I love a good chilli noodle broth. Especially when I have a blocked nose and I want to clear my sinuses. I used vermicelli rice noodles in this dish but you can use whatever noodles you like. Ramen noodles, udon noodles….go nuts!! However, keep in mind that different noodles cook at different times. This dish is also vegetarian and vegan but as I said, alter it however you wish.
This noodle soup recipe isn’t Chinese or Vietnamese inspired. Well, I am sure a part of it has some sort of Asian influence without me knowing, but this recipe just came from me messing around a bit and doing some experimenting in the kitchen. The process is very simple. Cook the noodles, boil the stock with some aromatics and chilli to intensify the flavour, drain the aromatics, put the stock back in the pot and heat up again, add your cooked noodles and anything else you like, season and then you’re done! Infusing that stock and reducing it a little bit is what makes all the difference because you get such a deep base of flavour. Of course, if you use fresh stock it will be even better but many of us don’t have time for that.
Actually, believe it or not, I made a mistake with this recipe. I didn’t realise just how much starch rice noodles carry. So the first time I tried making this chilli noodle broth, I cooked the noodles in the stock. Do not do this! Especially if you are going to use a lot of rice noodles. The starch from the noodles will thicken the stock way too much. I went from having beautiful aromatic clear broth, to thick starchy gloop. So cook your rice noodles separately first, then add them to your stock.
Now, I know there are many people who absolutely love a bit of heat. And there are some people who can’t stand spicy food. I like it somewhere in the middle. So I thought it would be a good idea to go for a level of spice that isn’t too hot, but at the same time, you can still feel it. If you use the same amount of chilli flakes that this recipe tells you to use, you may think to yourself “hmmm, it doesn’t look like much” but remember, chilli flakes are strong and the heat will infuse in the stock very quickly. So keep that in mind because if you get too carried away with the spice, you may end up with people awkwardly coughing, sweating and struggling to eat with smoke coming out there backsides.
Chilli Noodle Broth
- 250 g rice vermicelli noodles
- 300 g bok choy washed and thickly sliced
- 1.75 L of vegetable stock
- 1 clove of garlic peeled
- ½ a thumb sized piece of ginger peeled
- ¼ teaspoon of chilli flakes
- ½ an onion
- 2 bay leafs
- 2 cloves
- 3-4 peppercorns
- 1 spring onion julienne cut into long strips
- 100 g bean sprouts
- ½ a tablespoon of soy sauce
- 1 fresh chilli for garnish optional
- Wedges of lime optional
- Get a large pot of salted boiling water. Add the rice noodles and cook for about 6-7 minutes, then add your bok choy and cook for another 40 seconds.
- Drain the noodles and bok choy and transfer them to a bowl. Then, get the pot back on the stove and add your stock, garlic clove, ginger, chilli flakes, onion, bay leafs, cloves and peppercorns. Bring the stock to a boil on high heat, then lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Put your sieve or colander over a large bowl, then strain the aromatics so that you are only left with the stock.
- Put the clear stock back in the pot, then put over low heat-medium heat. If there are any foamy bits flouting on top, just skim them off with a spoon or a ladle.
- Add your cooked bok choy and rice noodles. Then add your bean sprouts, spring onions and soy sauce.
- Taste to see if the broth needs anymore soy sauce, then serve. If you want, serve with a wedge of lime and garnish with sliced red chilli.
- Make sure you taste the broth at the end to make sure it has enough salt.
- If you want to add more chilli flakes do so but be careful, they are hotter than you think.