So many oriental dishes have a scarily long list of ingredients (of course they do-that is why the food has so many layers of flavour) but the preparation and cooking is often very simple. So it is with this dish. Use homemade chicken stock if you have it or the packets of liquid stock. You can use a cube- and they are better than nothing- but they can be a bit salty so watch the seasoning and perhaps reduce the fish sauce by a tablespoon.
- For the dumplings
- 450g boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of any fat
- ½ red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons roughly chopped coriander
- 1 stick lemongrass, outer layer removed and cut into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
- 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- For the broth
- 2 litres chicken stock
- 25g root ginger, peeled and very finely chopped
- 8 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 kaffir lime leaves
- 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon tamari (or light soy sauce)
- 250g shitake mushrooms, stalks removed
- 180g baby pak choy, washed and leaves separated
- 250g cooked noodles, egg or rice
- To serve fresh coriander
- For the dumplings, place all the dumpling ingredients in a food processor and blend until finely chopped. Shape the mixture into 12 balls and place on a tray. Chill for 1-2 hours.
- For the broth, pour the chicken stock into a large saucepan or casserole and add the ginger, spring onions, garlic and lime leaves. Bring to the boil then turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Drop in the chicken dumplings and poach for 10 minutes. Add the shitake mushrooms and pak choy and cook for a further 5 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the cooked noodles and taste and season with a little more tamari if necessary. Sprinkle over the coriander just before serving.