What a crazy two weeks. Here in the Northeast, many areas are still recovering from Hurricane Sandy. and now we’ve been hit with a Nor’easter. Right now it’s snowing and raining at the same time, which makes me want to just stay inside and make something extra-comforting, like chicken noodle soup.
I first experimented with making Sichuan-style chicken noodle soup 3 years ago. And it’s no less of a favorite comfort food dish now.
Rather than the American version flavored with bay leaf and thyme, I decided to make a Sichuan-style broth with star anise, cinnamon, tangerine peel, and Sichuan pepper. (There will be a mild tingle from the peppercorn, to jazz things up.) The best part: you can shred leftover roast chicken, itself a cost-saver, and add it to the soup at the last minute. The simmering anise and cinnamon will make your kitchen smell wondering. And slurping the steamy chicken noodle soup will get you through these chilly wintry days.
Sichuan-Style Chicken Noodle Soup
- 6 to 8 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1/4 pound leftover roasted chicken
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
- 2 scallions, white and green parts separated, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 whole star anise
- 1 small dried tangerine peel
- 1 teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces dried Chinese egg noodles
- Soak the shiitake mushrooms in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes, until softened. Drain the shiitakes and squeeze out the excess water. Remove and discard the stems, thinly slice the caps, and set aside.
- Shred the leftover roast chicken. Set it aside in a small bowl.
- In a medium-sized pot, add the vegetable oil and sauté the scallions whites and mushrooms over medium heat. Add the chicken stock, soy sauce, rice wine, cinnamon, star anise, optional tangerine peel, Sichuan pepper, and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- In a separate pot, bring the water for noodles to boil. Add the egg noodles and cook according to package instructions. Cook until almost al dente. Transfer to soup pot to cook for another minute. (At this point you can add the shredded chicken into the soup, or warm the chicken in oven or microwave and then pile chicken on top of noodles.) Divide into individual bowls, top with the scallion greens, and serve.