My inspiration for cooking can come from a variety of things. Sometimes I get inspired by having a dish from a restaurant that I’ve never had before and try to replicate it at home. Sometimes inspiration comes from recipes I may see on television. I mostly get inspired by the certain items I see in the grocery store or farmer's market.
Sometimes I fail at the outcome of what I’m making and sometimes I succeed. I just like to try new things and expand my horizons when it comes to testing new ingredients or cooking methods.
James, my fiancé is a great guinea pig. He will generally eat whatever I make and is honest about how the food tastes. Unlike James, I myself am much more critical about how my food turns out.
Laotian Chicken Noodle Soup
*This noodle soup is meant to be dressed just like Pho. It’s a different broth base. The soup is a base and other items should be added to the soup to enhance the preferred flavor. What makes this soup so wonderful is that the noodles are homemade and once it is cooked into the broth, it becomes thicker and creamier. It is also intended to be made in single servings because it is made with homemade noodles. Since the noodles are fresh, if all of the noodles were added to all of the broth all at once, it would become one big glutinous mess and would no longer be a soup.
4 Large chicken thighs
4 Slices of ginger
4 Slices of galanga
3 Cloves of garlic
4 T. Salt
1 c. Tapioca starch
1 c. Rice flour
1 c. Hot water
Cilantro, scallions, limes, fried shallots, fried garlic, hot chili oil, srirachi, fish sauce, hoison sauce, soy sauce, black pepper, white pepper.
In a large pasta pot, fill it 3/4 of the way full with water. Add salt, chicken, ginger, galanga and garlic and bring to a boil. The pot should hold at least 10 quarts of water. I boiled my chicken for about an hour to an hour and a half. You want the chicken to be cooked all the way through. Once the chicken is cooked, pull it out of the pot and let it cool enough to be handled by your hands. I would say about an hour. Fish out the ginger, galanga and garlic and discard.
Once the chicken has cooled enough to handle, pull skin off and discard. Pull meat from chicken and shred the meat into smaller pieces. Once all of the meat has been shredded, set aside.
Your broth is finished. This is enough broth and chicken to serve 6-8 people, depending on how big your serving bowl is. I only cook for two so I always end up having left overs.
The measurements listed above is for a serving size of two. You basically want to have two parts starch to one part water. In a mixing bowl, add tapioca starch and rice flour and mix.
Heat water in a teapot. Take one cup of hot water and add it to the dry starch and mix with a wooden spoon. It will be clumpy until you knead the mixture into a ball. The water is hot so be careful. You want to knead the mixture for a minute or two until it becomes a dough. Dust tapioca starch on cutting board and rolling pin. Pull a small amount of dough from the ball, about a small handful. Roll that into a small ball and roll it out on the board. You want to roll it out length wise and about 1/8” thick. Once it is rolled out, take a sharp knife and cut into 1/4” thick strips. Set noodles aside in a bowl or plate and dust with tapioca starch so they do not stick together.
Tapioca Starch & Rice Flour
Big ball of dough and a small ball pulled from the bigger ball of dough.
Cut small strips from rolled dough.
Continue to do this until all of the dough is gone.
Finished fresh homemade rice noodles.
For a serving for two, take about 5 cups of the broth to a separate smaller boiling pot. Bring to a boil. Add all of the noodles and bring back up to a boil. Add chicken and split the soup into two large serving bowls.
Each person can add their own accoutrements to their liking.
Cook Time: 3 hours
(Stiff is an amateur home cook and food blogger. Stiff can be found at a grocery store, Instagram @stifferoni and Tumblr: http://stiffers.tumblr.com/.)
Related TAM Blog Articles: