Source: Dorothy Love Retirement Community
Filled with veggies, poultry and shrimp, this dish is colorful and filled with protein.
3 pounds skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
1 cup thickly sliced coins fresh gingerroot
¼ cup packed opai (dried baby shrimp), available at Asian supermarkets
4 to 6 cups best-quality, low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups water
1 tsp. salt or to taste
4 large, dried shiitake mushrooms
8 oz. dried mung bean (bean thread) noodles
1 bunch scallions (ends trimmed), white, light- and dark-green parts cut on the diagonal into 1-in. slices (1 ¼ cups)
1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil or chili oil for garnish
Soy sauce for garnish (optional)
- Arrange chicken thighs in bottom of large soup pot or Dutch oven. Scatter ¾ cup of ginger slices and opai over chicken.
- Pour 4 cups of broth and all of water over ingredients in pot. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, skimming off any scum that rises to surface. Reduce heat to low so broth barely bubbles at edges. Cook uncovered for 2 hours, or until dark meat is fall-off-the-bone tender and broth has developed good depth of flavor. Taste broth for seasoning and stir in salt. Remove from heat.
- Use large slotted spoon or skimmer to transfer chicken to large bowl to cool. Strain broth through damp cheesecloth into clean pot. Discard ginger. You may either retrieve shrimp and return to broth or discard. (At this point, they have little flavor left, but they do have pleasant chewy texture.)
- Put shiitake mushrooms in bowl and pour 1 cup of boiling water over mushrooms. Soak for 20 to 30 minutes, until mushrooms have completely softened. Drain mushrooms and trim off stems. Cut caps into thin slices.
- Use fingers to pull cooked chicken meat into shreds; discard bones.
- Return pot of broth to stove over medium-low heat. Add remaining ¼ cup of ginger slices, shredded chicken and sliced shiitakes. Cook so broth is barely bubbling.
- Place mung bean noodles in separate bowl and pour enough boiling water over noodles to cover. Soak for 7 minutes, then drain in colander set in sink. Use kitchen shears to cut noodles into spaghetti-length strands. Add noodles and 1 cup of scallions to broth; increase heat to medium. Cook noodles for 3 minutes (close to boil). For soupier dish, add 1 to 2 cups of remaining broth; cook at very low boil. Turn off heat, cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish each serving with remaining ¼ cup of scallions and few drops of toasted sesame or chili oil and soy sauce, if desired.