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Playing Hot 'N Sour Chicken Soup


  • 1 pound egg tagliatelle, for wide noodles or whole wheat spaghetti, for a heartier soup
  • 6 pieces boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander, half a palmful
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil, divided
  • A couple of handfuls of button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 inch ginger root, grated
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar, eyeball it
  • 1/4 cup Tamari or low-sodium Tamari, eyeball it
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 small bunch scallions, thinly sliced on an angle
  • A couple of handfuls crispy bean sprouts
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
  • Sriracha or other hot sauce, to pass at table


Serves: 4


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta. Once boiling, add some salt and the pasta. Cook to al dente.

Meanwhile, trim chicken and season with salt, pepper and coriander. Heat about 1 tablespoon of oil, a turn of the pan, in a large, deep skillet or wok over high heat. Add chicken and cook 4 minutes on each side. Remove to a cutting board and reserve.

Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, a turn of the skillet, and stir-fry mushrooms a few minutes to soften and brown. Stir in ginger and garlic, toss a minute or two more then add vinegar. Stir, add Tamari and stock, and bring to a boil.

Thinly slice the chicken on an angle into strips. Add chicken to soup. Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl and stir into broth. Let thicken a minute more. Add scallions and bean sprouts to soup and turn off heat.

Twist a bundle of noodles up around tongs or a serving fork and pile into individual bowls. Ladle soup over the noodles and garnish with cilantro and lime juice. Pass hot sauce at the table.