Pretty much anything Asian is a popular meal in our family, but my daughter particularly likes this chicken, sweetcorn and noodle soup, and it's a lot healthier for her than the 2-minute packet noodle soups.
1.25 litres chicken stock (5 cups, 2.6 pints)
1 chicken breast about 175g/6oz
75-100g, 3.5oz noodles - egg or rice
100g, 3.5oz sweetcorn - fresh or frozen
3 shitake mushrooms - fresh or dried
2 spring onions shredded
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp Shoxing wine
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh root ginger, chopped or grated
extra light soy sauce for serving
Poach the chicken - Pour the chicken stock into a pan. Add the chicken breast, ginger and garlic. Bring to the boil (or close to), then reduce heat and gently simmer for 20 minutes, until the chicken is tender. Remove the chicken breast. Allow it to cool slightly then shred.
I know one chicken breast for 4 serves of soup doesn't sound much, but look how much chicken you get from one breast shredded.
If you are using fresh corn, run a knife down the cob to remove the kernels.
Cook the Noodles - there are a couple of ways to do this. Boil the noodles according to the packet instructions, drain, and add to the soup. Alternatively you can divide the cooked noodles amongst the soup bowls and pour the finished soup over the noodles. This is common in Asian cooking. Another quick way is just to add the noodles to the soup when you add in the shredded chicken and sweetcorn, and heat the soup long enough so the noodles cook.
Make the Soup - Add the shredded chicken, noodles if cooking them in the soup, corn, mushrooms, half the spring onions and the soy sauce and Shoxing wine. Simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Ladle the soup into bowls. you can make it look pretty by scattering over the remaining spring onions, or even adding some shredded red chilli, but my kids aren't that fussed on either.
Recently I bought these great new containers for the kids to take to school. They are called Stayfit and I found them in Woolworths. These are insulated containers for keeping soups, pasta and curries hot. My kids get so sick of eating sandwiches, so they were really excited to take some Asian noodle soup to school for lunch.
This is the complete set that I bought - the hot soup container on the left. A keep your salad cold container on the right, the white screw top has a small compartment to keep the salad dressing separate. Then there are three little containers with gel lids that you put in the freezer to keep the contents cool - great for fruit and yoghurt. The top container just has a plastic lid so it's good for dried fruit and nuts.
Notes & Variations: Adjust the seasonings to your tastes - you can add black pepper, chilli or sesame oil. Add or swap the vegetables - such as carrot, bok choy, straw mushrooms. You can use fish stock and prawns (shrimp) to make an OMS friendly Asian Seafood noodle soup, or use vegetable stock and tofu for a vegetarian version.
Nutrition Information: Shitake mushrooms are a symbol of longevity in Asia due to their health-promoting properties, particularly with the immune system. They are a good source of vitamins B2, B3, B5 and B6, magnesium, protein and zinc (source). When using shitake mushrooms, remove the tough stem and just use the cap part of the mushroom.
Seasonality: Sweetcorn is a summer vegetable and is at it's best from November to March in Australia. You can use frozen sweetcorn if fresh corn is not available.
Interesting Facts: What do they say? Chicken Soup for the soul.