Recipe and photography from The Great Australian Cook Book
1.8kg whole free-range chicken
2.5 litres cold water
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 onion, peeled, roughly chopped
1 celery stick, roughly chopped
100g unsalted butter
2 tbsp Korean sesame oil, plus extra to serve
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 small knob fresh ginger, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
100g fresh shiitake mushrooms, finely sliced
100g fresh oyster mushrooms, torn into thirds
1 tsp mild Korean chilli flakes
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
300g chopped kimchi (available from Asian supermarkets)
200g thin somen wheat noodles
1 small bunch baby bok choy, leaves broken off
5 Asian green spring onions, white part only, finely sliced
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
sea salt to taste
2 free-range eggs, beaten
3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, to garnish
3 tbsp fried shallots, to garnish
pea flowers, young peas, optional, to serve
To prepare the chicken, remove the wings and legs, cut the breasts from the carcass but leave on the bone. Place all the chicken pieces into a large saucepan with the cold water. Add the carrot, onion and celery. Bring to just boiling point, then reduce to a low simmer for 30 minutes. Carefully remove the chicken breasts with a pair of tongs and a spoon and place into a colander. Allow the chicken to cool for 15 minutes.
Wearing gloves, remove the breast meat. Return the chicken bones to the cooking liquid and continue to simmer on low for a further 30 minutes. Finely slice the cooled chicken meat and place in the refrigerator.
Into a separate clean saucepan, add the butter and sesame oil and place over a medium heat. Add the onion and sweat for 2 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and sweat for a further minute.
Add the shiitake and oyster mushrooms and sweat for 2 minutes. Add the chilli flakes, fish sauce, soy sauce and kimchi. Stir and remove from the heat.
Use a ladle to remove any impurities and fat from the surface of the chicken stock. Pass the stock through a fine sieve and add it to the pan of vegetables. Simmer soup on low for 10 minutes.
Bring a separate pan of salted water to the boil, add the somen noodles and cook for 2 minutes. Drain the noodles and divide equally between six warmed bowls. Turn the soup up to high, add the chicken meat, bok choy, spring onions and lime juice. As soon as the soup starts to boil, turn off the heat.
Taste the soup and correct the seasoning with sea salt if necessary. Stir the soup to create a whirlpool, then add the beaten egg. Serve a generous ladleful of soup on top of the warm noodles and garnish with toasted sesame seeds, fried shallots and a drizzle of sesame oil.
If desired, garnished with pea flowers and young peas.