06 May 2012

Recipe a Day: Bai Chicken Vegetable Soup

This is an incredibly easy soup based on a Bai recipe from Yunnan.  I used frozen shredded chicken because that's what works for me here, but it's also very good with fresh sliced chicken.  I can't decide which way I prefer.

Here's what you'll need:

2 Tablespoons oil
2 Tablespoons sliced or minced garlic
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
1/3 pound chicken (fresh sliced or frozen shredded)- you can use a lot more chicken if you want to
6 cups water
2-3 whole dried chiles
1 tsp salt
2 bunches green onions/garlic chives/cilantro, mix and match, or use another green if you like
2-3 tomatoes

Heat your oil and add the garlic and fry briefly, then add the ginger and cook for a minute at the most.

Add the chicken.  If it's frozen, just stir it around to thaw, but if it's fresh, stir it around to quickly brown.

Add the water and the dried chiles and bring to a boil.

While it's heating you can start chopping your greens into 1-inch bits.  These are the green onions.

When it's boiling, lower the heat and partially cover so it simmers.  If the chicken was fresh, let it simmer for 30 minutes.  If the chicken was already cooked, you don't need to let it simmer that long.

Finish chopping your greens.  These are the garlic chives/jusay.

Chop your tomatoes.  I put all the vegetables together to make them easier to dump in later.  I think about 4 cups of chopped vegetables is good for this soup.  You can be flexible with what you use, but I like to stick with reds and greens.

I add the salt to the vegetables to make it easy to add later.

About 10-15 minutes before you want to serve, add the vegetables and salt to the soup, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil. 

Partially cover again, lower the heat, and simmer for about 5 minutes.

And serve.  I like to add a little rice vinegar to my portion, and maybe a little fish sauce if it needs salt.  You can also taste it and add more salt if you want to.  I always serve this with jasmine (or the rice I use here in place of jasmine).

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