Tonight I finally perfected my soup, which I have been experimenting with for years:
2 cups of vegetable stock
2 beef style stock cubes
3 chinese sausages, sliced into diagonal slivers
Tspn minced garlic
2tspn minced ginger
Tspn sambal oelek (minced chillies)
Tspn kaffir lime leaves (from jar)
2tbspn lime juice
Dash of fish sauce
Tspn kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
1 star anise
Tspn chinese five spice
Udon or rice noodles
Bring water and vegetable stock to the boil with stock cubes. Meanwhile in a small frypan, saute chinese sausages along with garlic, ginger and sambal oelek. When sausage pieces are browned, add all to the boiling water and stock. Then add kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, lime juice, fish sauce, kecap manis, star anise and five spice. Boil for about 30 mins until the soup reduces a little and the flavour develops.
Separately, boil and drain enough udon or rice noodles for everyone. Pour through a sieve into bowls of prepared noodles, then re-add sausage pieces. You could also simmer into the sieved broth slices of carrot, shallot, pieces of other cooked meats, seafood or dumplings.