Spice up this wholesome dish with the subtle, yet intensely flavoursome, aromas of Asia. With a little chilli for the metabolism, and ginger to cleanse the system, you’ll add not only extra flavour, but health benefits too.
1kg chicken necks or bones, washed
4cm fresh ginger, peeled and shredded into thin strips
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced into thin slivers
1 large red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 cup dried, sliced shitake mushroom
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons fish sauce
½ cup shallots, roughly chopped plus extra for garnish
¼ cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped plus extra whole leaves for garnish
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
fresh rice or egg noodles, optional
Place the chicken necks or bones in a large pot. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 1 hour, using a shallow spoon to lift off any froth whilst cooking. Drain the stock through a colander, reserve the bones and set aside to cool. Place the stock back in the pot on a medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic and chopped chilli. Bring to the boil then add the sliced mushrooms, fish sauce and sesame oil. Remove the chicken meat from the bones and chop or tear into shreds. Add to the soup. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the shallots and coriander. Remove from the heat. Check seasoning and add more fish sauce if needed. Serve and garnish with shallots, coriander leaves and bean sprouts.
If using the noodles place a small amount in the serving dish and ladle the soup over. Serves 4
Tips: If fresh shitake mushrooms are available, slice and add with the shallots and coriander. Transform this soup into something more substantial by adding dumplings. Buy them pre-made from the freezer in any speciality Asian store. Just defrost them and heat up in the broth. You can also use vegetable stock in this recipe. For extra greens, add bok choy or choy sum cut into thin strips when you add the shallots and coriander. A dash of light soy sauce can be added to give the broth a bit more colour and depth.