Monday 10 July 2017

Korean Chicken Soup with Homemade Noodles.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

This is my kind of food!
Even though I was brought up on mainly Pakistani food and much to my parents amusement, noodles are one of my favourite things to eat.
I absolutely love them and can eat them whenever, wherever and however.
Today, we're eating them in a Korean chicken soup. Adapted from the font of all Korean food knowledge, this soup is really light and perfect for summer. Do you guys eat hot soup in summer? I think it goes well on those days, like today, where the skies are grey and the rain is pouring.
This soup starts with a really simple chicken stock. I use chicken breast which keeps things really light and clear. The stock is ladled into bowls filled with homemade noodles. These noodles are so much easier than you might think and beat anything from a packet. Although, on a super busy day, even the packet noodles will do.
The soup is finished with garlicky chicken and a few golden courgette matchsticks. The courgette gives everything a natural sweetness especially if you like things spicy and top your soup with sesame chilli flakes and sour chilli garlic sauce. Give everything a good toss and eat with chopsticks/fork to slurp up the noodles and a spoon to enjoy all that lovely broth. 
A Simple List of Ingredients:

For the Soup:
1. Water
2. Chicken Breast
3. Onion
4. Garlic
5. Fish Sauce
6. Dark Soy Sauce
7. Salt 
8. Black Pepper
9. Toasted Sesame Oil
10. Chilli Flakes
11. Courgette

For the Homemade Noodles:
1. Plain Flour
2. Cornflour
3. Salt
4. Vegetable Oil
5. Water

Bismillah, let's begin!

First, let's make the chicken stock which is the base of our soup. Place a deep pot over a high heat.

Pour in 2 litres Water.

Then, take 1 skinless and boneless Chicken Breast (300g / 11 ounces). Using a chicken breast results in a really clean and light stock but feel free to use chicken on the bone too.

Add the chicken breast to the pot.

To flavour the stock, peel and slice 1 Onion into quarters.

Add it in!

Finally, 8 Garlic Cloves. They will flavour our stock and will later be mashed up to make a seasoning paste.

Peel the garlic and add them in.

Stir everything together and bring to the boil over a high heat. Once boiling, turn the heat to medium and ...

... let the stock cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the chicken is fully cooked through.

Once the chicken is completely cooked ...

... take it out of the pot and let it cool a little.

Meanwhile, remove the onion and garlic with a slotted spoon. Get rid of the onion but save the garlic for later!

If you want a really smooth stock, feel free to strain it through a sieve. I didn't bother.

Season the stock with Salt, to taste. I added in 1 teaspoon.

And, either dark soy sauce or fish sauce. You can use both too.

Add in 1 teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce. The dark soy is less salty than the light soy but gives a good colour to the stock. 

Stir to combine and set the stock aside until needed.

Next, let's make the homemade noodle dough. You can use dry noodles too. I made mine in my stand mixer but it can be made by hand too. Into a mixing bowl, measure out 125g Plain Flour.

And, add in 15g Cornflour to give our noodles their wonderful chewy texture.

To season, throw in 1/4 teaspoon Salt. I'm using a 1/2 teaspoon measure because I was making a double batch of the dough. I used half for this recipe and froze the rest to use later.

Also, add in 1/2 tablespoon Vegetable Oil.

And, 60ml Water.

And, that's it! All we do now is mix until we have ...

... a smooth dough. You can add more flour/water as you're mixing depending on how wet/dry the dough is looking but I didn't need any. Knead the dough until smooth and then rest for 10 minutes. Repeat again.

When you have a smooth dough, set it aside until needed.

Next, let's prepare the courgette topping. The courgette will add a lovely natural sweetness to our savoury and spicy-if-you-prefer soup.

Take 1 Courgette.

We want to slice it into matchsticks which I did by cutting the courgette into slices on a diagonal.

Then, I stacked a few slices on top of each other and cut them into strips.

Until I had a bowlful of courgette matchsticks to which I added 1/4 teaspoon Salt. Toss the two together then leave for 10 minutes. The courgette will release its liquid which we will then squeeze out by hand. My Mother had the genius idea of passing the courgette strips through a lemon juicer which made very easy work of everything.

Anyway, once you've squeezed as much water out as you can, add the courgette to a pan with a little Vegetable Oil over a medium heat.

Stir fry the courgette until light golden brown and set aside until needed.

Next, let's make a quick seasoning paste with the cooked garlic that we fished out of our stock earlier.

Pop the garlic cloves in a bowl along with:
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil

Grab a fork and get mashing!

Until you have a very fragrant garlic paste!

By this time, the cooked chicken breast should be cool enough to handle so shred it up.

Add the garlic paste to it.

And, mix!

Just before you want to eat, roll and cook the noodles. These fresh noodles are best eaten straight away once cooked.

