Cantonese Chicken Noodle Soup

 

The weather has been decidedly grey and blah around here lately and the temperatures are noticeably more Fall-like than just a few weeks ago. On top of all of that, or because of it, we’ve had 3 of the 4 of us in our house sick with various sniffles, coughs, and stomach flu.  Is there any wonder we’ve been eating an awful lot of soup lately?

Chicken noodle soup is the epitome of comfort food for the suffering souls in Fall and Winter. Certainly, when I was young, my Nana would break out a can of Campbell’s whenever I was feeling under the weather. Now that I’m significantly older and married to a wonderful Chinese fellow, my go-to soup for when I’m sick or caring for others is actually this Cantonese style chicken noodle soup. It’s got a lot going for it, really. To start with, you can pack it full of ginger and green onions which are great for helping you back on your feet. It’s also very easy to make but is miles more tasty than anything that ever came from a can. 
And actually, while it doesn’t come from a can it does benefit from two pre-made store-bought ingredients:  chicken broth and wonton.  If you really want to go all out, you can make each of these from scratch, and I have, but when we’re under the weather, the store-bought versions are a much more appealing option.  Heck, even when I’m not sick, I’m totally fine with the boxed broth and frozen wonton.  Keep these items – and a bottle of soy sauce on hand – and you’ll be that much closer to whipping up a “feel good” dinner with very little prep time.

Cantonese Chicken Noodle Soup with Wontons

(Yield:  4 meal-sized servings)
  • 1 pkg pre-made wontons of your choice; if you’re not sure what you like stick with Pork or Pork and Veggie varieties
  • 1 L low sodium chicken stock, or homemade with little or no salt
  • 2  teaspoons of sesame oil
  • Ginger, chopped into matchsticks
  • 1 pkg thin Chinese egg noodles, fresh or dried; sometimes called Wonton soup noodles
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 heads of shanghai bok choy; or 4 baby bok choy with stems chopped and leaves separated
  • 8 shitake mushrooms, whole or coarsely chopped
  • Green onions, chopped
  • Soy sauce, optional
Bring a pot of water to boil on the stove.  Have ready 4 large soup bowls or noodle bowls nearby.  Cook the wonton according to package directions, drain and set aside.  Hint – if the wonton are floating to the top, then they’re done.  Cut one open to double check. 
Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock in a second pot on the stove to boiling.  Add the sesame oil and ginger.  We cut our ginger into ‘matchsticks’ so that the kids can pick out the pieces from the soup.  They like the flavor infused  in the soup but eating the pieces are too intense for them.  If you’re ok with eating the ginger, feel free to add it to the broth minced or grated.  

Cook the noodles to al dente, about 3 – 5minutes, ensuring that you stir the noodles and prevent them from sticking/clumping during cooking.  Remove the cooked noodles from the water with tongs, or chopsticks if you’re a pro with them, and distribute them among the 4 bowls. If you’re using fresh noodles, you’ll probably only need 2 – 3 servings of the noodles from the package.  Top the noodles with the cooked wontons, about 4 to 6 per bowl. 
Return the stock to a boil and prepare to cook the vegetables.  Add the longer cooking vegetables first and the faster cooking vegetables last.  So, start with the carrots and cook 2 minutes.  Add mushrooms and cook another 2 minutes.  Add the bok choy and cook for just 1 minute.


Scoop out the vegetables and distribute among the bowls.  Ladle the broth into the bowls to cover the noodles and most of the vegetables.   Add soy sauce to taste.  Serve with sriracha sauce if you’re feeling spicy!

Options:  You can vary the veggies that you add, though carrots and mushrooms and bok choy are the classics for this kind of soup.  Consider bamboo, gai lan, and taro.  Also, shrimp is a popular addition to this soup; add it with the vegetables during cooking.

 

Bits of our train set take a peek of the soup during dinner prep.

So, this particular way of making the soup might not be how they make it in high-end restaurants in Hong Kong but this is the way my mother-in-law taught me how to do it. 

 Of course, when we’re talking about comfort food, don’t we always just want it the way our Mom’s prepared it for us when we were young?

Do you have a favorite comfort food that you prepare ‘just the way Mom used to make it’? Share yours in the comments and stay healthy everyone!

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17 thoughts on “Cantonese Chicken Noodle Soup”

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Because the noodles and wonton will continue to soak up liquid in the fridge, when we need to save this soup for later, we keep them cooled separately – noodles and wontons in one container and the broth with veggies in another. I’ll even sometimes reheat them separately before I combine them again.

      Sadly, it doesn’t hold up well in the freezer.

    1. Manager to Mom –
      Isn’t it great how everyone has a different approach to soup?! I love to see how each person makes it their own. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  1. This Recipe for Cantonese chicken Noodle Soup sounds do easy that I would like to try making it for our family. Thank you for this recipe.

  2. oh yum! I am always looking for all types of different soups for winter, this sounds so yummy, will be bookmarking for sure

  3. Love the chunky veggies. Reminds me of living in the city, and being able to get authentic wonton…must try sometime!

  4. I’m soo glad I came across this! I’m from HK and my mom use to make this for us when feeling sick. It’s like a hug from your belly after you eat it. Thanks for the recipe.

  5. Pingback: 15 Heartwarming Soup Recipes | City Mom

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