vegetable broth

Michael Caines

 “I love this dish. It really celebrates the freshness and flavour of Southeast Asian cookery. All the elements are lightly poached in the one pan, creating a simple dish packed full of flavour,” says Michael Caines.


  • 20g fresh ginger, peeled and halved
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 lemongrass stalk
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 800ml vegetable stock
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 pak choi, large
  • 50g shiitake mushrooms
  • 50g Chinese leaf
  • 180g egg noodles, fresh
  • 30g water chestnuts, sliced
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce (optional)
  • 3 sprigs of Thai basil
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1 tsp sesame oil (optional)
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


  1. To begin, grate one half of the ginger and finely slice the other. Chop the chilli into thin slices, smash the lemongrass with a rolling pin then place in a saucepan with the garlic, ginger and half of the sliced chilli.
  2. Pour over the vegetable stock, add the star anise and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. While the stock is cooking, prepare the vegetables. Cut the pak choi into quarters, slice the shiitake mushrooms and shed the Chinese leaf finely.
  4. Cook the noodles according to packet instructions.
  5. Pass the stock through a sieve and place back in the pan. Return to the boil, add the vegetables and the rest of the chilli. Cook for 3 minutes before adding the noodles and water chestnuts. Season with the soy sauce and a little fish sauce, if desired.
  6. Add the picked Thai basil, slice the spring onion finely and sprinkle over the top. Finish with a little sesame oil and serve with wedges of lime

Recipe by Michael Caines, courtesy of

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