Comfort noodle soup


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Food and Travels: Asia

Food and Travels

By Alastair Hendy

Published 2004

  • About

One to knock together with the remains of a roast - or use a couple of chicken pieces. Rice can be switched for noodles, and an egg yolk cracked into each bowl on serving. Makes breakfast. Your noodles and flaked chick will beg for a little dish of fish sauce floated with sliced rings of hot chilli -for that on-the-side oomph.


  • 1 leftover cooked chicken carcass or some chicken pieces
  • salt
  • 5 cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 5 fat spring onions, cut into short lengths
  • dried or fresh wide rice noodles
  • 2 handfuls beansprouts (optional)
  • fish sauce and sliced chilli, to serve


If using a chicken carcass, pull the remaining meat from the bones and keep on one side. Break the carcass into bits and stick it in a saucepan, then fill the pan with around 2 litres water and give it a good salting (MSG too, if you like); if using chicken pieces, pop them into the same amount of water whole. Bring to a bubble, spoon off any gunk that floats to the top, then chuck in the ginger, garlic and half the spring onions. Turn down the heat, and leave to bubble very gently - more a sort of blipping murmur - for about 40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Strain the stock and discard all the bones and flavouring bits (keeping the meat, shredded, if you’ve used pieces). Add the remaining spring onions.

Dunk the noodles and beansprouts (if using) into a pan of boiling water until just softened - 1 minute or so for fresh noodles, around 3 minutes for dried - then scoop out with a sieve. Divide between your bowls, along with some shreds of cooked chicken, then ladle in the piping-hot spring onion stock.