Tan tsai noodles
Recipe adapted from eggwansfoododyssey.com
Cooking time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
1 lb chicken bones
8 fresh prawns, shelled, head on
3 grams bonito shaving
3 spring onions, cut into 3 inch lengths
2 slices ginger
400 grams (14 oz) ground pork
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine
2 tbsp fried shallot
2 cup water
1/4 tsp pepper powder
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
1 tsp rock sugar
16 oz Tawaianese flour noodles
sliced spring onion for garnish
- Prepare the stock. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lay the chicken bones on a sheet pan and roast in the oven until golden brown in color, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, remove the head and shells from the prawns. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the prawn shells and head into the pan and saute until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan and put the bones, prawn shells and head, bonito shaving, spring onions, and sliced ginger in a medium pot. Cover with enough water to submerge all of the ingredients. Bring the broth to a boil over high heat, covered. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer for 2 hours.
- Strain the broth, discarding all of the ingredients. Keep warm.
- Prepare the sauce. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground pork and saute until no longer pink, about 3-4 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients for the sauce from the soy sauce to the rock sugar. Stir to mix and bring the mixture to a boil. Continue to simmer for 30 minutes or until the sauce has reduced to half.
- Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until al dente, about 7-8 minutes. Drain.
- Two minutes before serving, add the prawns to the prepared heated broth. Cook until pink, about 2 minutes. Remove from the soup.
- To assemble, portion the noodles into 3 bowls. Top with 2 prawns each and the sauce. Ladle the broth into the bowls and top with sliced spring onions. Serve immediately.
per serving: 681 calories, 24.6g fat(8g saturated, 3.4g polyunsaturated, 9,9g monounsaturated), 78.4g carbohydates, 4.7g fiber, 34.6g protein
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
To make a great stock you have to have great ingredients. Roasting the chicken bones allows it to yield a deeper flavor in the stock as does browning the prawn head and shells.
When I was making the broth, I overlooked the prawn heads and kept them attached. I only realized after I had finished the dish that I should have added it to the broth for more flavor. Highly recommended to add the heads!
Getting ready to prepare the stock...
Two hours later, the broth has achieved a milky color and smells fantastic! The aroma just overwhelmed the house, but in a good way.
This recipe does use ingredients specifically used in Taiwanese cuisine including fried shallot slices. I used red pepper powder for the pepper powder. You can find these ingredients at your local Asian market, preferably a Chinese market.
For the sauce, don't be surprised when you taste it that it is very salty. You have 1/2 cup of soy sauce and you're reducing it, which adds to the saltiness. However, keep in mind that you're not seasoning anything else in the dish so the minced pork is the only salt factor. Think of the minced pork as your seasoning.
Separately, the components of this dish is wonderful, together, it works perfectly. The broth is a great base for a soup, the pork is salty but still balanced with the sugar and emits the Chinese five spice flavor, the prawns are delicate. Ladling the soup last allows it to pour over the pork and become seasoned. I can't wait to try the authentic version of this dish to see if this recipe compares!