This chicken and mushroom glass noodle soup or mien ga in Vietnamese is perfect for cold winter nights. Made with store bought stock, it is super easy to make and won’t break the budget. If you are a lover of noodle soups without the mess or fuss, then this one is for you!
We are right in the middle of winter here in Canberra and well… it’s cold. Fortunately for me, being built like a seal has its advantages and comfortably withstanding sub zero temperatures in shorts and a t-shirt is one of them. Steph on the other hand, has no such powers. She relies on hot bowls of noodle soups like this one to get her through the winter.
Making Quick Chicken and Mushroom Glass Noodle Soup
While I always prefer to make things from scratch, we don’t always have the time or the energy. This is where alternate methods shine, especially when your partner is a ravenous savage with a temper to rival the incredible hulk!
Luckily for Steph, I am currently going through a phase where I am finding ways to make classic noodle soup dishes easier and quicker. Today this recipe is a revamp of my older Vietnamese Mien Ga post. You can find the traditional, original recipe here, which involves making the broth from scratch using a whole chicken.
Preparing the Shiitake Mushrooms and Black Fungus
The first thing to do is soak the shiitake mushrooms and black fungus in some boiling water for about 20 minutes. This will rehydrate and soften the mushrooms so they can be easily sliced.
I generally like to add the shiitake mushrooms early into the soup so they have a chance to release their umami flavour.
However, do not do this with the the black fungus. If you add it in too early, it gives off an unusual taste which can be a little off putting. This is why I like to boil it in a different pot then add it to the soup at the very end.
If you are short on time use kitchen scissors to cut the shiitake mushrooms in half and remove the stems. This will greatly shorten the soaking time.
Charring the Onions and Ginger
I like to char my onions and ginger to give the soup a little smokiness. It is a little bit of effort but I believe it is worth it.
The easiest way to do this is to simply have a fry pan on high and dry fry until there is a decent amount of char.
Making the Soup
Since this is a quick version of the chicken and mushroom glass noodle soup recipe, we are using store bought chicken stock instead of making it from scratch. We only need enough time to allow the shiitake mushrooms, onions and ginger to infuse with the stock. Cooking the chicken in the stock will also boost the chicken flavour, so while this recipe requires little time and effort we won’t be sacrificing depth of flavour.
Preparing the Glass Noodles
In the instructions I have said to prepare the noodles per the packaging. I personally, like the noodles a little underdone before ladling the hot soup over the top. This will ensure your noodles are not overcooked, bloated or mushy.
So to do this, if the directions say cook the noodles for 3 minutes in boiling water, then do it for 2 minutes instead.
Serving Chicken and Mushroom Glass Noodle Soup
To serve this quick chicken and mushroom glass noodle soup:
- Place fish sauce, sriracha, bean sprouts, lemon wedges and coriander on the table.
- Divide the noodles into bowls.
- Add the chicken pieces.
- Ladle the hot soup and shiitake mushrooms over the top.
- Add the garnishes and serve.
- Allow people to tailor their noodle soup bowls to their preferences.
My Best Tips for Chicken and Mushroom Glass Noodle Soup
- Use good quality liquid chicken stock. Don’t use anything powdered, you can really tell the difference.
- Save time by soaking the mushrooms in the morning. If you want to get this dish on the table in 30 minutes, then soak the mushrooms in the morning before work / grind / life.
- Fried shallots. This is the one garnish you must not skip! It truly ties the dish together.
Recipe Cost (Australia)
This table shows how much this recipe will cost if you had to go out and buy everything on the ingredients list (“Shop Price”), as well as the value of ingredients actually used in the recipe (“Recipe Cost”).
We haven’t included optional ingredients or small quantities of salt, pepper or sugar as the cost would be negligible. All prices are in Australian dollars and are based off what was published on Coles Online or Woolworths Online as at time of writing.
|Recipe Needs||Recipe |
|50 gm packet||$3.70||10 gm (approx 5)||0.74|
|Black Fungus||100 gm packet||$1.95||5 gm||0.02|
|Glass Noodles||250 gm packet||$1.40||200 gm||1.12|
|Chicken Stock||1 L carton||$1.90||1 L||$1.90|
|Ginger||1 at $25/kg||$3.60||10 gm||$0.30|
|Chicken Breast||1 at $9.50/kg||$2.50||1||$2.85|
|Fish Sauce||300 ml bottle||$3.00||2 tbsp||$0.30|
|Spring Onions||1 bunch||$2.00||1 stalk||$0.10|
|Fried Shallots||100 gm packet||$3.00||10 gm||$0.30|
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Chicken and Mushroom Glass Noodle Soup
- 1.5+ L Pot
- 5 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 5 gm dried black fungus / wood ear mushrooms
- 200 gm glass noodles
- 1 L low sodium liquid chicken stock
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 large onion
- 10 gm ginger, sliced
- 1 chicken breast (or 2 thigh fillets)
- 2 tbsp fish sauce or to taste
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp fried shallots
- 1 stalk spring onion, roughly chopped
- 1 cup bean sprouts, (optional)
- 4 sprigs coriander (optional)
- 2 lemon wedges (optional)
- chilli sauce
- Soak the shiitake mushroom and black fungus separately in just-boiled water for at least 20 minutes. Once done, rinse under cold water and cut into thin slices.
- Add the chicken stock and water into a pot on medium-high and bring to the boil.
- Meanwhile, put the onion and ginger in a fry pan on medium-high heat. Dry fry them until they are charred, then add them to the stock.
- Once the pot is boiling, turn down the heat to medium-low and add the chicken and shiitake mushrooms.
- Cook the chicken for roughly 10 minutes or until done. Once cooked through, remove and shred. Set the shredded chicken aside.
- In a small pot, add boiling water and cook the black fungus for 5 minutes. Once done, strain and set aside.
- Prepare the glass noodles as per packaging.
- Add the black fungus, fish sauce, sugar and pepper to the soup. Check the seasoning and adjust to your taste.
Assembling the Bowls
- Turn the heat up to medium-high and allow the soup to come to a boil.
- Divide the glass noodles into bowls. Add the chicken, black fungus and bean sprouts (if using) on top.
- Ladle the boiling soup into the bowls and garnish with chopped spring onion and fried shallots.