Saturday, 8 September 2012

Hot and Sour Chicken Broth

We spent most of the day playing board games with the Western Australian Boardgames Association, who have an ENORMOUS collection of games and loads of friendly people to play with. Learned three new games: a sailing/trading/collecting game a bit like Bohnanza, a game about trading and selling tea (my favourite! But maybe because I won :) and a game about defeating Cthulu using schoolgirl powers, like a British Buffy.

The upshot for dinner was that we didn't go shopping, and I had to use all my powers of improvisation on the remaining sad vegetables in the fridge to create a decent meal. Fortunately I had also used my power of foresight and left a chicken breast defrosting in the fridge, knowing I'd need some protein after morning Zumba.

Overall this worked pretty well, even the courgette (carefully not overcooked). Not a patch on fresh Chinese greens of course. The heart of cauliflower just needed using up; you could easily sub this for something more tasty, like some broccoli or sugar-snap peas.


  • a thumb of ginger
  • a stick of lemongrass
  • a handful of coriander stalks
  • a couple of bay leaves
  • 1 tsp vegetable stock powder
  • a chilli (optional)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • a large carrot
  • a heart of cauliflower
  • a large courgette
  • a chicken breast
  • 2 x 75g bundles of dried egg noodles
Cut the ginger in half and slice perpendicular grooves into the flesh, to increase the surface area without breaking the ginger up into small pieces. Simmer with the lemongrass, coriander stalks, bay leaves, stock powder and chilli if using, in around 300ml water, for 20 minutes or until the stock is fragrant.

Meanwhile, peel and dice the carrot and cauliflower. Halve the courgette lengthwise and scoop out the soft seedy interior. Chuck, eat, or feed to the worms. Dice the remaining firm shell of courgette into the same size cubes.

Drain and reserve the stock, discarding the ginger etc. Squeeze in the lemon juice. Fry the carrot in a little vegetable oil, leaving it to sear just a tad. Add the stock and simmer for a couple of minutes. Finely shred or slice the chicken and add with the courgette, cauliflower and noodles. Bring back up to the boil and simmer for a minute or so, until the noodles are soft, the chicken is cooked through and the courgette is barely done. Top up with hot water if  the noodles have absorbed too much. Serve and drizzle over with very dark soy sauce.

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