Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup with Dried Bamboo (Bun Mang Ga)
- 1 lb dried bamboo (presoak overnight)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large shallots (peel and mince)
- 5 cloves garlic (peel and mince)
- 2 teaspoons chicken or mushroom stock powder
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 tablespoon salt (for cleaning chicken)
- 3 liters water
- 1 whole yellow or white onion
- 150 grams rock sugar
- 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
- 2 tablespoons chicken or mushroom stock powder
- 1 package rice vermicelli noodles (bun)
- Green onions (slice thin)
- Cilantro (roughly chop)
- Shredded white or purple cabbage
- Lime/lemon wedges
Noodles & Garnish
- Rinse presoaked bamboo a few times and squeeze out excess water until water runs clear. In a large stock pot, bring water to a boil. Add bamboo. Boil for 15 minutes. Place colander in the sink and drain bamboo. Repeat boiling until water is clear and no longer yellow. For this particular batch of dried bamboo, I had to do a total of three boilings to get rid of all the yellow water. Drain bamboo and give it a final rinse then drain dry. Cut off any hard stubs and shred (follow the grain) into thin strips.
- In a large skillet or wok, add vegetable oil and heat on medium high. Add shallots and saute until fragrant. Add garlic next. Saute until fragrant. Add shredded bamboo. Toss evenly in aromatics. Season bamboo with chicken bouillon stock powder, sea salt and sugar. Set aside.
- Clean the chicken by rubbing salt all over the skin and the insides. The abrasive action of the salt will remove the foul poultry smell and scrub the surface clean. Rinse chicken and drain dry.
- In a large stock pot, bring 3 liters water to a boil. Add chicken and yellow/white onion. Simmer on medium low and occasionally skim off any foam that rises to the top. After 30 minutes, test doneness of chicken then remove to prevent overcooking. Set chicken aside to cool. Discard whole onion. Add sauteed bamboo to the stock pot and simmer on medium low for 30 minutes. Season stock pot with rock sugar, sea salt and chicken bouillon stock powder.
- Once chicken has cooled, chop into bite-sized pieces with a large cleaver. Set aside.
- Cook noodles per package instructions and prepare the garnishes/vegetables.
- To serve, add noodles, chicken and bamboo to a bowl. Ladle in hot broth and garnish bowl with green onions, cilantro and lime/lemon wedge.