Chicken Soup with Rice Noodles, Asian Greens, and Chili-Soy Sauce

Ipoh Sar Hor Fun


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    4 to 6

    bowls as a one-dish meal

Appears in

The industrial town of Ipoh is justifiably famous for its unique style of chicken noodle soup. The noodles made there are so soft and supple, they yield to gentle pressure between the tongue and the palate. Some say it’s the water. The way the water in New York is said to make their bagels’ texture unique, or Paris’ water for baguettes, Ipoh water is coveted for these noodles. I do recommend you making your own (no big deal [pg. 117]), but even if you don’t, the soup from this place is outta this world. Locals eat it with stir-fried bean sprouts on the side.

This easy recipe takes some time. If you need a shortcut, poach chicken breast in store-bought broth and use it for this soup.


  • 1 medium Whole chicken (3 to 4 lbs/1.4 to 1.8 kg.)
  • 1 2-inch (5 cm.) piece Ginger, lightly smashed
  • 1 lg. Onion, cut in quarters
  • 6 cloves Garlic, smashed
  • 12 White peppercorns, crushed
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt


  1. Make Chicken Broth: Place rinsed chicken in 2-gallon pot (8 L.), with just enough water to cover. Bring to a vigorous boil; lower to simmer. Skim off foam and impurities; simmer 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat, cover tightly, and leave undisturbed at room temperature for 45 minutes (an instant-read thermometer should read 165°F / 74 C° at the thickest part of the chicken).
  2. Carefully lift chicken from poaching liquid and plunge into a large container/pot/bowl of ice water. Leave in water for 15 minutes to stop cooking and firm up meat. Using your hands, pull off skin and discard.
  3. Pull meat off breast and thighs into ¼ to ½-inch (.6 to 1.3 cm.) thick strips, transfer to covered container and reserve at room temperature (you will have more than needed for the recipe).
  4. Combine bones, thighs and poaching liquid back in the pot. Add ginger, onion, garlic, peppercorns and salt; simmer one hour to make a broth. Strain through fine wire mesh sieve. Taste and season well with salt.

Assembly of Noodle Bowls

  1. Bring seasoned broth up to a near boil. Have all ingredients ready, and have a pot of water boiling to reheat the noodles.
  2. Reheat noodles in boiling water for 15 seconds. Drain, and distribute into 4 to 6 Asian soup bowls. Top noodles with chicken meat, shrimp, and choy sum. Ladle about 1½ to 2 cups of broth into each bowl.
  3. Sprinkle with scallions; serve with small dishes of chili-soy sauce. This sauce is used for dipping the subtly-flavored chicken, but can also be added to the soup.