Rice noodles are typical of Canton (rice territory). This recipe was developed by Corinne Trang, former director of the SAVEUR Kitchen.
- 8 oz. mi fen (dried rice vermicelli)
- 1⁄4 cup medium dried shrimp
- 4 large dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 8 cups unsalted chicken stock
- 5 scallions, white parts only; 3 crushed, 2 thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 2 thin slices peeled fresh ginger
- 1 skinless boneless chicken breast, very thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 4 heads baby bok choy, trimmed, leaves separated
- 1⁄2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 fresh hot red chiles (thai or serrano), thinly sliced on the diagonal
Soak noodles, shrimp, and shiitakes in three separate bowls of hot water until soft. After about 20 minutes, drain shrimp and shiitakes. Squeeze excess water from shiitakes, trim and discard stems, and julienne caps.
Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and fry until golden. Immediately remove from heat and set garlic oil aside in a small serving bowl.
Place shrimp, shiitakes, stock, crushed scallions, and ginger in a large pot. Season with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer.
Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Drain vermicelli, add to boiling water, and cook for 5 seconds; remove with a sieve and divide between 4 large soup bowls. Add chicken to boiling water, cook for 10 seconds, remove with sieve, and divide between bowls. Add bok choy to pot; blanch until just tender, 1-2 minutes. Remove with sieve, arrange on chicken, and ladle about 2 cups of the broth into each bowl. Garnish with sliced scallions, cilantro, and chiles and drizzle with garlic oil.