There's something pleasingly complete about this restorative broth - using both the chicken and the egg makes sense somehow. A big bowl of this on a winter's night will put the world to rights, especially when it's drizzled with the roast chilli vinegar.
- 1 chicken (about 1.8kg), rinsed
- 200 ml Shaoxing wine
- 125 ml soy sauce (½ cup)
- 100 gm ginger, coarsely chopped
- 3 spring onions, coarsely chopped, plus extra thinly sliced to serve
- 1 head of garlic, halved
- 2 star anise
- 1 cinnamon quill
- Splash of white vinegar
- 6 eggs
- 375 gm fresh thin egg noodles
- Roasted sesame seeds, to serve
Roast chilli vinegar
- 60 ml vegetable oil (¼ cup)
- 2 tbsp roasted chilli flakes (see note)
- 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
- 1 garlic clove, finely grated
- 2 tbsp Chinkiang vinegar
- 1For roast chilli vinegar, combine the oil and chilli flakes in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until chilli darkens and oil turns red (6-8 minutes). Remove from heat, stir in ginger and garlic, and stand to cool, then stir in vinegar. Roast chilli vinegar will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for 2 weeks.
- 2Place chicken in a large saucepan with Shaoxing, soy sauce, ginger, chopped spring onion, garlic, star anise, cinnamon and 3 litres cold water. Bring just to the boil, then reduce heat to low-medium and simmer until the juices run clear when chicken thigh is pierced with a skewer (1-1¼ hours). Transfer chicken to a plate and strain broth into a clean pan. When chicken is cool enough to handle, shred meat and return to broth (discard skin and bones).
- 3Fill a saucepan with water, add a splash of vinegar and bring just to a simmer over medium heat. Swirl water to create a whirlpool, then carefully crack in 2 eggs and poach until cooked to your liking (2-3 minutes for soft yolks). Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining eggs.
- 4Cook the noodles in a separate saucepan of boiling salted water until tender (2-3 minutes), then drain and divide among warm serving bowls. Ladle in chicken and broth, top with an egg, then scatter with sesame seeds and sliced spring onion. Serve hot with roast chilli vinegar.
Buy roasted chilli flakes from Asian supermarkets, or dry-roast your own chilli flakes in a frying pan.
Drink Suggestion: Fragrant young riesling Drink suggestion by Max Allen