Friday, November 18, 2005

"Chinese" chicken soup

Like everything else Chinese that comes out of my kitchen, this soup is inauthentic. But the ingredients and the spirit of the dish are, I think, more Chinese than any other style of cooking.

I defatted, strained, and simmered some of yesterday's stock and added salt, pepper, soy sauce, and michiu (rice wine). I added some bean thread noodles, broken into pieces that would fit in my spoon, and cooked them for about ten minutes. I just happened to have bean threads but any noodle would do: rice noodles, wheat noodles, buckwheat noodles, potato starch noodles, even Italian pasta or Manischewitz soup noodles. They're all basically the same. And I sliced a scallion on the bias and shredded up some leftover chicken and threw these in just to warm them up. The final step was to beat an egg and drizzle it into the hot liquid. If the soup had been properly boiling when I put in the egg it would have scrambled quickly into little pieces, but at just a simmer it did something more like thickening.

I might as well add that I put some MSG in the soup too, just a couple of pinches. Its effect was imperceptible, but then it's the sort of thing you might notice only in its absence. I'm pleased to say that now, an hour or so later, I'm still here to tell you about it.


Blogger kspring said...

can you comment on using onion skins in soup stock? (see pic in previous post). i've never tried that. more flavor? better color? what gives?

2:36 PM  
Blogger mzn said...

Hi kat,
I don't think leaving the skins on affects the flavor more than just a little, but it does darken the stock. I like the dark color and would just as soon avoid peeling onions.

2:43 PM  
Blogger Kalyn Denny said...

Happy to hear that the MSG boogieman has not gotten you.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Barbara Fisher said...

Yep--onion skins in the stock give a yellowish color to the liquid.

We learned to do that in culinary school.

Except with fish stock--you peel onions for that to keep it pale.

11:35 PM  
Blogger kspring said...

thanks! i'll try the skins tomorrow. i like pretty food.

11:59 PM  

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