chestnuts, julienne
1-2 can bamboo shoots
3-4 stalks green onions julienne
fresh bean sprouts
Chicken broth

Prep the vegetables and place them in separate containers. Heat up the chicken broth. Cook the chicken breasts and let cool enough to handle. Shred the chicken breasts. Once ready to assemble, lightly damped the spring roll skin then chop the skin into strips. Place strips into your bowl. Add chicken and chosen vegetable in to your bowl and cover with chicken broth. For using rice or bean thread noodles, cook according to the directions on the package.
First attempt: cut up the vegetables while I had chicken tenderloins cooking in boiling water. Once the tenderloins had cooked through, I fished them out and put aside to cool. Using the same water I’d cooked the chicken in, I blanched my chopped vegetables separately and placed them in microwave safe containers. Now with the chicken and veggies out of the way, it was time to cook the bean thread noodles. I added chicken and vegetable base to the water I still had left over from blanching the chicken and veggies. Bean thread noodles have no flavor of their own and so take up the flavor of the water they are cooked in. It took about 6-7 minutes to cook a small bundle of noodles. I had to add more water and bases to the pot while cooking the 8 batches of the bean thread noodles. Each batch of noodles were placed in individual containers. I made the final stock with the remaining cooking water added to more water and soup bases. Now back to the chicken and veggies. With the chicken cooled, I chopped it into strips. I used the microwave to reheat all the veggies and chicken before serving.

Notes: The enoki mushrooms didn’t seem to work real well for this recipe. They turned slimy. Will try sliced white button mushrooms for the next attempt. Green onions too, didn’t fair real well with the blanching and reheating. Perhaps I should just julienne them and not blanch them. Overall, this first attempt went over pretty well. I offered plain egg noodles in addition to the bean thread noodles. I had plenty of bean thread noodles left since I forgot to announce their availability to the late comers.