Classic Beanthread Noodle Soup with Chicken
Soak the noodles in a large bowl of warm water for 15 minutes. When soft, drain and cut into 7.5cm (3 in) lengths using scissors or a knife. Set aside. Soak the mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes. Drain and squeeze out the excess liquid. Remove and discard the stems and cut the caps into thin strips. Cut the Chinese greens into 7.5cm (3 in) pieces, wash and drain well. In a food processor, mix the chicken with the light soy and fish sauce and finely chop. It should be a thick paste. Divide the mixture into 8 equal parts and roll each part into a ball. In a large pot, heat the stock. Add the sugar, salt, pepper and chicken balls. Simmer for 2 minutes. Then add the shallots, noodles, mushrooms and Chinese greens and continue to simmer gently for another 5 minutes. Add the sesame oil and stir. Pour into a soup tureen. Prepare the garnish. Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat until it is hot. Add the oil, and when it is slightly smoking, add the garlic and stir-fry until brown. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Garnish the soup with the browned garlic and spring onions and serve at once. Serves -4
Fragrant Prawn and Lemongrass Soup
Peel the prawns and discard the shells. Using a small sharp knife, remove the fine digestive cord. Wash the prawns in cold water rinse well and pat them dry with kitchen paper. Peel the lemongrass to the tender whitish centre and crush with the flat of a knife. Then cut into 7.5cm (3 in) pieces. In a large saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer and add the lemongrass. Turn the heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the lemongrass with a slotted spoon and discard. Then add the ginger, chillies, salt, pepper, fish sauce and limejuice. If you like it spicy, add the chilli bean sauce. Simmer for another 3 minutes. Now add the prawns, cover the pot and remove from the heat. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Finally, stir in the spring onions and fresh coriander sprigs. Ladle into a large soup tureen or individual bowls and serve immediately.
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