I take after my mother so I always make enough chicken stock to make multiple meals, enough to feed an army. This recipe is easy to put together and really combines the essence of Nonya cuisine with its aromatic, spicy and herbal notes.
200g dried glass vermicelli noodles, soaked in hot water to rehydrate and drained
200g beansprouts, topped and tailed, blanched for 30 seconds
Bunch of spring onions (green part), finely chopped
Bunch of coriander, leaves picked
5 tbsp crispy shallots
For the rempah
10 candlenuts or macadamia nuts
4 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp white peppercorns
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2.5cm piece of fresh galangal, peeled and julienned
2.5cm piece of fresh turmeric, peeled and julienned, or 2 tsp ground turmeric
5cm piece of root ginger, peeled and julienned
2 stalks of lemongrass (bottom third), smashed and finely sliced
20 small shallots, peeled and quartered
5 garlic cloves, peeled
Put the chicken in a large saucepan and cover with cold water.
Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer the chicken for about one hour or until tender and cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a platter. Reserve the stock.
Once cool enough to touch, remove the meat from the carcass and shred with the skin.
To make the rempah, grind the ingredients together in a blender (adding them in the order listed) to make a paste. Add a little water if necessary.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and stir-fry the rempah over a low heat until fragrant, being very careful not to burn it. Add the reserved chicken stock and bring to the boil. Season with salt.
To serve, divide the vermicelli among the bowls and add the blanched beansprouts and shredded chicken. Ladle enough soup into the bowls to cover the noodles. Garnish with spring onions, coriander and crispy shallots. Add a squeeze of lime juice if you like.
Recipe from Makan: Recipes from the Heart of Singapore by Elizabeth Haigh (Bloomsbury Absolute, £26). Order a copy from books.telegraph.co.uk.