The October 2009 Daring Cooks’ challenge was brought to us by Jaden of the blog Steamy Kitchen. The recipes are from her new cookbook, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook.
When I first heard of this month’s challenge, I was excited even though I’m not into noddle soup that much but I always wanted to try new things and this kind of noodle dish is definitely new to me. From what I’ve heard and read this is a really, really good, “insanely delicious” (to quote Jaden) Vietnamese noodles. Those two words did it for me, I have to make this dish.
But that’s not the only reason I got excited over this month’s challenge: There’s a bonus dessert recipe challenge and a contest to boot, whoever wins will get a copy of Jaden’s new cookbook. I know my chances of winning this thing is not very promising considering my photography skill but a chance is a chance and who am I to pass up on that, I would love to have Jaden’s book for FREE :)
For the ingredients, I didn’t have whole cloves and cilantro leaves. Substitution of spices is not allowed so I just made the dish without cloves but it’s okay to use flat-leaf parsley in lieu of cilantro, so I did just that. I also had a hard time finding the right noodles, I couldn’t find something that look similar so I settled for the only rice noodles I can find: pancit luglug ( the kind that is used for our native pancit palabok). I used mung bean sprout ( or what we call toge in Filipino ), I had to settle for the short variety, it was the only one available; for the condiments and seasonings, I already have it in my pantry except for sriacha chili sauce, I used a similar one, my favorite local brand of really hot chilli pepper sauce. What else, oh, yeah, I used calamansi (miniature version of lime) because I have plenty in stock and they’re basically the same save for the size.
I chose to do the long method of making a soup stock because it was highly recommended, a must for a more flavorful soup. I halved the recipe because there are only 4 of us and from there I proceeded and followed the instruction to a tee as best as I could. To make the story short, everything was just fine.
On the presentation, I just duplicated Jaden’s..and then after the “photo shoot”, I was so excited to taste the fruit of my labor. The weather was perfect, it was cold and rainy but no typhoon (thank GOD), perfect for a steaming bowl of noodle soup. I will be honest here, though: The dish as a whole was just okay with me. I think it’s because of the noodles that I bought, I don’t think that it’s suited for this dish. I like the soup though and the veggies especially when I added hot sauce, my husband finished a big bowl while I was only able to manage half a bowl. The kids loved the soup but didn’t eat much of the noodles either.
All in all I’d say this dish is worth making I enjoyed it, grateful for a new experience and lesson learned. Thanks Jaden!
par boil the chicken pieces (breast part not included)..excuse the unappetizing photo of raw chicken meat but I just want to show how good I whacked that chicken..nah, it was the butcher
meanwhile, toast the spices and char the onions and ginger
after 5 minutes of parboiling the chicken pieces, drain and rinse it then put it back in the pot with the chicken breast and the spices
season with fish sauce, bring to a boil; remove chicken breast after 15 minutes and simmer the stock for an hour and a half
cook noodles, prepare toppings and serve
Thanks for reading and Have a really nice day! :)