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Chicken Noodle Soup with Baby Bok Choy and Shiitake

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Serves 6-8

  • by Tony Rosenfeld from Fine Cooking
    Issue 114

If you have ever wondered what the savory flavor called umami is all about, try this soup, and you will understand. The range of amounts for the finishing touches for the soup (the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil) is so you can customize it exactly how you like it.

  • 1-1/2 Tbs. canola oil
  • 4 cups diced (1/4-inch) carrot
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 or 2 fresh Thai bird chiles, cut into disks
  • Kosher salt 
  • 3 quarts Homemade Chicken Broth or lower-salt chicken broth
  • 3-1/2 to 4 cups shredded, cooked chicken
  • 5 cups cooked-until-barely-tender ramen noodles, rinsed  
  • 1/2 lb. baby bok choy, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 1 to 3 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. to 2 Tbs. white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. to 2 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. to 1 Tbs. sesame oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions for serving (optional)
Tip:
If you made the chicken broth yourself, use the cooked meat from that bird; otherwise you can use the meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large (at least 8-quart), heavy-duty pot or Dutch oven. Add the carrot, ginger, Thai bird chile, and 1/2 Tbs. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned in places, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are completely tender, 20 to 30 minutes

Stir in the reserved shredded chicken, ramen noodles, bok choy, and mushrooms. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until all are tender and the flavors meld, 10 to 15 minutes. 

Stir in 1 Tbs. of the soy sauce, 1 tsp. of the vinegar, 1 tsp. of the sugar, and 1/2 tsp. of the sesame oil. Taste, and add more soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil, a little at a time, until the soup has a nicely balanced flavor. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish each bowl with a 1 Tbs. of the scallions, if you like.  

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 300; Fat (g): 9; Fat Calories (kcal): 80; Saturated Fat (g): 2; Protein (g): 15; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4.5; Carbohydrates (g): 43; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 1820; Cholesterol (mg): 30; Fiber (g): 4;

Photo: Scott Phillips

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