As if a heart warming bowl of chicken noodle soup wasn’t enough, I’ve made my family’s Malaysian chicken Hor Fun recipe even healthier by changing the noodles to a zero calorie alternative and added prawns for a boost of iron, zinc and vitamin E! Pile on the vegetables and you have a strong contender for best weekly meal that will fuel muscle growth and not weigh you down.
This is a tribute to my mum.
Growing up in Malaysia, my mum’s family were poor and grandma had 8 kids to feed. When mum was in primary (grade) school, the family set up a makeshift stall under a tree selling Goreng Pisang (fried bananas) then later ‘upgraded’ to a more permanent outdoor kitchen (just outside their house in Pokok Assam) selling Curry Laksa and Cheng Tong (meaning clear broth), similar to this more-famous Ipoh Kai Si Hor Fun.
Mum had to wait for the first customer in order to have the bus fare to get to school.
I love hearing about my parent’s lives – they’ve worked so hard so that our lives were completely different experiences to that (growing up in suburban Australia). This floods back memories for me of big pots of boiling soup on a Friday night before we headed off to Boys’ Brigade (a version of Scouts) and me guzzling up the thin and wholesome broth with the meaty chicken and the crunchy vegetables offsetting the slippery and soft noodles that had sopped up all that flavor.
With that in mind, I never want to give up making dishes that bring my childhood memories back, so even though I cook with a very focused mindset now, I’ll always find ways to make these dishes work within my boundaries.
This is by no means traditional preparation, but I have borrowed techniques that I have learnt from my mum over the years to make this a quicker dish to prepare for those short on time.
I’ve made this hearty, wholesome soup even healthier by changing the noodles to a zero calorie alternative. The dish is high in protein and, now, naturally gluten free! Pile on the vegetables and you have a strong contender for best weekly meal that will fuel muscle growth and not weigh you down