Saturday, February 20, 2010

Asian Chicken* Noodle Soup

I love Asian food but often feel it is very foreign and intimidating to make.  I finally broke down a bought the ingredients that I keep on substituting in Asian recipes and realize now that's the cause for all of my Asian culinary failures up until now.  Rice vinegar= deliciousness.  Chile paste (I have garlic chile sauce) is spicy and flavorful.  Sesame oil, while I hate the smell of it, definitely lends the flavor that compliments the dish.  And powdered ginger is no substitute for real ginger.  I never buy it because I only ever need a small bit of it. However, according to a friend it freezes well, so just slice off the part you need, grate or slice the rest and freeze it until called for. Found this recipe on the Food Network's website, read the reviews and decided to try it.  It was super easy-- probably took about 30 min.  This recipe is very adaptable.  I am including my version here, but the website's original is, I'm sure, every bit as delectable.

4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Garlic chile sauce (add more if you want it spicier)
8 cups chicken broth
*1/2 bag of Trader Joe's frozen Thai Vegetable Goyzas (the original recipe called for 12 ounces of boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut crosswise into thin strips.  I really think you can substitute any protein at this point or even omit it altogether)
4 cups chopped asian vegetables (I used a frozen package of stir fry veggies and just defrosted it for 2 min in the microwave, though next time I think I'll just add them to the soup frozen) or Napa cabbage
1 (5-ounce) package rice noodles, prepared according to packing directions (I used bean noodles.  They're the clear noodles that are often in Vietnamese food)  You could probably use spaghetti in a pinch.
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
6 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias
1 cucumber, julliened

Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, sugar, vinegar, and chile paste in a small bowl.

Heat the broth in a medium saucepan. Add the soy sauce mixture, the chicken or won tons, and the vegetables and bring to a boil. Simmer for two minutes or until chicken/protein/wonton is cooked through. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Pour over prepared Chinese noodles. Garnish with cilantro, scallions, and cucumbers.  I also squeezed a few limes over the soup because I love that citrus bite.  Sorry, no pictures, it was just that good.


  1. OK, another ingredient you need to buy is mirin (sweetened rice wine, in "foreign"/"Asian" section of market). So good with soy sauce, ginger and garlic in improvised stir fries!

  2. The original recipe called for mirin but I forgot to get it. But it's good to know that's another one to get.