Confinement Snacking: U-Mian Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
This is the promised recipe from my previous post on 16th August 2015 Confinement Snacking After Snapping!
What made this ordinary tasting dish value-for-money to me was that it brightened my day with its pleasant visual appeal. That day had been plagued with hostility but while I was having this meal, I suddenly felt tension leaving my rigid shoulders. I
slouchedrelaxed a little and dug into my first meal.
Later in night, I recalled how wonderful a good meal (visual appeal and taste) had saved my day and decided to make Valerie a snack that will incorporate both elements even though she has a confinement caterer.
It was a very last minute shopping. Boon and Alex came to fetch me at about 11pm last Saturday night to the supermarket. Thank you fellas. You are God sent!
Here’s what I managed to get and concocted the next day as a snack for Valerie. She loved it! 🙂
U Mian Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
U Mian (there 3 bundles in this packet, one bundle for each person).
Leafy Vegetables (I used organic young spinach).
Hard-boiled Eggs (I used black chicken eggs).
Chicken Fillet/Breast or Thigh (I used fillet and breast meat as Valerie doesn’t like thigh).
Fish Balls (I used Yellow Tail Fish Balls).
Actually, this dish is suitable for almost everyone and you can use any secondary ingredients you like if not for confinement. For confinement purpose, use only ingredients suitable according to your dialect or tradition so that there is peace at home (don’t argue with mom or mom in-law).
Ingredients for the Stockpot:
Clear Chicken Broth (*home-cooked or store bought like Swanson’s).
1 big piece of Wood Ear (rinsed, soaked and torn into smaller pieces).
2 Red Dates, remove the pit/seed.
1 slice Old Ginger Root.
2 slices Ginseng, optional.
1 teaspoon Goji Berries (枸杞子), optional.
1 tablespoon White Rice Wine, optional.
Rinse all the herbs/spices briefly.
*You can make your own Clear Chicken Broth with 500g chicken bones/carcass.
1) Rub the chicken bones with coarse salt and rinse well under running tap.
2) Scald bones with boiling hot water. Discard the bloodied water and drain dry the chicken bones.
3) Put chicken bones (or packaged stock), wood ear fungus, red dates, ginger, ginseng and white rice wine in a stockpot.
4) Add enough hot water to cover the ingredients and more. Bring to a fast boil.
5) Add a pinch of salt to the pot, lower heat and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.
6) Add the goji during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
7) Adjust final seasoning with salt (if necessary) and white pepper powder, to suit your taste.
Remember to skim off any broth scum during simmering. Do the above steps (skipping 1 and 2) if using packaged stock.
Also, avoid too much or vigorous stirring during cooking as traditional Chinese believe this action would incorporate air into the soup and thus causing flatulence for the new mother and through her feed, the baby as well. Since theoretically, it is like whipping up a meringue, incorporating air… I’d rather be safe than sorry so I avoid stirring, as much as possible, all of Valerie’s soupy meals.
While the broth is simmering:
1) Dry pan-fry the chicken fillet (without or very little oil) in a non stick pan till both sides are cooked through (2-3 minutes each side or as long as the inside is white and not pink) and slightly golden charred.
I had used plenty of salt during washing so I did not season the fillet again. You may if you want to. The chicken fillet was still tasty and moist when they were cooked.
2) Hard boil the egg and peel shell off when cold enough to handle.
Once the chicken broth is ready, it is time to Assemble The Dish. See video below for an idea.
1) Blanch vegetables.
2) Boil the fish balls over medium high heat till they float.
3) Blanch the U Mian or any noodle/pasta according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
4) Assemble all the ingredients into a bowl, ladle soup over and serve immediately.
The reason why I blanch the ingredients in such order is that after assembly, it is easier to “reheat” the vegetables and fishballs with the hot broth since the U Mian was thicker and harder to penetrate once cooled.
You may serve sliced chillies with light soy dip for yourself but we DO NOT serve chilli to confinement moms. Why? Beats me!
“The biggest communication problem is that we do not listen to understand.
We listen to reply.” – Anonymous
Happy eating and bonding 🙂