So, bring a pan of water to the boil.

Roll the dough as thin as you can get it without it tearing. Use a little flour, if it gets sticky.

Then, cut the dough up into strips. You can go as thin or as thick as you like! I like to use a pizza cutter for this.

Look! Noodles! It doesn't really matter if they stick together here - they'll separate once in the hot water.

Once the water is boiling, throw in the noodles.

Give them a stir to separate them. Let the water come back to a boil before setting a timer for 2 minutes. 

These fresh noodles cook way faster than any of their dried counterparts.

For me, 2 minutes is enough. You'll know they're cooked when they float to the surface and are chewy without being doughy to taste.

Drain them.

And, immediately divide between serving bowls.

Ladle over the hot chicken stock. I like to bring it back to a boil in its pot if it's gone too cold.

Now, we can add our toppings!

First, the garlicky chicken.

Pile it on!

Then, those sweet and golden courgettes.

As much or as little as you want.

You can also add sliced spring onion but I had run out.

The soup is great as it is but I like to serve it with different condiments so that each person can customize as they like. On our table, dark soy sauce, a sour chilli garlic sauce, Chinese black vinegar and fish sauce.

And, for a real fiery kick, a mixture of 1 tablespoon Chilli Flakes and 2 teaspoons Toasted Sesame Oil.

A tiny bit on top really goes a long way!

Eat this simple but very satisfying soup with chopsticks/fork to scoop up all those noodles and a deep soup to slurp up all the broth. My kind of food!

Korean Chicken Soup with Homemade Noodles.

Prep Time: About 45 minutes.
Cook Time: About 1 hour.
Serves: About 4 people.


For the Chicken Stock 
2 litres Water
1 boneless and skinless Chicken Breast (300g / 11 ounces)
1 Onion, peeled and cut into quarters
8 Garlic Cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce or Fish Sauce

For the Homemade Noodles
125g Plain Flour
15g Cornflour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
60ml Water

For the Courgette Topping
1 medium Courgette, cut into matchsticks
1/4 teaspoon Salt
Vegetable Oil, to fry

For the Garlic Paste
The 8 cooked Garlic Cloves from the Stock (see recipe below)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil

For the Soup
Dark Soy Sauce, to taste
Chilli Garlic Sauce, to taste
1 tablespoon Chilli Flakes
2 teaspoons Toasted Sesame Oil

Make the chicken stock:
In a deep pot, place the water, chicken breast, onion and garlic. Bring to the boil. Then, cook over a medium heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the chicken is fully cooked through.

Remove the cooked chicken and let it cool a little. Remove the onions and discard them. Remove the garlic cloves but save them. For a smooth stock, you may strain the liquid through a sieve. To the hot stock, stir in salt and either dark soy sauce or fish sauce.

Make the noodle dough:
Place all the ingredients into a mixing bowl. Mix by hand or with a machine until a rough ball of dough forms. If it's too wet, add a little flour. If it's too dry, add a little water. Knead the dough ball until smooth. Then, let it rest for 10 minutes before kneading again. Repeat and the dough is ready to use when needed.

Make the courgette topping:
Stir the courgette and salt together and set aside for 10 minutes. Squeeze out the extra water from the courgette by hand and fry in a little vegetable oil until golden brown. Set aside until needed.

Make the garlic paste and prepare the chicken:
In a small bowl, place the reserved garlic cloves, salt, black pepper and toasted sesame oil. Mash with a fork. Shred the cooked chicken breast and toss it with the garlic paste. Set aside until needed.

Cook the noodles:
Bring a pan of water to the boil. Roll the noodle dough out as thin as you can get it without it tearing. Use a pizza cutter to cut it into thin strips. Gather up the strips and pop into the boiling water. Stir and let it come back to a boil. Set a timer for 2 minutes. When the noodles begin to float to the surface and are chewy but not doughy, they're done. Drain and immediately divide between 4 serving bowls.

Assemble the soup:
Bring the chicken stock to a boil if it's not hot and ladle it over the noodles. Divide the garlic chicken and courgettes between the bowls. Let each person add their own dark soy sauce and chilli garlic sauce, to taste. For a spicy version, mix together the chilli flakes and toasted sesame oil before dividing between the bowls. Serve the soup with forks/chopsticks to scoop out the noodles and spoons to slurp up the broth.

Recipe Notes

  • This entire recipe revolves around the noodles as the soup should be served as soon as they are cooked. They are best fresh and will get very sticky if left to sit around too long. Yes, you can use dry noodles too.
  • You can easily double the noodle dough. I actually made double the amount and froze the other half of the dough.
  • Serve the soup with sliced spring onions - I would have but ran out!

{adapted from maangchi}

Keep me in your duas please, and enjoy your soup!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

Spice Enthusiast
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