80g (about 3 oz) dried cellophane noodles*
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 coriander (cilantro) roots, roughly chopped
1 tsp ground white pepper
250g (9 oz) chicken mince (ground chicken)
4 tbsp fish sauce
¼ cup roughly chopped coriander (cilantro)
2 spring onions (scallions), cut into batons
garlic oil, to serve
Soak the noodles in tepid water for 10 minutes or until softened.
Use a mortar and pestle to pound the garlic and coriander roots to a rough paste. Transfer the paste to a large bowl and add the white pepper, chicken and 2 tablespoons of the fish sauce. Mix vigorously, slapping the mixture against the bowl to work the proteins.
Bring 4 cups of water to the boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add pinches of the chicken mixture to form little meatballs. Allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes until just cooked. Season the soup with the remaining 2 tablespoons of fish sauce (add more or less fish sauce to taste). When ready to serve, add the soaked noodles. Then stir through the coriander and spring onions. Remove from heat and serve with the garlic oil.
– Cellophane noodles are also known as glass noodles or mung bean noodles. They can be found in the Asian aisle of major supermarkets or from an Asian grocer.