Two lessons I learned in childhood: chicken soup cures all ills, and Chinese food cures all ills. So, what do you call a Chinese chicken soup that also happens to be packed with anti-oxidant rich dark leafy greens? A miracle cure, I think.
If you get hit with a seasonal cold, or pneumonia, or if, like me, you feel like you've got a touch of the flu from getting your annual flu shot, you're going to want to try this recipe for Chinese chicken soup, made with inexpensive and readily-available ramen noodles and packed with dark leafy greens like bok choy (you can substitute spinach or other Chinese greens). Remember to discard the salt-filled flavor packets that come with ramen noodles. If you don't have ramen, use spaghetti, angel-hair pasta, or even wide egg noodles. Any noodles will work; the curative powers are in the broth.
Chinese chicken and greens ramen noodle soup
From the pantry you'll need: dry noodles (ramen, spaghetti, or egg noodles), chicken stock, fresh ginger root, garlic, low-sodium soy sauce, sesame oil, fresh black pepper.
2 qts chicken stock, low-sodium canned or homemade
1/4-inch disk of fresh ginger root
1 clove garlic, smashed
3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2-3 packages dry curly ramen noodles (discard seasoning packets)
6 oz canned sliced mushrooms (or fresh white button mushrooms)
3 cups chopped bok choy or other Chinese greens
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
Fresh black pepper, to taste
In a Dutch oven or heavy stock pot, heat the chicken stock over low-medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. The stock should be very hot, but might not have come to the boil. (That's fine.)
Add the noodles, and stir gently until the noodles soften and begin to cook. (Instant ramen noodles are meant to cook quickly, so stay right with them.) Allow the noodles to cook for 2-3 minutes, until they are softened.
Stir in the mushrooms, greens, and chicken. The vegetables will cook almost instantly from the heat of the soup. Season with fresh black pepper, and serve hot.
More noodle soup:
Lentil noodle soup, from The Perfect Pantry
Shrimp and coconut curry noodle soup, from The Perfect Pantry
Pho ga, Vietnamese chicken noodle soup, from Steamy Kitchen
Chicken noodle soup (New York Penicillin), from A Family Feast
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