This Saifun recipe is from my friend Gregg - one of his family's traditional recipes. Holy moly it is good! So good that I was not tired of it after eating it for four days. I wish it was a never-ending, self-regenerating food. Saifun is bone broth heavy, but somehow, more than any other broth-based food I have made, the flavor enhances wonderfully the next day. I have never cooked anything like it, and Ryan, Colson and I were a little scared when it was done because it was a wobbly, weird something until we dug in. You will know you are successful when you have a wobbly mess of noodles with very little leftover broth. Best of all, it just feels good and right.
Here is Gregg's recipe, with some comments by me in brackets.
- One whole chicken or chicken parts with skin. Skin will be discarded but you want to start with the flavor.
- Bricks of dry saifun or mung bean noodles (i'm going to say 8 oz., most big supermarkets have these in the asian sections)
- celery, chopped for finished dish
- carrots, julienned for finished dish
- soy or (i've also used) ponzu sauce [I use coconut aminos]
- and whatever you throw into a broth....onion, carrots, celery, maybe lemon grass, spices.
First thing....make a chicken broth. Break apart a whole chicken, I used kitchen shears and cut the wings and leg bones up to release the marrow. [I don't boil my chicken because I prefer roasted meat - I roast it, pull the meat and refrigerate, place the bones in water with 2 TBS apple cider vinegar, let it soak for 1/2 hour, turn it on and bring it to a simmer, add the chicken drippings, onion, carrot, celery and fresh herbs if I have them. Turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 8 to 16 hours, depending on time constraints].
Now back to Gregg's instructions, which are great if you prefer to boil meat or are crunched for time:
Add chicken to a large pot with giblets, onion, celery, bay leaves, spices. Cover the chicken completely with cold water. Bring to a boil then simmer. You will know you are done when the meat falls from or is easily pulled from the bone.
Remove all the chicken from the broth and set aside. Once the chicken cools enough, you will take out all the bones. Discard the bone and all the skin. If you've chopped the chicken to release marrow, be sure to get any little bone pieces out. Keep the meat to add later. Give the heart and liver to a deserving dog. Refrigerate the chicken if you are completing the dish the next day.
Strain out all of the veg and discard. You just want a clean broth.
My family removes the fat from the broth. The It can be too greasy if you don't. You can do this two ways. Use a measuring cup that is a fat seperator. Or you can let the broth cool, the put it in the fridge over night. The fat will harden on top of the broth, You can strain it out, or simply lay pieces of paper towel on top of it. The grease will cling to the paper towel and easily lift out. A bit of chicken fat left is tasty. [I don't remove the fat and it is yummy fine with it or without it.]
Once the grease is removed, put the broth back into the large soup pan. (Heat up the cold broth a bit if it was taken from the fridge) Add the mung bean noodle brichs to the broth....let is soak a bit.
Turn on the heat. Bring to a boil, turn down to simmer. Add the julienned carrots. Add the chicken to heat up again. You will have cut the chicken into bite sized bits by now. The dry noodles will eventually soak up all of the chicken broth. Add the chopped celery toward the end. You want it cooked yet still with a bit of crunch.
I forgot to keep track of cooking times. It was easy to watch.
We eat it over rice.
Add soy sauce and that's it.