Easy Chinese chicken soup with vegetables and noodles

white bowl with chopsticks , noodles and green leafy vegetables
Chinese chicken soup with vegetables and noodles

This is part of a new project – virtual cooking for friends during #COVID19)

I suggested a tortilla bake for Dennis previously but after a long conversation (about food and access to food among other topics) we realised that we have not heard about food and access needs for autistic people. The need for textures and ease for swallowing. Each person has their individual needs and I made this for her to follow with her PA.

Chicken and Chinese leaves with noodles

ingredients: chicken breasts, bak choy, garlic, spring onions and garlic

Garlic (3 cloves)
Ginger (thumb size)
Bok choy (500g or as required)
2 biggish chicken breasts sliced into bite size
3 spring onions
noodles(optional, see note below)

The basics of this simple dish is from the flavours of ginger and garlic. Its also quick to assemble and cook.

Cooking method

Start by chopping the ginger into slices, and the garlic finely. Wash the vegetables well and dry as much as possible so that there will not be any hot oil splatters because of residual water. Slice the chicken breast into bite sized pieces slices. Cut up the spring onions.

Boil some water in preparation for making soup later. Drizzle some vegetable oil to a wok and turn up the heat.

Add ginger on high heat and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the chicken pieces and stir fry until white (around 3 minutes).

Add garlic and keep stirring the chicken. Add the spring onions and bok choy and 4 cups of boiling water and keep it simmering on high heat.

Variations on a theme
you can substitute tofu /beancurd, firm or pre fried, instead of chicken but add some vegetarian stock to add flavour. Dennis had suggested water cress and/ or spinach, whatever is in season, in the dish.

For the noodles if desired, cook noodles as intructions. Once the noodles are ready, ladle the soup with chicken on top. Add a touch of sesame oil for that flavour.

note on noodles

You can add wheat egg noodles, udon, rice vermicelli or flat rice boodles (known as ho fan). Apart from udon and bean / glass vermicelli, noodles swell up and get soggy if kept for too long in the soup so its best to prepare the noodles (according the instructions on the packaging) just before you want to eat them. You can even use spaghetti if you’re out of noodles.

Sprinkle on crispy onions for added crunch if you have them. Add a touch of sesame oil for those who like it.(Found in Chinese grocery stores or even in Ikea stores). You can offer everybody their own saucer with a dipping sauce – soy sauce or hot chillie oil. This dish is very flexible to adjust to individual tastes.

From Eleanor
Assisted by Kyle

photo of East Asian woman on wheelchair holding a spatula awkwardly frying lardons in a wok. Behind her is a loaded sink and a microwave.
Eleanor Lisney

Eleanor ‘s love for all types of cuisine comes from being Malaysian born and bred. She started to cook at university at Canterbury and learn about French cuisine when she was a stay at home mum for more than 10 years in Strasbourg, France.

She finds cooking on her own more problematic and gets her PAs / friends to help her do the heavy work so she can do some cooking from her wheelchair.