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Five-Spice Chicken Noodle Soup

To make the soup up to a day in advance, prepare the broth. About 15 minutes before serving, soak the noodles. Just before serving, reheat the broth and add the chicken and noodles. You can also substitute beef broth for the chicken broth and 1/2 lb. beef sirloin, cut into thin strips, for the chicken. Simmer the beef for 1 to 2 minutes before adding the noodles.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbs. minced ginger
  • 1 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
  • 3 limes
  • 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 cup slivered fresh basil, preferably Thai
  • 1 red or green jalapeño chili, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 6 oz. dried rice stick noodles, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes and drained
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

Directions:

Prepare the broth
In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the broth, shallots, ginger and five-spice powder and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Prepare the sauce and condiments
Squeeze the juice from 2 of the limes to total 3 Tbs. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, fish sauce and sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar. Cut the remaining lime into wedges and place on a plate with the basil and chili slices.

Season the broth and finish the soup
Pour the sauce into the simmering broth and stir in the chicken to heat through. Add the noodles to the broth to heat for about 5 seconds. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with the green onions and serve immediately, passing the condiments at the table. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Asian, by Farina Wong Kingsley (Oxmoor House, 2007).