Soups are fantastic in cold weather. There’s no better feeling than to warm your hands on the bowl of chicken noodle soup with the broth steaming out of it. And then you dip your head a little to smell that goodness. It simply takes you back when Mom used to make them for you when you got sick.

As far as comfort food goes, this recipe will not fail you because a little of everything you want your soup to have, it’s got. It’s a bit to the Asian side so adding on the mirin, chinese cabbage, sesame oil and Vietnamese chili paste is an homage to the good soups I’ve tasted once before in restaurants.

There’s just something about chicken and soups that’s comforting. In my opinion, the real reason why chicken noodles always lift us up is the freshness of the ingredients you choose to add. You can see the difference when you buy a canned soup instead of making it yourself.  Canned soups tend to taste a little too salty or too plain. To me, when you labor to make this recipe, the whole thing would just taste better especially when you serve it hot off the oven. And because it’s made from the heart, the entire family will appreciate the sentiment.


  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vietnamese chile paste
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut crosswise into thin strips
  • 4 cups chopped Chinese vegetables or Napa cabbage
  • 1 (5-ounce) package rice noodles, prepared according to packing directions
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 red pepper, thinly sliced


  1. In a mixing bowl, add the soy sauce, mirin, garlic, a teaspoon of the sesame oil, ginger, chili paste, sugar and vinegar. Mix it well.
  2. Take a medium saucepan and heat the broth for a few minutes. Slowly add in the chicken pieces, the soy sauce mixture and all the vegetables. Bring this to a boil.
  3. Let simmer for two minutes to let the chicken cook through. Then add what’s left of the sesame oil (about a teaspoon). This time give it a little taste to adjust the seasonings.
  4. On a serving bowl, prepare the cooked noodles, ladle in the soup and chicken and garnish with cilantro, bell pepper and scallions. Serve hot.