Vietnamese chicken and bamboo noodle soup (Bun Mang Ga)

One of Mr Salford Kitchen’s favourite meals is chicken and bamboo noodle soup, rice vermicelli noodles in a warming bamboo-infused chicken broth. Mr Salford Kitchen’s family made it for us when we visited Australia for Christmas this time last year, and I discovered why he loves it so much – it’s delicious! Fragant, tasty, hearty, healthy… this dish ticks all the right boxes!

We found this recipe online on Vicky Pham’s blog of Vietnamese home cooking recipes and decided to give it a go at home. Taking just over an hour to make, it turned out to be a perfect weeknight meal. We searched high and low for the dried bamboo that the original recipe calls for but couldn’t find it in any Asian grocer in town – however we did manage to get vacuum-packed fresh bamboo shoots from the refrigerated section of Wing Yip which provided a good alternative (to my uneducated palate anyway!).

Ingredients

Serves 4 – 6

Bamboo shoots

  • 1 pack of fresh bamboo shoots
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • ¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon chicken stock powder (Knorr)

Broth

  • 1 whole chicken (small / medium), free-range / organic
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 5 quarts water
  • 5 oz ginger (unpeeled; cut into thick slices)
  • 100g rock sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons chicken stock powder (Knorr)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

Noodles and garnish

  • ½ pack rice vermicelli noodles (for 2 people, increase as needed)
  • 2 spring onions, sliced thinly (whites and greens)
  • Coriander, roughly chopped

Instructions

  • Clean the chicken by rubbing 1 tablespoon salt over the skin and insides. The abrasive action of the salt will scrub the surface clean. Rinse chicken.
  • Place the chicken and ginger slices in a large stock pot. Fill to the top with cold water, so that the chicken is submerged, and bring to the boil. Simmer on medium low and occasionally skim off any foam / scum that rises to the top.
  • After 30 minutes check whether the chicken is done by inserting a digital thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken, taking care not to touch the bones which can distort the temperature reading. Chicken should be cooked until it is 74°C (165°F).  Remove the chicken from the stock and set aside to cool. Remove and discard the ginger pieces.
  • Turn off the heat from the stock, and skim the fat off the top as it cools.
  • In a separate pan, heat the vegetable oil on a medium high heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add the shredded bamboo. Season the bamboo with sugar, salt and chicken stock powder, toss evenly, then remove from the heat and add to the stock.
  • Once the chicken has cooled, pull the meat off the legs and wings, shred into pieces, and add to the stock.
  • Continue to pull the meat off the chicken breasts. Shred the meat into strips and put to one side, alongside the spring onion and coriander accompaniments.
  • Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. If needed, briefly reheat the stock just before serving so that it is piping hot.
  • To serve, add noodles to a bowl. Ladle over the hot broth so that the noodles are nine tenths covered with stock. Dress the top with bamboo, chicken, and garnish with spring onions and coriander.

Enjoy!  

Move over Wagamama! There’s a new delicious soup in town!

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