Master stocks are typically a mix of Asian ingredients beginning with water, soy sauce, rock sugar and Shaoxing or rice wine. Other commonly added spices and flavourings include: spring onion, star anise, dried citrus peel, cassia bark OR cinnamon, pepper, garlic, ginger and dried mushrooms. A master stock can be repeatedly reused to poach a wide range of braise meats including: whole duck and chicken (or segments), beef brisket, lamb neck or pork shoulder.

We’ve adapted a classic master stock recipe to make it easier to put together using common (Western) household cooking ingredients. Using the master stock to poach chicken fillets and by later adding rice noodles; this fast and extraordinary flavoursome recipe is a great value for money choice. We suggest it can serve 6 people, however if there is remaining stock, it can be frozen and reused by re-heating and freshening up the with additional ingredients and more water. Once it’s simmering away again simply add more rice noodles or other meat cuts to make a new meal.

Instant master stock noodle soup is a fun dish to play with; and don’t worry if you’re missing an ingredient or two, as it’s worth experimenting with alternative ingredients – results can be surprisingly good.

Instant Master Stock Chicken Noodle Soup

Serves 6

2 litres water
2 tbsp of vegetable stock powder, or 4 chicken or vegetable stock cubes
6 green (spring) onions, washed and chopped into small sections
2 small red onions, cut into quarters
½ cup light soy sauce
½ cup dark mushroom soy sauce
1 cup shao xing wine OR rice wine vinegar
150g yellow rock sugar, crushed OR 2 tbsp brown sugar
⅓ cup ginger, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
½ tsp sesame oil
2-3 star anise, whole
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
3 tsp Chinese 5 spice
3 pieces dried mandarin peel or orange peel; or 1 tbsp orange marmalade
2 cups, sliced field mushrooms, (50%) shiitake mushrooms if available
2 chicken fillets (whole), skin off
375g package rice noodles

Instant Master Stock Key Ingredients
Instant Master Stock Key Ingredients

Method

1. In a stock pot add all ingredients except the rice noodles. Bring to the boil over a high heat.

2. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer to infused the stock and poach the chicken. Poach the chicken fillets for 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile in a small saucepan, hard boil 3 eggs (see method below).

4. After 30 minutes, using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken from the stock and set aside on a wire rack to cool. Once cooled, finely slice the fillets to make decorative, perfectly-grouped slices of four segments each. Alternatively, later return the chicken in the stock to cool before slicing, see note below.

5. Continue simmering the stock for a further 20 minutes, tasting to adjust sweetness and sour elements by balancing with little sugar, soy and/or spring onion. Further test the stock by tasting the tenderness and flavour of the mushroom pieces.

6. When you’re happy with the stock, add the rice noodles and cook in the stock for 15-20 minutes to soften and infuse with the stock flavours.

7. Remove stock pot from heat, ready for serving.

Note: For a more complete infusing of stock flavours within the chicken, return the chicken to the stock pot and allow it to cool slowly in the stock; refrigerate overnight.

To Serve

3 boiled eggs, cut into perfect halves
2 master stock chicken fillets cut into fine slices
2 green (spring) onions, washed and chopped on an angle into small sections and;
Thai styled fried shallots to garnish

Note: If you’ve chosen to refrigerate the master stock noodle soup and chicken overnight, remove chicken now and slice as per method above. Return stock pot to a medium heat to warm the master stock noodle soup.

1. In noddle bowls, evenly fill with cooked rice noodles topped with stock, ensuring generous amounts of ginger slices, onion, spring onion and mushrooms are added.

2. Arrange 4 slices of chicken on top of the soups, then place one half egg to one side.

3. Garnish with spring onion and fried shallots

Instant Master Stock Chicken Noodle Soup
Instant Master Stock Chicken Noodle Soup

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

1. Cover 3 eggs in a saucepan with water: Fill a saucepan about a quarter of the way with cold water. Place the eggs in a single layer at the bottom of the saucepan. Add more water so that the eggs are covered by at least an inch or two of water.

2. Heat the pot on high heat and bring the water to a full rolling boil.

3. Turn off the heat, keep the pan on the hot burner, cover, and let sit for 10-12 minutes.

4. Strain the water from the pan and run cold water over the eggs to cool them quickly and stop them from cooking further.

5. Peel the eggs under a little running water, set aside to cool further.

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