A cross between the Chinese mami and the Vietnamese chicken and vegetable noodle soup, this very oriental dish is cooked with flat rice noodles in chicken broth and topped with chunks of chicken breast meat, carrots, and leeks. If you’re in a real hurry, you may use canned broth or even bouillon cubes. Note, however, that most bouillon cubes contain a lot of monosodium glutamate (MSG).
Locally known as MSG is a chemical compound used to heighten flavor. While the debate over alleged health risks attached to its use still rages, I must admit that it does something to the flavor of any food. I don’t use it. I find that it takes away the natural flavor of food. I prefer my chicken to taste like chicken and my fish to taste like fish. If you’re not a fan of MSG either, better stick to canned broth. Just read the label as to whether or not it contains MSG.
Debone the chicken breast. Reserve the bone. Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces and season with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and oregano. Cut off the dark green portion of the leeks. Dice the white and light green portions. Slice the carrot thinly. Place the chicken breast bone in a saucepan. Cover with water. Add the dark green leek stalks, 1/2 head of garlic, 1/2 onion, peppercorns, bay leaf, and 1 tsp. of salt. Simmer for 30 minutes. Strain.
Melt the margarine in a skillet. Over high heat, pan-fry the chicken breast meat until the edges start to brown. Add the carrot slices and diced leeks. Stir for about a minute. Pour in 1/4 c. of chicken broth, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Bring the strained chicken broth to a boil. Add the rice noodles and cook until tender. Transfer the noodles and broth to a large bowl. Top with the chicken breast meat and vegetables.