This authentic Malaysian Chicken Noodle Soup recipe features a warm, rich broth with silky-juicy chicken. Slippery fresh rice noodles and snappy shrimp. Recipe is from Chef Robert Danhi’s cookbook, James Beard Foundation Book Award Finalist!
Why this is the best recipe:
- Chef Robert Danhi been traveling and studying Southeast Asian cooking for over 20 years.
- His cookbook, Southeast Asian Flavors Cookbook, is a James Beard Foundation 2009 Cookbook Finalist in the international category.
- Slow poaching the chicken ensures that the meat is juicy tender and never overcooked.
- This practically fool-proof technique for making delicious chicken and chicken soup is the same technique that I use for Hainanese Chicken & Rice Recipe.
How to make Malaysian Chicken Noodle Soup:
- Make the chicken broth by slow-poaching a whole chicken.
- When the chicken is perfectly cooked, remove the chicken, pull off all the meat and set aside for later. Return bones to the stockpot to simmer to intensify the soup.
- Add the poached chicken, cooked rice noodles, vegetables into each serving bowl. Ladle in the chicken soup.
Why slow-poach the chicken?
This method of poaching involves bringing the pot to a boil and then turning off the heat (keep the lid on!) and let the chicken slowly, gently poach in the very hot water until cooked through. It’s almost impossible to overcook the chicken this way, and you’ll get a very silky texture.
Once the chicken is cooked through, lift the chicken carefully out of the poaching broth (which now becomes the base for your soup!)
Immediately plunge the chicken in ice-water to stop the cooking process and firm up the skin.
Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, you’ll use your hands to shred/pull the meat.
Whether you keep or discard the skin is up to you (I personally love the skin.) You won’t be using all of the meat for this Malaysian Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe – reserve the rest for another meal.
Tip: Try to get a small chicken, if your chicken is larger than 3.5 pounds, you will have to increase your poaching time. If your chicken is over 4 pounds – once you’ve finished your 45 gentle poach, return the pot to a boil and immediately turn off the heat. Let the pot sit for another 5 minutes, then check for doneness.
What type of noodles for this dish?
I love using fresh rice noodles that you can find in the Asian markets (refrigerated section). If they are super-fresh they don’t need to be boiled…just soak them in warm water until softened.
If they are still a bit hard, try soaking them in hot water for a few seconds. If you don’t have access to fresh rice noodles, then use dried, wide rice noodles and follow the instructions on the package for soaking/cooking times.
Southeast Asian Flavors Cookbook
Southeast Asian Flavors Cookbook is a must-have in your Asian cookbook collection.
The recipes authentic – Danhi has been traveling and studying Southeast Asian cooking for over 20 years.
The book also includes anecdotes about the culture and history of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore.
Malaysian Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
FOR THE SOUP AND CHICKEN
- 1 whole chicken 3 to 3.5 lbs
- 2 inch fresh ginger cut into 1/2 inch slices and lightly smashed
- 1 onion large, cut in quarters
- 6 cloves garlic smashed
- 12 white peppercorns crushed with mortar/pestle or side of knife (or 6 black peppercorns)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
FOR THE SOUP GARNISHES
- 1 pound fresh rice noodles about 1/4 inch (0.6 cm.) (1.3 cm.) wide
- 1/2 pound shrimp small
- 1/2 pound Chinese greens such as choy sum, bok choy, yu choy or gai-lan
- 2 scallions chopped
FOR THE CHILI-SOY SAUCE
- 4 to 6 Thai bird chilies or other small hot chilies, sliced thinly, about 1/8inch thick
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
FOR THE SOUP AND CHICKEN
- Make Chicken Broth: Place rinsed chicken in 2-gallon pot (8 L.), with just enough water to cover. Bring to a vigorous boil; lower to simmer. Skim off foam and impurities; simmer 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat, cover tightly, and leave undisturbed at room temperature for 45 minutes (an instant-read thermometer should read 165F / 74 C at the thickest part of the chicken).
- Carefully lift chicken from poaching liquid and plunge into a large container/pot/bowl of ice water. Leave in water for 15 minutes to stop cooking and firm up meat. Using your hands, pull off skin and discard.
- Pull meat off breast and thighs into 1/4to 1/2-inch (.6 to 1.3 cm.) thick strips, transfer to covered container and reserve at room temperature (you will have more than needed for the recipe).
- Combine bones, thighs and poaching liquid back in the pot. Add ginger, onion, garlic, peppercorns and salt; simmer one hour to make a broth. Strain through fine wire mesh sieve. Taste and season well with salt.
FOR THE SOUP GARNISHES
- Soak noodles in lukewarm water 10 minutes, drain; peel apart into individual strands. Poach shrimp in chicken broth until just cooked; peel, devein and halve lengthwise. Blanch whole bunches of choy sum in boiling water; transfer to a bowl of ice water for 30 seconds, squeeze dry, and cut into 2 to 3-inch pieces (5 to 7 cm.).
FOR THE CHILI SOY SAUCE
- Combine soy sauce, sesame oil and chilies, spoon mixture into individual bowls for each person.
ASSEMBLY OF MALAYSIAN CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP BOWLS
- Bring seasoned broth up to a near boil. Have all ingredients ready, and have a pot of water boiling to reheat the noodles.
- Reheat noodles in boiling water for 15 seconds. Drain, and distribute into 4 to 6 Asian soup bowls. Top noodles with chicken meat, shrimp, and choy sum. Ladle about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of broth into each bowl.
- Sprinkle with scallions; serve with small dishes of chili-soy sauce. This sauce is used for dipping the subtly-flavored chicken, but can also be added to the soup.