Last month I signed up for the Crazy Cooking Challenge and immediately kept an eye out for chicken noodle soup recipes. I knew I wanted something “different,” just for the sheer sake of this being your not-so-average cooking site, but really, there’s only so much you can twist and tweak a classic dish like chicken noodle soup. The requirements said it had to be soup…had to have noodles…and had to have chicken. No exceptions, so there would be no converting it into a hot pocket or casserole or anything “different.”
Or so I thought anyway.
That’s when I ran across Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures Asian version. It fits all the requirements, but isn’t exactly the standard soup you think of either. I probably wouldn’t have given it a try had it not seemed so perfect for this challenge either, so I’m glad it worked out this way. Turns out, it was delicious!
I must say, I really had my doubts about it, mostly because the ingredients are so simple and it doesn’t sit on the stove, simmering for a long period of time, which is a key step for soups in my mind. But anyway, let’s get to the food, huh?
Normally I would have homemade chicken stock in the freezer, but I’ve been looking for an excuse to use up the last of these little Knorr stock packs I received at BlogHer this year. They’re actually a lot better than I thought they would be and don’t carry the overly salted taste that most premade broths do.
And would you look at that?? I thought it’d be liquidy or maybe a dry block like bouillon cubes, but instead, they’re gel packs of sorts. Almost like strange jello shots….of chicken stock. Weird, but easily dissolved and mixed.
I think I may’ve mentioned that my can opener broke? Well I haven’t replaced it yet. Shhh. :P
If you’ve never cooked with rice noodles before, they’re quite amazing. They’re really rough and crumbly out of the package…pieces will fly everywhere, even if you’re careful. Add them to water for a few minutes, though, and they become really soft and bouncy. Yes, bouncy, as in, if you drain off the water and toss them on the table, you’ll see them bounce. Go ahead, do it!
Alright, so really, it doesn’t *look* like the most appetizing dish. It’s this sickly gray color that even with some photo editing, doesn’t really look much better.
Ew! But it smelled delicious and I was starving so at that point, I obviously carried on. Tossing on more color really helped, so I’m happy I had green onions.
Overall impression? It was better than I expected. It was really easy and fast to make, which made it even better. A little lemon or lime juice could really go a long way in kicking it up a notch in the flavor department, too.
Oh, and I had never used coconut milk before because well, I really dislike coconut, remember? When the can was opened and the smell hit me, I started having even more doubts, but it added a creaminess that straight broth couldn’t…and it didn’t actually *taste* like coconut, so once the smell died down, I was happy with the results, hehe. I added more liquid to my bowl than what’s showing in the pictures and oh my god, I was so stuffed by the end. I had no idea it would be so filling.
My version of the recipe ended up being for a smaller batch. Take note I didn’t just cut the original in half, and actually used almost the full amount of some of the ingredients anyway.
Asian Chicken Noodle Soup
1 sheet of rice vermicelli noodles
3 cups chicken broth
2/3 can coconut milk
A large splash of soy sauce
One inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
1 cup cooked chicken
1 cup finely sliced cabbage/carrot slaw mix
1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce, tweaked to taste
Handful of diced green onions
- Soak noodles in warm water until you’re ready for them. 3 minutes is usually plenty, but it won’t hurt to let them sit longer.
- Heat chicken broth, coconut milk, soy sauce, and ginger to a boil. Let simmer for 5ish minutes. I let it cook a little longer to try to get more flavor out of the ginger…which still couldn’t really be tasted much in the final dish, so I would probably go even longer.
- Add chicken and let cook until everything is heated through.
- Drain noodles and cut into thirds using scissors or butcher knife. It’s a lot easier to eat this way. Add them to the soup, plus the cabbage mix. Let heat just for another minute or two, pull out the ginger pieces, and you’re ready to go.
- Add green onions, hot sauce, and some salt or extra soy sauce to taste.
Make no mistake, this is not my soup. This belongs to the lovely Kath/KERF (and you can find the recipe there, too).
Some of the ingredients, I don’t even like, much less together in a soup. I’m curiously drawn in by the pictures, though, and the name makes my head spin with ideas that would make this even more kid-friendly.
The idea of beetle juice might gross some little ones out, but if you have any boys obsessed with worms and dirt and all things gory….or anyone who loves the movie, oh boy, have fun with this one! And well, if not, don’t call the dish beetlejuice, but definitely introduce them to this gorgeous purple soup. Call it “pretty princess soup” or something more dainty.