This recipe is based on Soto Ayam (soup chicken), a spicy noodle soup popular throughout South East Asia. Here, spinach is added for extra nutrients and fibre.
Ingredients (serves 4)
6 chicken legs
2 stalks lemongrass, quartered
4 Kaffir lime leaves
6 cloves garlic, peeled
pinch of salt
6 shallots, peeled, roughly chopped
thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled, chopped
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp grapeseed oil
200ml coconut milk, optional
salt and freshly ground black pepper
To serve: 100g bean noodles, cooked; 75g fresh beansprouts; handful fresh spinach leaves; 2 boiled, peeled eggs and lemon wedges
1 Place the chicken in a large saucepan, with 1.5L water, lemongrass, lime leaves, garlic and salt. Bring to the boil over a medium-high heat then cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
2 Meanwhile, toast the cumin seeds, coriander and peppercorns in a dry pan over a medium heat for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Then pound the spices to a paste together with the shallots, ginger and garlic in a pestle and mortar. Stir in the ground turmeric.
3 Remove the chicken. Cool slightly, then discard the skin and bones, and shred the meat.
4 Remove and discard the lemongrass, lime leaves and garlic from the poaching liquid.
5 Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, then sauté the spice paste for a couple of minutes. Add the poaching liquid and coconut milk, if using. Bring to the boil, then simmer over a low heat for 10 minutes. Season to taste.
6 Divide the noodles between four bowls. Top with the chicken, beansprouts and spinach.
7 Divide the soup between the bowls, top with egg and serve with lemon wedges on the side.