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When I feel the need for some comfort in life, I always seem to want soup. Lately, I’ve needed that comfort a little more than usual. I was rear-ended the other night, and have been suffering from a case of whiplash for the past few days. Also, my husband has some kind of bronchitis/sinus infection combination. Oh, and I’ve had a headache for two days. This is the second soup I’ve made in three days, if that tells you anything.
Also, today is New Year’s Eve. To be honest, I’ve never been a sentimental person, which I think is because I don’t have a great memory. I’m also not a details person, and I am always amazed when I read memoirs or hear of people who can describe their childhood in detail. I frequently mix up the order of events in a story, such as how I met my husband. All that to say, trying to recall the events of this past year is challenging, and let’s face it, some things are better left forgotten. One thing that I’ve found to be of great use to help me remember this past year is this blog.
This blog has helped me remember having strep throat, a trip to Asheville to see some friends and bands, Borders going out of business (truly tragic), the joy of getting my braces off, barely passing my pre-calculus class and finishing community college, my youngest brother’s high school graduation, a wonderful vacation to San Francisco, a summer full of making pimento cheese and eating peaches, transferring to a big university, and well…after that it’s really been a blur. Overall, it’s been a pretty good year and full of a lot of change, which keeps things exciting. I hope you’ve all had a good year and I wish the best for everyone in 2012. I think a good way to start it off right would be to make this soup. Mostly because it’s delicious, and it would probably be great at helping you get over your hangover, should you have one. Stay safe, everyone!
Asian Chicken Noodle Soup
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
Notes: The main thing I changed, is that I used baby bok choy when the original recipe called for spinach. I thought it would make it feel a bit more authentic, and since I live close to an Asian grocery store, I got it for a good price. Also, I’m a baby about spicy food, so I dialed down the amount of chili-garlic sauce. About the noodles, I found fresh, and the smallest package I could find was 16 ounces, so I only used about 12 ounces of it. Finally, since I had more chicken than the original recipe calls for, I upped the ingredients a bit. I’m posting it as I made it. One thing I’d like to point out as a criticism of the original recipe is that it calls for “2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 12 ounces.” Sorry, but I don’t know the last time I saw chicken breasts that small. Most of what I see are chicken breasts that are at least 12 ounces each (assuming we’re talking about the half breast, not the whole breast.) I usually think America’s Test Kitchen gets it right, but I just want to know where they’re getting these tiny chicken breasts from.
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 1/2 tablespoons mirin
- 3 tablespoons grated ginger (I use the jarred stuff because if I buy a piece of ginger, I never use it all.)
- 2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce (a.k.a. sriracha/rooster sauce: feel free to add more to your liking.)
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (mine totaled just over a pound)
- 4 teaspoons sesame oil
- 12 ounces fresh Chinese egg noodles (or 2-3 packages of dried ramen noodles, minus the seasoning packets)
- 1 lb baby bok choy
- 3 scallions, sliced thin, plus a little more for garnish
In a soup-pot, bring chicken broth, mirin, ginger, and chili-garlic sauce to a boil. Then, add the chicken to the pot, cover, simmering over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, until chicken is cooked through (mine took about 13 minutes since they were larger). Once chicken is finished, transfer to a bowl and let cool for a few minutes. Shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces, and add the sesame oil to the chicken, making sure to coat evenly. Add the noodles to broth, cooking for about 2 minutes. Then add the bok choy, scallions, and sesame oil-coated chicken pieces, simmering until the bok choy is wilted. Serve, garnished with a few more sliced scallions.