Prawn Noodle Soup
and Asian Style Chicken Stock
I’ve gotten into a really good food routine this past few weeks. My plans to be less wasteful and to try to cut down my meat consumption have been relatively successful while I’ve been lucky enough to eat out in some wonderful restaurants too. One thing that has really cut down on my waste is making stock. Whenever I have a chicken carcass or some beef/lamb/pork bones going spare, I fire them into a saucepan with a selection of vegetables and simmer for a few hours. It doesn’t only cut down on waste however, it also adds a great deal to the dishes I then cook with the stock. I have been experimenting with different flavourings in the stocks and now have my three options for chicken stock sorted; generic, asian and heavily herbed.
The generic works great in soup, gravy and anywhere you want a fairly neutral chicken flavour while the heavily herbed is perfect for stews, cooking beans/lentils and anywhere else you want a hit of herbs. The asian option is my favourite though and it makes the perfect base for this beautiful prawn noodle soup (and would work wonderfully in this turkey noodle soup too). For the stock just put a chicken carcass into a saucepan with a large carrot, an unpeeled onion, two sticks of celery, a clove of garlic, a piece of unpeeled ginger, one stick of lemongrass and one star anise. Cover with water and bring to the boil, skimming off any scum that comes to the surface. Add ten red peppercorns, some (dried or fresh) thyme, rosemary and sage and let simmer for two to three hours adding more water if necessary. For a strong, gelatinous stock allow the liquid to reduce to one litre or two litres is fine for a milder flavour. Strain and discard the carcass and vegetation.
You can use standard chicken stock for this dish if you are in a hurry but it won’t be quite as spectacular. I used whole crevettes here for extra flavour but feel free to use peeled prawns instead if convenience supersedes taste. You can remove the heads and peel the prawns before serving but make sure to squeeze the juice from the heads into the broth before discarding.
Serves 4 as starter or 2 as main
1 litre of Chicken Stock (preferably the homemade version above)
3 Spring Onions (sliced)
1 thumb size piece of Ginger (peeled and finely sliced)
1/2 Red Pepper (finely chopped)
1 Red Chilli (finely sliced)
2 cloves of Garlic (finely sliced)
7-10 Green Beans (chopped)
220g fresh Crevettes (or any type of prawns)
50g Spinach (shredded)
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
1. Heat the stock in a saucepan and when boiling add all of the ingredients except the spinach. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Check for seasoning and serve.