Rev up this traditional favorite with ginger, garlic, and jalapeño
We’re trudging through cold-and-flu season in our part of the world. Time for chicken noodle soup (a/k/a liquid penicillin).
You could buy canned soup, of course (and the leading brand’s logo is museum quality when painted by Andy Warhol). But homemade is so much better, especially when you add an Asian angle.
This soup is so good you may look forward to getting sick. And creating your own work of art.
Recipe: Asian-Spiced Chicken Noodle Soup
Exact quantities aren’t critical in this recipe. And it’s easy to substitute ingredients to fit your taste (or the contents of your pantry).
We use cooked chicken for this dish. If you have only raw chicken on hand, no worries. Just cut it into bite-size pieces and add it to the cooking pot when the instructions call for adding cooked chicken; increase the cooking time by 10 minutes.
Prep time for this recipe is 10 to 15 minutes. Cooking time adds about 20 minutes.
This recipe yields 4 to 6 servings. Leftovers keep for a few days if refrigerated in an airtight container. Or freeze them for up to two months.
- ~8 ounces by weight cooked chicken (or to taste; may substitute turkey)
- 1 onion
- 2 to 3 carrots (or to taste)
- 1 to 2 ribs celery
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1-inch piece of ginger
- 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- salt to taste (about ½ teaspoon kosher salt for us; see Notes)
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or substitute a squirt or two of sriracha)
- 6 cups chicken stock
- ~6 ounces by weight dried noodles (see Notes)
- ~1 cup frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- a squirt or two of sriracha to add more heat if needed (optional; to taste)
- jalapeño slices for garnish (optional)
- Cut the cooked chicken into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
- Peel the onion and cut it into dice of ½ inch (or a bit smaller). Set aside.
- Wash and dry the carrots. Peel them, then cut off their tips. Cut the carrots into dice of about ¼ inch. Set aside.
- Wash and dry the celery, then remove the strings. Cut the celery into diagonal slices of about ¼ inch (or cut into ¼-inch dice, if you prefer). Set aside.
- Peel the garlic and chop it roughly. Add it to the bowl of a mini food processor. Peel the ginger, chop it roughly, and add it to the mini food processor. Whirl the food processor until the garlic and ginger are finely chopped. Set aside.
- Wash and dry the jalapeño pepper(s), then cut off their stem ends. Cut a few slices of pepper and set them aside for garnish, if desired. Slice the remaining peppers in half lengthwise. With a teaspoon, scrape out the seeds and ribs. Cut the peppers into fine dice (careful, the jalapeño oil is hot, so keep fingers away from your eyes). Set aside. Now wash your hands with soap and water to remove the spicy oil.
- Place a 4-quart sauce pan or soup pot over medium stovetop heat. When the cooking pot is hot, add the oil. When the oil is heated (it’ll shimmer; about 15 seconds), add the chopped onion, carrots, and celery. Season to taste with salt (see Notes). Sauté for 5 minutes.
- Now add the ginger/garlic mixture and the chopped jalapeño. Sauté for 2 minutes. Then add the pepper flakes and sauté for another 15 seconds.
- Add the chicken stock and the chicken pieces. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to blend the flavors. Then add the noodles and cook until done (typically about another 10 minutes).
- When the noodles are tender, add the peas, soy sauce, and sriracha (if using). Stir to combine, then cook for 2 minutes. Taste the soup, adding additional soy sauce and/or sriracha if necessary.
- Ladle the soup into serving bowls, adding slices of jalapeño for garnish if you wish.
- Don’t want to garnish with jalapeño? Substitute some chopped scallion greens or minced parsley or cilantro. You could also add a teaspoon or so of sesame oil to each serving.
- We like to use “broad” noodles in this dish. You can use egg noodles or eggless, whichever you prefer. Or try linguine or spaghetti if you want a thinner noodle (we suggest breaking the pasta into shorter lengths if you go that route). Or you could use Chinese noodles, of course.
- Ginger and garlic are a common pairing in many Asian dishes. In fact, you can buy ginger/garlic paste at most Asian groceries. If you have some on hand, feel free to use it instead of making your own ginger/garlic mixture.
- Jalapeño is less common in Asian dishes, but we like the ping it provides. It looks nice, too.
- We generally use kosher salt for cooking, which is less salty by volume than regular table salt (its flakes are larger, so it doesn’t pack as tightly when you measure it). You can substitute regular table salt if you prefer (start with about half as much as we suggest). But always season to your taste, not ours.
- Speaking of salt, soy sauce tends to be quite salty. So be careful how much you add.
- We sometimes add a bit of lime juice or rice vinegar to this soup for extra brightness. If you want to try this, add it to the dish right before serving.
Birds of a Feather
“Dazzling soup,” said Mrs Kitchen Riffs. “The chicken would cross the road for this.”
“Yup, I’m doing the chicken dance,” I said. “Bok, bok.”
“Glad to see such hen-thusiam,” said Mrs K R.
“This soup rules,” I said. “Makes me want to strut like a rooster.”
“Careful,” said Mrs K R. “You’re no spring chicken anymore.”
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Chicken and Celery Stir-Fry
Hot and Sour Soup
Moroccan Carrot Soup
Fennel Soup with Shrimp and Beans
Hungarian-Style Cold Cherry Soup
Or check out the index for more