chicken / recipes

Chinese Chicken Broth


When I first moved to Melbourne I had no idea about the variety of Asian cuisine that was available here. Coming from England, where we have some of the best Chinese and Indian food outside of their respective countries, I was largely oblivious to other tasty Asian delights of Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese food. Needless to say, when my husband took me out to Footscray for a bowl of Pho (Vietnamese soup) my soup repertoire expanded immediately.

This chicken broth recipe is a bit of a hotch potch of Chinese flavours masquerading as a Vietnamese soup, it is, however, absolutely scrumptious! The perfect winter warmer, with a hint of spice to heat you up from the inside, it requires almost no cooking skill, is extremely cheap to make, and can be frozen as stock to use in other dishes. Above all, though, it is a great way to make the most out of roast chicken leftovers, using up all those straggly bits of meat that stick to the bones.

Prep Time: 1 hour

Makes: 2 serves

Ingredients for the broth:

1 whole chicken carcass

1 birdseye chili

2cm piece ginger

2 garlic cloves

1 onion

1/2 carrot

2 star anise

1 cinnamon quill

6 black pepper corns

1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine

1/2 cup (gluten free) soy sauce

2 litres water

2 tsp brown sugar

2 tsp malt vinegar

Oil for frying

Salt and pepper to taste


100g rice noodles

1 bunch Chinese broccoli

Leftover chicken meat

1 birdseye chili

2 cloves garlic

1 lime

Oil for frying

Salt and pepper to taste


In a large saucepan fry off the roughly chopped onion, carrot and chicken carcass over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the chicken bones have taken on a nice golden colour and the vegetables are slightly softened and caramelised. At the very last minute add in the ginger, chili and garlic and fry for a further minute or two. Deglaze the pan with the cooking wine and add in the sugar, soy sauce, malt vinegar, star anise, cinnamon, black pepper, before topping with cold water. Bring it up to the boil and cover with a lid and allow to simmer over a low-medium heat for about 40 minutes.

The longer you leave the broth on the hob, the deeper the flavours will become, but 40 minutes is enough to develop a lovely delicate soup. Take the lid off the pan and allow the broth to reduce for about ten more minutes before straining. Once you have removed the vegetables, spices and bones, place the broth back on the hob, add in the rice noodles and leftover chicken meat, and cook for 2-3 minutes until the noodles are cooked through.

Taste the broth at this point and season to your taste.

In a separate pan heat a little oil and fry together the chili, garlic and chinese broccoli over a high heat for 2-3 minutes. You might like to add a splash of soy sauce or Chinese cooking wine to deglaze the pan before serving.

In two large bowls pour in the soup, noodles and chicken, and finish off with the sauteed Chinese broccoli. Finish with a generous squeeze of lime.


Delicious Additions:

This recipe works equally well with leftover beef, duck or pork meat.

A generous sprinkling of coriander and a good squeeze of orange juice will add a summery freshness to the dish.

Add a selection of oyster, enoki and shitake mushrooms to fatten out the dish.






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