A Gift From the Chef: Mum's Korean Chicken Soup


There's nothing quite like your mother's cooking. The comfort and warmth of walking in the door to familiar smells, the second helpings that always await you, and that one signature dish that's so good, no other version quite compares. For many of Australia's most iconic chefs, their passions began with their mum's signature home cooking. In the lead up to Mother's Day, our participating restaurant's renowned chefs are opening up their mum's cookbooks to share their most loved recipes. This one comes from Quay Executive Chef, Peter Gilmore.

Quay Executive Chef, Peter Gilmore



My mum's chicken soup was always a favourite of mine growing up. It was more traditional with lots of root vegetables and very comforting and nourishing. This is my take on chicken soup. It's a bit spicier but still very comforting. It has now become my family's favourite. It's an evolution of a family tradition.

This soup is one of my family's favourites. It has a satisfying flavour with a warming amount of chili. We often make it on a Sunday night. Our favourite noodle to accompany the soup is a fine somen style wheat noodle, but you can experiment with your own favourite noodles. A Korean friend of mine gave me some homemade kimchi. It sat in my fridge for about three months before I came up with the idea for this soup. Mature kimchi definitely gives the soup an extra hit of complex umami flavour. Freshly prepared kimchi works as well.

Serves 6


  • 1.8kg whole free range chicken
  • 2 ½ litres water
  • 2 medium onions roughly diced
  • 1 small nob fresh ginger finely sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic finely diced
  • 100 gms fresh shiitake mushroom finely sliced
  • 150 gms fresh oyster mushrooms torn into thirds
  • 3 teaspoons mild Korean chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons Korean sesame oil
  • 100 gms unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy
  • 300 gms chopped kimchi
  • 1 small bunch baby bok choy finely sliced
  • 5 Asian green spring onions finely sliced (white part only)
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 free range eggs beaten
  • 400 gms thin somen wheat noodles
  • fine sea salt to taste


  • Place the whole free range chicken in a large saucepan with 2 ½ liters of cold water. Bring the chicken and the water to simmering point then turn down to a low simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Carefully remove the chicken with a pair of tongs and a spoon into a bowl and colander. Allow the chicken to cool for 15 minutes. Remove the leg, thigh and breast meat wearing a pair of gloves. Return all the chicken bones and carcass to the stock and continue to simmer on low for a further 30 minutes.
  • Next chop the chicken meat in to small pieces and place in the refrigerator.
  • In a separate clean pot add the unsalted butter and sesame oil and place on a medium heat. Add the roughly diced onion and sweat for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and sweat for a further minute. Add the shiitake and oyster mushrooms and sweat for 2 minutes. Add the chili flakes, fish sauce, soy sauce and chopped kimchi.
  • Remove any impurities and fat from the surface of the chicken stock using a ladle. Pass the chicken stock through a fine sieve and add the stock the pot of vegetables. Simmer altogether on low for 20 minutes.
  • Bring a separate pot of water to the boil, add the somen noodles and cook for 2 minutes. Drain the noodles and divide equally between 6 warm bowls.
  • Turn the soup up to high, add the chicken meat, finely sliced bok choy, spring onions and lime juice. As soon as the soup starts to boil, turn it off. Taste the soup and correct the seasoning with sea salt if necessary.
  • Stir the soup to create a whirlpool and add the beaten egg.
  • Serve a generous ladle full of soup on top of the warm noodles and garnish with toasted sesame seeds. Serve.
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Mireille Kilgour

Mireille Kilgour

Mireille Kilgour has been an entrepreneur for 35 years in the hospitality sector. French born, she has been an accomplished business owner and operator for a number of Sydney venues. Leading the industry with high profile institutions such as Lamrock Café Bondi, she has endless passion for the industry, and now has the pleasure of supporting restaurants to fill their tables with the new Good Food Gift Card program.