This soup has a distinctive hot and sour taste with hotness from the chilies and sourness from the tamarind boiled in the broth – it is a very common flavour combination in South East Asia.
The liquid that results from soaking the dried mushrooms is a great broth base – rich and earthy – full of umami! You can use a variety of noodles e.g. dried or fresh egg noodles, Udon, Hokkien or Soba noodles or even vermicelli or rice noodles if you’re gluten free. This would also be great with vegetable stock and tofu as a vegetarian option. You can buy tamarind from most supermarkets, normally in the international section. Either buy puree or dried tamarind, to which you can add a little hot water to loosen up.
- shiitake mushrooms 12 dried
- boiling water 3 cups
- good quality chicken stock 1 litre
- tamarind puree 3-4 tablespoons
- red chillies 3-4 small, chopped
- chicken thighs 4 boneless and skinless, thinly sliced
- yellow egg noodles (or noodle type of your choice) 600g
- mung bean sprouts 4 handfuls
- spring onion (scallion) 4, sliced or shredded
- coriander (cilantro) large handful, chopped
- red chilli 1 large, chopped
- Place dried mushrooms in a pot or large bowl. Pour over boiling water and allow mushrooms to soak for 30 minutes until the mushrooms are soft.
- Remove mushrooms and pour the soaking liquid into a large pot, along with the chicken stock, tamarind puree and chili. Bring broth to the boil, then lower heat to a simmer.
- Slice mushrooms and add to broth along with the sliced chicken. Cook for 5 minutes until chicken is just cooked, then add noodles and cook a further 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat.
- Divide broth and contents between serving bowls and top with a handful of bean sprouts, some spring onion (scallion), coriander (cilantro) and chili. Serve immediately.