Quick Soupy Noodles – move over ramen!

We’re deep into the school and after-school schedule now, which means trying to get dinner on the table before swim class or Tae Kwon Do or…. This is a super quick twist on the Pan Asian Noodle Soup recipe posted a long time ago. For noodles, I like to use yaki-soba, but you can use any sort of instant noodles, fresh or dried. Try to buy the least processed noodles you can find and throw the seasoning packet directly into the trash! If you have time to make chicken broth and/or stew a chicken on the weekend, you’ll have homemade broth and cooked chicken meat on hand; if not, use organic free-range low sodium (phew!) chicken broth and cubed tofu in place of the chicken – storebought cooked chicken is usually not sustainably raised and is frequently full of chemical fillers and preservatives.

ingredients:

  • enough noodles for 4 portions
  • 8 oz cooked chicken, cut into 1/4″ slices across the grain
  • 2 heads baby bok choy

broth:

  • 1 T oil
  • 1 T fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1.5 qt water, stock, or broth
  • 3 T Asian fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam, available in Asian markets or in Asian section of conventional stores
  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1&1/2 tsp brown or raw cane sugar
  • 3/4 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/8 tsp salt (you may want to start without the salt and add to taste – the need for it varies based on your choice of liquid)
  • 1/8 tsp dried pepper flakes (optional, or you can serve chopped salted chilies, sriracha, hot oil, etc. to taste at the table)

method:

  1. Soak the bok choy in several changes of cool water until no more grit remains. Cut the leaves into 1/2″ ribbons and the stems crosswise into 1/2″ slices.
  2. In a large pot, heat the oil until it shimmers, turn heat down to medium, then explode the ginger and garlic just until fragrant – do not allow the garlic to brown.
  3. Add the curry powder, and again cook just until it is fragrant.
  4. Add the water/broth/stock, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, salt, and pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer for 5 m.
  5. Add the noodles, chicken, and bok choy to the broth, turn the heat back up, and return to a boil, by which time the soup is ready to serve.
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