Here is Mama Lin’s recipe for homemade Chinese chicken noodle soup. It is a delicious and light soup served with wonton noodles, baby bok choy, and carrots. Make it a complete meal by serving the soup with chicken wontons!
Add 4 quarts of water to a stock pot. Add the slices of ginger, leaving 5 or 6 for scrubbing the chicken. Bring the water to boil.
While the water is boiling, prepare the chicken. Sprinkle salt over the outside of the chicken. Grab the remaining ginger slices and use them to rub the salt over the outside of the chicken. The rubbing helps to remove any lingering odor in the meat.
Check the cavity of the chicken to see if there are any organs inside. If there are, remove and cook them for a separate dish or discard. Quickly rinse the outside and inside of the chicken.
Once the water has boiled, add the chicken and the scallions. Cover the pot and bring the water to boil again.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the chicken cook for 10 minutes. Then, carefully turn the chicken over to the other side and cook for another 10 minutes. This ensures that the chicken cooks evenly.
Add the salt and chicken powder to the broth and stir.
If you want to serve the chicken meat while it’s still tender, remove the chicken from the pot. Check to see if the chicken is fully cooked by sticking a meat thermometer into the drumstick or thigh. If the temperature is at least 165ºF, the chicken is cooked. If instead you want to further develop the flavors of the broth, turn the heat to very low and simmer the chicken for an additional 30 to 40 minutes.
Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the breast and/or thigh meat.
Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning to your liking, adding more salt, if necessary. Remove the ginger slices and scallions from the broth.
Make the Broth (Chicken Breast Method)
Bring 1 quart of water to boil in a pot.
While the water is boiling prepare the meat. Trim off the skin and any excess fat from the chicken breast. Trim any fat off the pork loin. Salt the chicken breasts and pork loin. Grab 5 or 6 slices of ginger and use them to rub salt all over the meat. Rinse off the salt.
Once the water has boiled, add the chicken breasts and pork loin, and let the meat cook for about 5 minutes, flipping halfway. You may see dark brown bits (from the blood) and white foam forming. These are impurities that you need to remove from your stock.
Use tongs to remove the meat and give them a quick rinse. Drain all the water from the pot and clean it. Add another 3 quarts of water and the remaining slices of ginger to the pot and cover.
Bring the water to boil again. Add the scallions, chicken, and pork and cook for 20 to 25 minutes on medium-low heat. If you want to serve the chicken meat while it is still tender, remove the chicken breasts and check the temperature of the meat to see if it has reached 165ºF. Otherwise, let the broth simmer on low for another 40 minutes and then remove the chicken from the broth.
Season the broth with salt and Knorr Chicken Powder. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Remove the ginger slices and scallions from the broth.
Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the meat. The pork loin is usually pretty tough, so discard it.
Cook the Noodles and Vegetables
Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in another pot. Add the noodles, and cook them according to package instructions. Fresh, thin wonton noodles usually take 3 to 4 minutes to cook. Once cooked, use tongs or a spider spatula to remove the noodles from the pot. Bring the water to a boil again for cooking the vegetables.
Rinse the noodles under cold water and drain. Divide the noodles into individual serving bowls.
Add the baby bok choy to the boiling water and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, until the bok choy turns vibrant green. Remove the bok choy from the pot and divide them into the bowls with the noodles. Top with the julienned carrots. Divide the shredded chicken among the bowls.
Ladle hot chicken soup over the noodles. Garnish with scallions. Serve with chili oil or soy sauce, if you like.
Make the Wontons (Optional)
Add the ground chicken and chopped shrimp to a mixing bowl. Then, add the tapioca starch and water to the meat and stir for about 1 to 2 minutes, until the filling turns into a paste-like consistency. Next, add the salt, Knorr Chicken Powder, sesame oil, white pepper, ginger, and scallions. Stir to incorporate.
To wrap the wontons, add about 2 teaspoons of filling to the center of a wonton wrapper. Use your fingers to scrunch up the wrapper so that it encloses the meat (see photos in the blog post for reference). Set the dumpling aside on a tray. You do not need water to seal the wontons because the meat should bind the wrapper together.
Continue filling and wrapping all the wontons.
Cook the Wontons
Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the wontons and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. The wontons will float to the top when they’re done cooking.
Divide the wontons among the noodle soup bowls.
Cleaning the chicken is optional. Mama Lin likes to clean the chicken first, so I have included the directions here.