Feb 092013

Mike always likes to joke that I love Chinese noodle soups so much I’ll probably turn into one.  It’s true, I could eat them ALL the time.  There is one noodle soup that would probably be my last meal because it reminds me so much of home, my mom, and always makes me feel better when I’m down or feeling sick.   It’s passed down from my mom, and I’m sure I’ll be making this dish my whole life.  It’s a chicken broth base, and there’s no chicken broth here, so I’ve been making my own.

My Feel-Good Bowl of Noodle Soup

My Feel-Good Bowl of Noodle Soup

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 spring chicken (1-1.3 kg or 2.5 lb)
  • 2 onions quartered
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ head Chinese napa cabbage (I use the top half)
  • 6-8 dried shitake mushrooms
  • Wheat noodles
  • Optional: bamboo shoots or sliced water chestnuts


  • Soak the dried shitake mushrooms in hot water for a couple of hours until soft all the way through.  Using dried mushrooms has more flavor than fresh shitake mushrooms but I’ve used both.


  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to boil.  Put in chicken, onions, 3 whole cloves of garlic, and bay leaves.  I use frozen chicken and it’s fine—just remember to take the plastic pouch inside out.  Skim any sediment that rises to the top.  Keep at a simmer for 3 hours.  Add salt to taste.
  2. When broth flavor is to your liking, strain the broth and put it back in the pot.  Let the chicken cool a while and peel all the meat off the bones.  It should pretty much fall off the bones.  Set meat aside.
  3. Slice shitake mushrooms and napa cabbage.  Mince the last clove of garlic.  Heat up oil (I use grapeseed oil) and sautee garlic 1 minute until fragrant.  Throw in the mushrooms and sautee for a few minutes.  Then put in napa cabbage to cook a bit.
  4. Once the cabbage has softened a bit, pour the broth to cover vegetables and simmer until cabbage is soft.  You can add in bamboo shoots or sliced water chestnuts here if you want some extra texture.  Put the chicken meat in and cook your noodles in the broth to give the noodles extra flavor.
  5. Once noodles are cooked, you’re done!  We like to add a little spicy sriracha sauce at the end and tear up a sheet of dried nori (seaweed) to put in the broth.