Weekend Wellness / Crossing-the-Bridge Noodles

Crossing-the-Bridge Noodles


The Stock

2 chicken carcasses/1kg chicken bones

100g dried soy beans

6 thick slices ginger

4 spring onions

2 garlic cloves

2 mackerel skins/any fish skin

6 tbsp avocado oil

2 tbsp Shao Xing rice wine (for seasoning)

2 tbsp light soy sauce (for seasoning)

The Chilli Sauce

5 long red chillies

2 garlic cloves

2 tbsp avocado oil

3–4 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp palm sugar

150ml water

Suggested Toppings

6 quail eggs

250g dried thick round rice noodles (guo qiao mi xian)/sweet potato glass noodles

3–4 tbsp suan cai (pickled mustard greens)

3–4 pak choi or choi sum

8 oyster mushrooms/Shiitake mushrooms

Handful picked bean sprouts

100g Chinese chives/blanched garlic shoots

Handful picked coriander

200g sea bass fillets/white fish fillets

200g fresh mackerel fillet


Place all the stock ingredients into a large saucepan and fill the pan ¾ way up with water. Place on a medium-high heat and bring to boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to a low heat and simmer for 3–4 hours removing any scum every 15–20 minutes for the first hour. To remove the scum, have a bowl of cold water nearby to dip the ladle into whilst skimming the scum off the surface of the stock.

For "The Chilli Sauce", finely chop chilli and garlic and then start to fry them in a wok on a medium heat. Once the garlic is lightly browning, add the rice vinegar, soy sauce and palm sugar and continue to stir-fry for 2–3 minutes before then adding water bit by bit. Add the water intermittently to keep the sauce cooking until all the water has been used up. Cook through until a paste has been formed.

Soak the noodles in hot water for 8–10 minutes if you like your noodles with a bite. If you prefer your noodles softer, then boil your noodles for 4–5 minutes on a rolling boil.

Pick the pak choi/choi sum leaves, and tear the fresh mushrooms. Wash the beansprouts thoroughly and pick the ends off the beansprouts.

Slice the Chinese chives and garlic shoots into 3–4 cm lengths. Blanch the garlic shoots for 3 minutes in the cooking stock. Lastly, finely slice the fish or meat as thin as you can possibly slice it. Keep all the sliced ingredients separate and covered and in the fridge for when you need it.


With the right amount of oil in the stock (avocado and fish oil from the fish skin), the stock should stay pretty hot for 1–2 hours at least. If you have left the stock covered for too long and it is not steaming hot, you can just put it back on the hob on a high heat and bring back to a boil before serving. The last thing you have to do is season your stock with light soy sauce and ShaoXing Rice wine. The recipe has guided quantities, but you may add more or less depending on your tastes.

Place all the raw ingredients on the table for people to dig into and help themselves.

Either serve the stock into separate large bowls for each guest to pick whatever they fancy to put into their own soup, or take a good selection of all the ingredients and place into the large saucepan of stock whilst piping hot. Allow the fresh ingredients to cook through in the stock for 3–4 minutes before eating.

N.b. If you are worried about raw fish and meat at home, you may cook the meat/fish slices in the stock for 2–3 minutes on the boil before serving.