Cozy Up This New Year’s Eve with a Steaming Bowl of Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup
If you’re anything like us, we’re decidedly staying in to ring in the New Year tonight. We went out for Mexican with friends on two different nights this week, (Hi, Lori! Hey, Audrey!) so we’ll love nothing better tonight than staying in, starting a fire, and having some soup while watching Love Actually for the umpteenth time on this, the most popular night for drunken revelry.
Yeah, we’re pretty boring like that.
Or old and boring.
Or maybe just wise.
Logan is having a small group of friends over downstairs, and Spence will no doubt bounce up and down between the floors when the older boys boot him up and out from time-to-time. While the teen boys will have typical teen boy favorites like pizza from a box, chips from a bag, and pop from a bottle, I’m going to make a pimento cheese appetizer I saw on The Pioneer Woman’s site as well as hot soup for Jame and me to enjoy with fresh bread and a salad. Yum! Can’t wait!
I’m telling you, this “Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup” is a wonderfully exotic and robust soup to have on a cold winter’s night. It warms your belly. It’s a little fussy in terms of prep work, but it’s not at all difficult.
With that, here we go . . .
Recipe Courtesy of: Epicurious.com
1 pound skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into thin strips
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons dry Sherry
2 tablespoons oriental sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)*
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce**
4 cups chopped Napa cabbage (from 1 head)
6 green onions, thinly sliced
8 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
1 14-ounce package fresh yakisoba noodles or Chinese pan-fry noodles (even linguini will work if you’re in a pinch)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Here are all of the soup’s colorful components. I added bok choy as well (the greens in the photo that somewhat resemble leafy celery), since I love it.
Before I get to the recipe, let me just paste a few photos in here to show you an easy way to peel ginger. If I’m preaching to the choir, feel free to just plug your ears and say, “La, la, la. I can’t hear you.”
Typically, fresh ginger will sort of have branches or “gnarly ginger nubs” as I think of them. Cut those babies right off so that you’re working with one relatively straight piece.
Then take the tip of a spoon and scrape down the piece of ginger to remove the skin. It’s so much faster than using a knife, and wastes less product as well.
Then just cut slices off of the skinned piece using a sharp knife, since it’s fairly fibrous, and finely mince the slices.
Stir the chicken, soy sauce, Sherry, and 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a medium bowl to blend. Let stand 20 minutes or refrigerate up to 2 hours.
Whisk garlic, tahini, ginger, sugar, vinegar, and chili sauce in a small bowl.
All chopped up and ready to sizzle.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add cabbage and green onions (and bok choy, if using) and sauté until cabbage is tender, about 5 minutes.
Add broth and bring to boil. Add chicken with marinade and tahini-garlic mixture. Reduce heat to low and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly; cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before continuing.)
Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain. Add to soup in pot. (If you know this soup will last more than one meal, add the noodles to each bowl as you serve the soup. If you put them in the pot, they’ll end up soaking up too much broth and become mushy and bloated. Think “Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup” noodles. Yeah, you’re going to want to avoid that texture here for sure.)
Stir in half of the cilantro. Season soup with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro. (There’ll be a kick already, but you may enjoy a drop or two of Sriracha as a finishing touch.)
This soup is hot, delicious, and hearty; gingery, chewy, and spicy; and chock full of healthy veggies.
Serve it to the next member of your family that comes down with a cold. You’ll clear their sinuses right up!
* Sold at Middle Eastern markets, natural foods stores and some supermarkets.
** Available at Asian markets, specialty foods stores and some supermarkets.