We’ve been sick for weeks, and life is no fun with sick kiddos and a sick mama. I’d like to say we’re at the tail end of it, but we’re not. After two weeks of constant sickness, some reprieve would be nice, though I’m not looking forward to the massive housecleaning/sanitizing that needs to occur once I’m better. With this bout of illness coming so close after Christmas, the Christmas tree and decorations need to be put away and there are new toys that need a more permanent home than the living room floor, then there’s catch-up laundry and all the housecleaning that can only be done by a mama, apparently. (A tinge bitter, perhaps? I blame the sickness.) I’m feeling ill just thinking about all the catch-up that needs to occur once I get over my sickness. One comfort during these bleak days is a big bowl of soup.
Curry Chicken Ramen takes the comfort of chicken noodle soup and the deliciousness of ramen and mashes them together into a powerhouse bowl of soup that will kick illness to the curb. There might be some truth to the home remedy of chicken soup for a cold. Studies show it may actually have healing properties and help aid upper respiratory illnesses. See, mamas do know best! Curry Chicken Ramen takes the healing powers of chicken soup with the added benefit of ginger and turmeric (in curry powder), two roots known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Cinnamon, cloves, and coriander, among other spices in curry powder, aid in digestive issues such as upset stomachs and diarrhea. That’s one mighty fine and souper powerful bowl of soup!
When I set out to make Curry Chicken Ramen I didn’t intend to make a wonder home remedy for a cold, just a good bowl of soup. The plan was to make homemade chicken stock in the pressure cooker (a miracle cooker!) with some Asian components that I had in the fridge-ginger, cilantro, scallions, and Thai chile. Then I threw in some pork chops and bacon to clean out the fridge, and so began the ramen path. To be clear, this is not ramen in its most traditional sense, but it’s a nice substitute when you want the comfort of chicken noodle soup with a funky mock ramen twist. Once the broth was done, I added some soy sauce and sesame oil and threw in some scallion tops, hard-boiled eggs (or soft-boiled, tea eggs, or no eggs), and vermicelli noodles to complete its mock ramenness. I know what you’re thinking, so you don’t even use ramen noodles?! Go for it, fer sure. (Sorry, it’s the dead of winter in Minnesota. Minnesotaness seeps into your bones this time of year.) Bottom line, I simply prefer vermicelli noodles with the corn and curry. Corn, say what? Did you know the awesome Japanese fast food chain Ajisen Ramen serves corn in its ramen? I loved the restaurant in China and was a frequent visitor, but I haven’t eaten at the chain in the States and can’t wholeheartedly recommend it. After a quick perusal of the menu, I noticed that they don’t serve my favorite menu items- panko shrimp and Thai Seafood Ramen, which is strange because Thai food is infinitely more popular in the States than in China. Lucky for me and you, I make my own Thai Red Curry Ramen that I’ll post soon, another inauthentic but delicious bowl of ramen.
One of the best parts of this soup is that it’s adaptable and still tasty. Pork is an optional addition to the homemade stock. You can also use store-bought chicken broth and simmer it with Asian aromatics. Or, you can leave out the Asian aromatics altogether and simply add corn kernels and a touch of curry powder to the broth, a seemingly strange but complimentary pairing. My mother makes chicken noodle soup with curry powder and corn kernels. It’s delicious, nutritious, and comforting. Plus, it has the bonus illness-begone benefits of curry doing its part to fight illness. See, mamas know best.