Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Spicy Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

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While the temperature outside is easily in the upper 80s/lower 90s, we're staying pretty cool indoors with the air conditioner cranked up. It's so cool inside our house that I'm usually wearing a light- to medium-weight sweater. Feeling especially chilly today, I figured it wouldn't hurt to have a mini preview of the soup season to come. For lunch, I prepared this steamy bowl of Spicy Asian Chicken Noodle Soup. It definitely hit the spot and is a refreshing, Asian twist on the classic Chicken Noodle Soup Americans have grown to love...

If you're looking for a satisfying bowl of chicken noodle soup with some Asian flair, look no more. This soup will tempt you from the beginning with its fragrant broth and will not doubt warm your soul. The broth is made with low sodium chicken broth, low sodium soy sauce, mirin (a sweet Japanese cooking wine), grated fresh ginger, and Asian chili garlic sauce. Not everyone is into spicy foods so you're welcome to omit the Asian chili garlic sauce all together or reduce the amount called for if you only want a very mild heat. Otherwise, the recipe below results in a nice heat that isn't overpowering or too strong (at least for me.)

Bite sized chicken is added to the broth and simmered until tenderly cooked. This ensures the chicken is moist and infused with flavor. Since cooking the chicken only takes a few minutes, dried ramen noodles are added and cooked through. To add a bit of color and freshness, thinly sliced scallions and minced cilantro leaves are added. The final touch is a drizzle of toasted sesame oil before serving. Yum!... and now I'm wishing the cool fall weather comes sooner so I can make more of this soup to enjoy!


Spicy Asian Chicken Noodle Soup
recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen
serves 4

6 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon Asian chili garlic sauce (or to taste depending on your preferred spice/heat level)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
2-3 (3 ounce) packages of dried ramen noodles
3 scallions, sliced thin
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, minced
4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
pinch of red pepper flakes for garnish (optional)

Bring broth, soy sauce, mirin, ginger, and chili garlic sauce (if using) to a boil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the cut up chicken breasts to the pot and simmer, covered, over medium-low heat until chicken is cooked through.

Open the packages of ramen noodles and discard the seasoning packet included. Place the dried ramen noodles into the broth and cook, stirring occasionally, until they're just about cooked. Stir in the scallions and cilantro and serve in bowls. Garnish each bowl additional fresh cilantro leaves and a drizzle of 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil. If you like things on the spicy side, sprinkle a few red pepper flakes for garnish too!

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