Friday, April 24, 2009

What I Ate for Dinner: Chinese-Style Soup – AKA Marste’s Soul Food

When I have a stomachache or cramps, or when I’m tired and weepy, or when I’m just emotionally exhausted and need to feel taken care of, this is what I eat. The ingredients vary – the recipe below is LITERALLY what I ate for dinner Thursday night – but it almost always includes garlic, ginger, onions, beef broth and soy sauce. (Sometimes that’s ALL it contains.)

The rest of the ingredients change depending on what I have in the fridge at the moment. I’ve used bok choy (fantastic), crab (well, imitation crab, anyway), beef, ground turkey (the consistency was weird on that one, though), carrots, green beans, lettuce (yes, really – it was good, too!), chopped celery (also good!), tomatoes, mushrooms – whatever is in the fridge.

What you see below is what I had in the fridge last night, so it’s what I had for dinner. As written, it won’t serve many, but you can just double it to feed a family. The whole thing, start to finish, took me about 15 minutes. Yes, really.

The Recipe:
Serves 2

½ Tbs canola oil
1 clove garlic, minced OR ½ tsp garlic powder
¼ cup frozen, pre-chopped onion
¼ tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp 5-spice powder
1 Tbs low- sodium soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
2 cups beef broth
1 handful frozen broccoli
1 or 2 pre-cooked chicken breasts, chopped (I use Trader Joe’s grilled chicken strips)
2 handfuls raw spinach (prepared)
½ package Chinese rice noodles (optional)

On the side:
chili paste
sesame oil

If you’re using noodles, prepare those first. Boil them according to the package directions, and drain them. (Don’t worry about them getting cold; we’re going to pour boiling soup over them in a minute.)

In a pan, heat the canola oil. Add the garlic, onion, ginger and 5-spice powder, and sauté until the onion is translucent. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce, and beef broth and bring just to a boil. Add the frozen broccoli and the chicken and bring back to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer about 3-5 minutes, until the chicken is hot in the middle. Add the raw spinach and stir just until it wilts, about 15 seconds.

If you’re using noodles, portion the noodles out into bowls and pour the broth over the top. Otherwise just dish yourself up some soup!

Serve with vinegar, chili paste and sesame oil on the side, and let each person doctor their soup to taste.

Yeah. I know it looks a lot like this one. I had a lot of the same (visible) ingredients on hand. The spices are different though, so it doesn't TASTE the same. Really. ;)


  1. Looks good! I like using gluten free noodles from Sprouts =]

  2. Oh, I haven't seen those! I just bought some tofu noodles, but I haven't tried them yet. We'll see how that experiment goes!


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