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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Chinese Noodle Soup with Sesame

I love noodles. Especially when they are drowning in a flavorful, Asian inspired broth.

They remind me of sitting in a busy noodle house in Chinatown somewhere with my family amongst tables and tables of other families rhythmically slurping noodles and taking quick spoonfuls of piping hot broth to wash them down.
Yup, you know what I am talking about. Plastic tables covered in droplets of broth, a plethora of white napkins littered on the table, and jars of hot chilis nestled between bottles of sauces, a pile of plastic chinese soup spoons and a cupful of ivory chopsticks. It's all so comforting.

That's why when it's chilly outside or I have a cold, I yearn for a steaming hot bowl of noodle soup. It transports me back to that place, where I was elbow to elbow with members of my family, staring into a big bowl of soup and slurping away!

When I made this soup, I didn't have any chicken around, so I used 2 cans of drained tuna instead. This is not at all traditional, but it tasted good, so I added it to the recipe as an alternative to the chicken. Perhaps you could try using both also!

Chinese Noodle Soup with Sesame
Serves 4-6

2 cans Tuna, drained or 500 grams of Chicken Breast, thinly sliced
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
3 tbsp Tahina (sesame paste)
2 tbsp Fresh Ginger, peeled and minced
2 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Sesame Oil
1 tbsp Brown Sugar
1 tbsp Rice Vinegar
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 1/2 cups Red Cabbage, chopped
1/2 cup Green Onions, sliced
1 Whole Green Chili, seeded and cut into 4 parts
2 liters Chicken Stock
500 grams Thai Noodles or Egg Noodles
1/2 + 1/4 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped

In a bowl, mix together garlic, tahina, ginger, soy, sesame oil, sugar and vinegar. Add the tuna or chicken. Set aside.

In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add the cabbage, green onions, and chili and sautee until the cabbage starts to soften (about 5 minutes). Add the tuna/chicken mixture, and let cook for about 2 minutes. Then add the chicken stock and 1/2 cup of cilantro, bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove the chilis once the soup has finished cooking.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles in boiling water as per the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

To serve, place some noodles in a bowl. Ladle over the hot soup and garnish with remaining cilantro leaves.


  1. this looks amazing. When I think of noodles in broth I usually think of a lite, clear broth flavored with a bit of ginger. This looks much more hearty.

  2. Heaven in a bowl.I adore any variation of this dish - will try it - all those goodly ingredients... especially tahini.

  3. Love sesame - and the mix of other Asian inspired flavors makes it sound so good!