This article originally appeared in the October 2015 Issue: Craving Comfort. Read it here!

Makes enough for 3-4 large bowls



  • 1 lb Leftover roast chicken, meat shredded
  • 2-3lb Chicken bones, alternatively use bones from other meats like duck or pork
  • 4L water
  • 1 Star anise
  • ½ teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 pinch dried chilli flakes
  • 2 small pieces rock sugar
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 large onion, unpeeled
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, unpeeled
  • 1 lb fresh rice noodles (ho fan)


  • 2-3 fresh chillies, thinly sliced
  • 1 handful beansprouts
  • 1 handful Thai basil
  • 2-3 limes
  • Optional extras: fresh coriander, chilli sauce, spring onions, crispy fried shallots

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  1. Char the onion and ginger directly on the hob. I have placed a metal rack over the hob, charring the onion and ginger until blackened and slightly soft (3-5 mins). If you do not have a gas stove, grill the onion and garlic (10-15 mins).
  2. Fill the stock pot with water and add all of the bones, rock sugar, star anise, peppercorn, chilli flakes, onion and ginger to the pot. Simmer for 2-3 hours and skim off any fat and impurities that comes to the surface and drain off the bones. If you are not eating right away, you can keep the broth in the fridge.
  3. In a separate pot, cook the noodles. If they are fresh ho fun, it will only take 30 seconds for the noodles to soften and separate. Drain the noodles and divide into the bowls.
  4. Reheat broth and season it with fish use to taste. Warm the chicken meat in the broth and add to the noodles. Spoon the broth into the bowls and serve with the garnish. Slurp loudly and immediately.

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Kelly’s tips:

  • I save any bones and grisly bits from our Sunday roasts in a ziplock bag in the freezer and I make this dish when the bag is full – about once a month. This is the perfect opportunity to use any vegetables that have been hanging around in your fridge drawer, like the wrinkly carrot, or the stringy leeks and celery. It all goes in to make this broth taste amazing.
  • If you do not have any leftovers from roast chicken, you can poach a chicken breast or leg in the broth and when its cooled you can shred the meat. It helps add flavour to the broth.

Hi I'm Kelly, I create the 'Chineasy Food' column! I love to use seasonal Hong Kong ingredients.

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