For cold nights, tired heads, lazy bones and loved ones.
HOT AND SOUR NOODLE BROTH
SEARED SALMON and GREENS
2 tbsps sesame oil
4 small salmon fillets, skinned
generous pinch salt
4 handfuls flat rice noodles (roughly 75g each)
1 ltr chicken stock
3 tbsps fish sauce
3 tbsps light soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin rice wine
(keep bottles of sauce on standby just in case)
juice 1 lime
1 small red hot chilli, deseeded
thumb-size knob ginger, thinly sliced into batons
6 spring onions, sliced diagonally (extra for garnish optional)
small bunch sprouting broccoli, trimmed of leaves
large bunch pak choi, spinach or other greens
touch olive oil to fry salmon
bunch coriander, stalks finely chopped, leaves left for garnish (optional)
In a bowl, coat the salmon fillets with sesame oil and a sprinkling of salt. Leave to sit for 20 minutes.
Rest the noodles in a bowl of boiling water and leave to soften for 30 minutes or as the packet suggests.
Heat the chicken stock in a large saucepan and bring up to a light simmer. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, mirin and lime juice and stir. Taste the broth, adding, if needed, more of each sauce. Fish for depth, soy for salt, mirin for sweetness and lime to cut through.
Add the chilli and ginger and simmer for a few minutes. Now add the greens - the onions, broccoli, pak choi and coriander stalks - and cook gently until the broccoli is just tender.
Meanwhile, heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and, when the oil starts to smoke slightly, add the salmon. Sear the salmon for 30 seconds on each side. Slice. The salmon should still be pink in the middle but warm.
Divide the noodles into deep bowls and ladle the soup over, dishing up equal portions of greens and chilli. Top with the seared salmon.
Garnish with the coriander leaves and the additional spring onion. For an extra bite beside the soup, or to start, serve with Bill's Thai fishcakes and sweet cucumber pickle.