I first ate this noodle dish at Yamo, a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in San Francisco with a cultlike following, and I have always wanted to re-create it at home. Using a slow cooker proved the perfect way to recapture those memorable flavors. For an authentic touch, top each serving with slices of hard-boiled egg and chopped green onion.
- Yield: 6 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 5 hrs 25 mins
- Active: 30 mins
- 2 1⁄2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs (about 6 large thighs), skin removed
- Kosher salt
- 1⁄2 yellow onion, chopped, plus 1 whole yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 heaping tablespoons peeled and chopped fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 (13-1/2-ounce) can coconut milk, shaken well before opening
- Juice of 1 lime, plus lime wedges for serving
- 3⁄4 pound fresh Chinese wheat noodles or spaghetti
- Finely grated lime zest, optional, for garnish
- Season the chicken with salt. In a blender, combine the chopped onion, the ginger, the garlic, and 1/2 cup of the broth and process until puréed.
- Put a flameproof slow cooker insert on the stovetop over medium-high heat, then add the oil and warm until hot. (Or, use a frying pan for this step.) Add the sliced onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until well browned, about 7 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, until fully incorporated with the onion, about 30 seconds. Stir in the turmeric, paprika, and cayenne (if using), mixing well. Slowly pour in the remaining 1 1/2 cups broth while stirring constantly. Then add the onion purée and 1/2 teaspoon salt and mix well.
- Transfer the insert to the slow cooker, add the chicken, and turn the pieces to coat with the broth mixture. Cover and cook on the low-heat setting for 4 hours. The chicken should be very tender and opaque throughout.
- Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. When just cool enough to handle, bone the chicken and discard the bones and any fat or gristle. Shred the meat into bite-size chunks with your fingers or 2 forks. Return the chicken to the slow cooker, add the coconut milk and lime juice, and stir to mix well. Re-cover and continue to cook on the low-heat setting for 30 minutes to warm the chicken and the sauce through.
- While the chicken and sauce are reheating, prepare the noodles according to the package directions.
- Put the noodles in a large warmed bowl, add the chicken and sauce, and stir together to mix well. If desired, sprinkle with finely grated lime zest. Serve right away. Pass lime wedges at the table.