Javanese noodle soup
This Javanese noodle soup is ideal as a light luncheon dish, or can be eaten as a starter to a main meal.
- large chicken, about 3 lbs
- 50 g (1 1/2 oz) transparent noodles, soaked in hot water to soften
- 150 g (5 oz) beansprouts
- 5 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
- 5 tbsp chopped Chinese celery leaves
- 6 slices of Lontong, cubed (optional)
- 3 tbsp fried shallots (see below)
- 15 shallots
- 10 cloves garlic
- 8 candlenuts
- 5 cm (2 in) ginger
- 2 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tbsp coriander powder
- 3 tbsp oil
- 3 fresh lemon grass, bruised or 3 tsp powder
- 2 tsp galangal
- 6 kaffir lime leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
Fried Shallots and Garlic
- 24 shallots or 10-15 cloves garlic
- 1 cup oil
Peel and slice the shallots or garlic finely, and dry well with a paper towel, Heat the oil and deep fry the shallots or garlic until golden brown and crisp. Take care not to let them burn or the flavour will be bitter. Drain and cool before storing.
Simmer the whole chicken in 6 cups water for 30 minutes.
To make the spice paste, chop the shallots, garlic, candlenuts, ginger and turmeric, and put in a blender with just enough of the oil to keep the blades turning. Process until fine. Heat remaining oil in a heavy pan and sauté the blended paste together with remaining spice paste ingredients for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Put the cooked spice paste with the partially cooked chicken and simmer for another 20 minutes. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the chicken from the stock, debone meat and cut into shreds, Strain stock and put back in the pan to reheat.
Divide the transparent noodles. hard-boiled eggs, beansprouts, celery leaves, and chicken among 6 large bowls. Add some sliced Lontong if liked. Top with stock and sprinkle with fried shallots.