6 coriander (cilantro) roots
6 garlic cloves
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
½ tsp sea salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
6 chicken drumsticks
1/3 cup soy sauce
1½ tbsp dark sweet soy sauce
3 whole star anise
8 cups chicken stock
3 tsp sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce or to taste
400g (14 oz) thin dried rice noodles
200g (7 oz) sliced Asian greens (e.g. choy sum, bok choy, pak choy or Chinese cabbage)
100g (3.5 oz) Asian pork balls (optional)
bean shoots, to serve
roughly chopped Asian herbs, to serve (e.g. Thai basil, coriander and spring onion)
chilli powder, to taste
Use a mortar and pestle to pound the coriander roots, garlic, peppercorns and salt to a rough paste.
Heat the oil in large pot. Add the garlic paste and the chicken and cook, turning frequently, for 3-4 minutes or until the chicken is just starting to colour.
Add the soy sauce, dark sweet soy sauce, star anise, chicken stock and sugar. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 30 minutes, skimming the surface occasionally.
In the meantime, soak the rice noodles in room temperature water.
Remove and reserve the chicken drumsticks. Strain the broth and pour it back into a clean pot. Taste and add fish sauce if you’d like extra seasoning. Add the pork balls (if using) and keep hot.
Bring a large pot of boiling water to the boil. Add a handful of soaked noodles, Asian greens and bean shoots and cook for barely a minute or until the noodles are just tender. Transfer to a serving bowl. Repeat with remaining portions.
Add chopped herbs and a chicken drumstick to each bowl. Ladle over the hot soup and pork balls. Serve with chilli powder and extra fish sauce to taste.