This is an extremely quick and easy one-pot meal that I made on the fly for lunch yesterday. The whole thing took me about 20 minutes to throw together from start to finish.

No matter what time of the day it is, the colder weather  in Western NY always makes me crave for something hot and soupy. We had some ground turkey that was thawed out in preparation of making turkey burgers for dinner so I used some as my meat. On hindside, pork would have been much more suitable as it is much more flavourful as meats go, but you can use any kind of meat you have on hand. In a pinch, the broccoli can also be substituted with other vegetables like baby bok choy or chye sim.

The soup base is made with dried ikan bilis, which are dried anchovies (not to be confused with the italian kind)! Compared to italian anchovies, ikan bilis has a much less fishy taste. They do look and smell a bit suspicious, but boy do they make a good stock.

This made for a very quick, wholesome and satisfying lunch. It is also very reminiscent of a dish my mom makes using rice vermicelli, homemade chicken stock (simply done by boiling raw chicken bones in water), chicken breast meat and any green leafy vegetable she has in the refrigerator. Yum!

Serves 2
For the soup:
A handful of dried anchovies (about 25-35 anchovies)
3 ½ cups water

For the meat:
3 ½ Tablespoons ground turkey
½ Teaspoon sesame oil
1 ½ Tablespoon chinese cooking wine/hua tiao wine
1 Tablespoon water
salt and pepper to taste
½ Tablespoon corn starch

3 ½ oz rice vermicelli noodles
3 cups broccoli florets

  1. Add water for the soup into a pot and turn on the fire.
  2. Rinse and drain the dried anchovies at least 3 times and it to the pot.
  3. Cover and bring to a boil. (*note: Keep an eye on this as it will boil over!)
  4. When it boils, turn down the fire, and let simmer about 10 to 15 mins.
  5. While waiting for the stock, marinate the meat by mixing it with the sesame oil, cooking wine, salt & pepper, cornstarch and water.
  6. Soak the rice vermicelli noodles in water for about 10 minutes to soften them.
  7. Wash and cut up the broccoli into individual florets.
  8. When the soup stock is done, remove and discard the anchovies, and bring it back up to a boil.
  9. Add broccoli florets into the soup and cook until tender.
  10. Remove the broccoli into a bowl when ready.
  11. Scoop 1½ -inch pieces of ground turkey into the boiling soup.
  12. Drain the noodles and add it into the pot with the meat.
  13. Cook till the meat is no longer pink in the center, stirring occasionally. This should take about 5-8 minutes.
  14. Add broccoli back into the pot just before the meat is done, and gently stir everything to combine.
  15. Ladle into individual serving bowls.

This can be garnished with fried shallots and/or chopped green onions. Serve hot and enjoy!