Flat Noodles Soup with Shredded Chicken aka Ipoh Kai Si Hor Fun (鸡丝河粉) is served in an aromatic stock of clear chicken and prawn soup with chicken shreds, prawns and spring onions. Ipoh is famous for its tender flat rice noodles, which is prepared with pure spring water.
Bringing this famous dish home takes a trip to Ipoh, but with some work and a large pot, this low stress labor of love will make it well worth it. This recipe won’t be the exact same thing as the ones cooked by the Masters in Ipoh, but it’s a pretty handy home economics version. This dish uses not only chicken, but also makes use of uncooked leftover prawn shells and heads. So you had better start saving them! This recipe serves two (2) or three (3) if you ladle out with smaller portions in each serving.
There will also be enough left over soup to use as stock to make another dish, (perhaps Kuala Lumpur style Hokkien mee) for the next meal. However, if you find the soup to be too tasty to resist, please do finish it up and enjoy every slurp.
You will need two induction hobs, one 2-litre saucepan or pot, one 2.5-litre saucepan or pot, and one frying pan. Let’s get started.
For the soup
30g old ginger
40 g garlic
0.6g five spice powder
56g prawn shells and heads.
160g or 5 to 6pcs prawns which shells and heads are to be added on the pile.
450g hormone-injection-free chicken drumstick and thigh
20g Chinese chives stem base
5g salt (put an extra 5g or more if you prefer your food to be salty)
5g sugar (put more if your palate is on the sweet side).
1.5 to 2 litres of potable water.
1 to 2 table spoons cooking oil.
For the noodles
480g Hor Fun (I used whatever that was available in the supermarket)
100 to 115g Taugeh (bean sprouts)
50g Chinese chives
Light soya sauce
1 litre of potable water
1.Ginger. Clean, remove skin and slice following the grain.
2.Wash beansprouts, set aside.
3. Shallots. Remove skin and slice.
4. Chives. Clean and cut to about 2cm lengths.
5. Remove shells and remove guts from prawns. Save the shells and heads, and them to the other pile. This is important, as these will give the soup the distinct orange hue and complex flavor.
1.In a 2.5 litre sauce pan or pot, put in the ginger, garlic, stem base of the chives, the chicken, and the five spice powder.
2. Add in about 1.5 litres of water, and turn on the hob to the highest setting to boil the water.
3. Once it boils, turn it down to the lowest possible setting and let it simmer slowly, with the lid closed, for an hour.
4. Now, we move over to the second hob. In a frying pan, heat up about 1 table spoon of cooking oil and put shallots and fry it till brown.
5. Remove to a separate bowl for use as garnishing afterwards. Do not skip this, as this will give the final bowl of noodles an extra dimension in flavor.
6. With remaining oil in the frying pan, fry the prawn heads and shells till fragrant. Add half a cup of water and let it boil. Let it simmer for half a minute or less, then add the content of this pan into the pot of still simmering chicken soup.
7. Add salt and sugar into the soup.
8. On the hour, add in the prawns and let them cook for a minute. Remove from the soup, and set aside.
9. Fill a big bowl with room temperature or cold water. This bowl should be big enough to fit the chicken.
10. Without turning off the heat, remove the chicken from the soup and bathe it in the bowl of room temperature or cold water for about a minute. Remove the chicken from the water and onto a plate, and start remove meat by pulling off the bones with fork and chopsticks. The meat should fall off the bone quite easily, but do use a knife to separate meat from bone if needed. Set the meat aside, and put the bones and skin back into the still simmering soup.
11. In another 2 litre pot, boil 1 litre of water with 1tsp salt. Blanch the hor fun, chives and taugeh for about 50 seconds (I recommend that we blanch the vegetables for safety in these pandemic times), then drain off the water (failure to drain the water will result in a diluted, bland tasting dish). Divide them into two bowls.
12. In each bowl, over the noodles/ bean sprouts and chives, place the fried shallots, meat and prawns, before adding a dash of soya sauce over it. Then, add in the soup with a ladle, minus the prawn shells and the chicken bones.
13. Switch off the heat for the soup.
14. Put it in a nice bowl.
15. Snap a photo and Instagram it before eating. Yum yum.