Indonesian Chicken Soup


  • 8 shallots (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for wok
  • 1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, bruised
  • 4 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
  • 4 ounces mung bean noodles, soaked in hot water for about 30 minutes and drained
  • 1/2 cup celery leaves, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken, cooked and sliced
  • 3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered
  • Lime wedges
  1. To make the shallot flakes, peel shallots; slice very thin. Fill a wok with enough oil so that the shallots will float — about 2 inches of oil. Heat the oil to 300 degrees and fry the shallots slowly for 3 to 5 minutes, until they are golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels and store in an airtight container until ready to use. (May be frozen for several weeks.)
  2. Heat the chicken stock. In the oil, stir-fry the lemongrass, ginger and garlic for a few minutes. (You will strain the soup, so don’t worry about garlic peels, etc.) Add to the stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and season with fish sauce, salt and pepper.
  3. Arrange the bean sprouts, noodles, celery leaves and chicken slices in 6 bowls. Pour the hot soup over all. Arrange the eggs and lime wedges on top. Top with the shallot flakes.


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