Friday, 10 May 2013

Chicken, Asparagus & Mushroom Glass Noodle Soup

Wow, it's the first asparagus from our garden! Actually it's the second asparagus; we just steamed the first batch and ate it plain. Fresh from the garden asparagus is amazing - so sweet and delicious.

The delicate flavour of aspargus goes so well with the delicate flavours of chicken and mushrooms, and I love the texture of glass noodles, also known as cellophane noodles or mung bean noodles. This goes together very quickly. Once you have soaked the noodles and chopped everything, it won't take much more than 10 minutes to get it all cooked. 

I used a mixture of oyster mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms, but button mushrooms would be fine, or any combination of the three or perhaps even others...

4 servings
30 minutes prep time

Prepare the Ingredients:
200 grams dry glass noodles
1" piece of ginger
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
2 or 3 green onions
250 grams (1/2 pound) mixed mushrooms
250 grams (1/2 pound) fresh asparagus
450 grams (1 pound; 2 medium) skinless boneless chicken breasts

Soak the noodles for 15 to 20 minutes in very hot tap water, or water that has been brought up to just short of a boil then removed from the heat. When they are soft and clear, use scissors to snip them into 2" or 3" pieces. Drain, rinse in cold water, and re-drain the noodles well.

Meanwhile, wash and slice the ginger into thin slices. Peel and mince the garlic. Wash, trim and chop the green onions. Clean, trim and chop the mushrooms fairly coarsely. Wash and trim the asparagus, and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Cut the chicken into large bite-sized pieces.

Finish the Dish:
2 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
2 to 3 tablespoons soy sauce and/or oyster sauce
1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot chile sauce (optional)
4 cups chicken stock. 

Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet or heavy-bottomed pot. Cook the chicken until it is lightly browned. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking and stirring regularly, until they are softened and slightly reduced in volume.

Add the asparagus and the soy sauce, or a tablespoon or two of water or broth, and continue cooking and stirring until the asparagus turns bright green and the liquid is evaporated. Add the ginger, garlic and green onions, and stir in well. Add the hot sauce, if using, then slowly pour in the chicken stock and bring the mixture up to a simmer. Simmer for a few minutes until the chicken and vegetables are done to your liking.

Add the noodles and cook for just a minute or two longer, until they too are heated through.

Last year at this time I made Cabbage with Onion Greens.

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