This is recipe I got from Nina Simonds, an American lady who specialises in Asian cooking. I sat in on her course at the Ballymaloe Cookery School several years ago. In Vietnam this soup is eaten for breakfast or lunch. It is the perfect soup for fighting off a cold.
- Using a heavy knife, cut the chicken through the bones into 10 or 12 pieces (if you get your chicken from a butcher ask them to do this for you)
- Put the chicken, water ginger, star anise and cinnamon in a large heavy pot and bring to the boil.
- Turn the heat to low and simmering for 1-2 hours, skimming the impurities from the broth.
- Strain the chicken and seasonings into a bowl, then return the broth to the pot skimming it again.
- Add the fish sauce and black pepper, and reduce the heat to a bare simmer, just to keep the broth warm.
- In a large pot bring 4 pints of water to the boil.
- Drop the noodles into the water and stir to prevent them sticking together.
- Heat until boiling and cook for a minute, or until just tender.
- Drain in a colander and rinse under warm running water to remove the starch.
- Using your hands or a knife, remove the skin and bones from the chicken and cut or shred the meat into thin strips.
- Ladle equal portions of the cooked noodles into 6 serving bowls.
- Add the bean sprouts to the hot soup, turn the heat to high and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Skim the surface to remove any impurities.
- Ladle the chicken, bean sprouts and broth over the noodles in the bowls.
- Sprinkle the scallions and coriander on top.
- Serve with lime wedges and chilli slices for extra seasoning.