Just the scent of this soup is healing.
You start by sauteing garlic and ginger in sesame oil then add chicken, vegetables, both and noodles. As the aroma of sizzling ginger fills your kitchen, things start to look up. A small smile plays at the corner of your lips and you’re reminded, once again, in the great power of cooking. I’m a firm believer in the power of homemade chicken noodle soup and bubble baths to cure just about anything.
This isn’t just any old chicken noodle soup.
Call it pho. Call it chinese chicken noodle soup….call it whatever you like, I’m convinced this Asian-themed soup is both medicinal and delicious.
In my book, there’s a chapter dedicated to the time when I was studying abroad in Paris and fell horribly sick. There’s nothing worse than being sick away from home, and being in a foreign country where all you can say is “I’ll take a table for four, please” is downright awful. I remember so vividly coughing and sneezing my way through a morning writing workshop before being led by the arm by one of my professors through the winding streets of the Left Bank to Chinatown.
Together, we made our way past bustling vendors selling seafood, meats and produce on the sidewalk and quaint tea shops before settling down at an outside cafe where she treated me to a steaming bowl of spicy chicken pho, bits of jalapeno and garlic floating in a swirling yellow broth. The soup tasted unlike any chicken noodle soup I’d ever had and as I slurped noodle after noodle off my spoon, my head began to slowly clear.
Since that day four years ago, I’ve experimented with a few different recipes until I finally nailed it with this one. If you’ve made my recipes before, you know how much a spice lover I am so if spicy isn’t your thing, add only half the jalapeno (or omit it entirely!). As for me, I like to load up my bowl with plenty of the thin spicy slices as well as drizzles of sriracha at the end. Cilantro is also a nice touch and blast of fresh flavor in your bowl.
And finally, you can use really any form of noodles you like here. I’ve made this before with rice noodles with great results but chose to use chinese noodles this time because that’s what I had on hand.
Asian Chicken Noodle Soup
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/4th tsp salt
6 cups chicken broth
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
3 green onions, sliced
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 baby bok choy, chopped
5 oz chinese noodles (about half a package)
sriracha sauce for serving (optional)
chopped cilantro for serving (optional)
Heat the sesame oil over medium high heat in a large heavy-bottomed stock pot. Add the minced garlic and ginger and briefly saute for about 30 seconds. Add the chicken and bok choy, sprinkle with salt, and saute for another three minutes until chicken has turned white but not completely cooked all the way through.
Add the chicken broth, jalapeno and green onions to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes until chicken is done.
Meanwhile, cook the noodles in boiling salted water, drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Add the rice vinegar and soy sauce and stir. You can add a little more salt if you like, but taste first because soy sauce already contains a lot of salt! Add the noodles to the pot and serve with chopped cilantro and sriracha sauce on the side.