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Chicken stock for Chinese noodle soup

I have tried making stock for Chinese noodle soups at home, but try hard as I might (adding onions, carrots, celery, parsley and what have you), I never get the taste of soups served at Chinese restaurants or even anything remotely like it.

What am I missing (other than putting in chicken feet,, which are just too gross to contemplate)?

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  1. I would omit the carrots, celery, parsley, and what have you. Try any combination of ginger, daikon, mushroom, and a bit of soy as your flavoring agents instead.

    There is a great thread where someone gives recipes for all the broths - clear, white, brown and more used in Chinese cooking. Some broths even use a bit of ham. I can't find it that thread though. Hopefully someone knows what I'm talking about and can chime in.

    1 Reply
    1. re: seamunky

      This is the thread I was referring to


      chemicalkinetics gives a good description of different broths and gives step by step instructions for Chinese clear broth

    2. What do you mean by "Chinese noodle soup"?

      There are so many different types that just thinking about all the possibilities make my head hurt.

      And most Chinese noodle soups - be they beef, vegetable, egg and tomato, pork, or seafood, or whatever - don't really use stock the way that most Americans think of when they say "stock".

      And certainly no one uses chicken stock to make beef noodle soup ... Just sayin.

      1. Most Chinese restaurants do not use any aromatics....they have a big vat of stock to service the Wok cooking line........Some will use the addition of MSG, but the secret ingredient is soy sauce....

        1. I suppose we all have a different idea of what a chinese noodle soup is. First thing I think of is the typical wonton soup served at the restaurants where I live. The broth is very delicate yet flavorful.

          Recipes I've used always say to boil the chopped up chicken pieces for 5 minutes, drain and rise the chicken and the pot - thus eliminating the scum that makes the stock cloudy. This will yield a very pale but clear stock. Return chicken to the pot and add a few slices of ginger, garlic, and green onion. Cover with water. Bring to a boil again and immediately reduce to a simmer, skimming the surface as needed, for about 3 hours.

          For the usual wonton soup I place the cooked wontons in a bowl, add stock seasoned to taste with salt, add a drop or two of toasted sesame oil and fresh green onions.

          Don't know if that's what you were after or not but it may help you in the right direction. I do know that every recipe I've read and cookbooks I have always starts the broth with the draining and rinsing thing...

          1 Reply
          1. re: thymetobake

            That's very similar to what I have observed in China. They also tend to add mushrooms and Licorice root to the stock, but surprisingly very few had garlic in it.

          2. Here is a link to a description of the recipe from Irene Kuo's Key to Chinese Cooking. I have found her recipes to be quite authentic. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3259...

            1. so, i guess i shouldn't invite you over when i make chicken stock? cuz it's a bubbling cauldron of feet, heads and backs. lol.

              as mentioned by others, there are many versions for different soups and dishes and yeah, they don't use the aromatics you do.

              1. None of the usual aromatics go into a Chinese chicken stock.

                Apart from the usual several pounds of chicken parts (all bone-in), the basic ingredients for a Chinese chicken stock are simply slices of fresh ginger (no peeling necessary), green onions (aka scallions), & after the stock has cooked down to the intensity you want, sometimes a dollop or two of rice wine or dry sherry is added. Soy usually isn't added to the stock until it's served - either on its own, or as part of a Chinese soup.

                1. Whole chicken, preferably an old hen. Chicken backs/carcasses work great too.
                  pork bones (neck bones work great too)
                  ham (Virginia smoked ham, smoked ham hock can also work)
                  dried scallops
                  maybe dried shitake (need to soak them first)
                  rock sugar

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: K K

                    While that looks/sounds delicious, the OP is looking for a "chicken stock". I think the addition of pork & perhaps even the dried scallops rules your recipe out as far as that goes.

                    1. re: Bacardi1

                      My bad for not reading carefully...that's probably a better receipe for superior stock, which would be a luxurious one for noodle soups and probably work even better.

                  2. 'Eat Drink Man Woman' movie. All you ever need to know about making chicken stock. Note the green onions and pork bones and the fact that the stock never gets to a boil.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Puffin3

                      Chinese folks are weird, but I don't think even they use pork bones to make "chicken stock" ... (assuming of course that they make chicken stock to begin with).