Thai style chicken noodle soup – a meal in itself!

30 Apr

I have a few recipes that I always make when I have a hangover.  This will definitely be added to that list!  It is warm and comforting yet light, but it is the hit of chilli that always seems to work at settling the stomach and bringing some colour back to my cheeks.  Not that I have many hangovers these days, must be a sign of getting old.  Maybe I don’t drink as much, or then again, maybe my body has got used to it.

I remember, what seems like many years ago now, going round to my neighbours, Mary and Charlie, on New Years Day.  They were both born and bred in Newcastle and their New Years Eve parties were something to talk about, usually finishing up at breakfast the next day with either haggis or, more frequently, scrambled eggs with smoked salmon.  On this occasion our friends Ted and Vina came with us to wish them a Happy New Year.  Ted looked absolutely dreadful and Mary made him a hangover cure of a raw egg in sherry.  Yuk!  He knocked it straight back without a flinch while I was looking out the window trying not to heave.  Fond memories!

I thought I would look for a few hangover cures, you never know when they may come in handy!   A hangover occurs when the blood alcohol intake exceeds a safe level.  Alcohol is dehydrating because it is a diuretic and causes you to urinate more often. It impairs the quality of your sleep so that you feel tired and sluggish upon waking. Alcohol reduces blood sugar levels, causes digestive difficulties and impairs nutrient absorption. It irritates the stomach lining and may cause indigestion, nausea and vomiting. Throbbing headaches, muscular aches and weakness are also common hangover symptoms due to dehydration and dilation of blood vessels. Good grief, is it worth drinking!  Of course it is. 

Treatments for hangovers help to alleviate these unpleasant symptoms while your body recovers from the effects of alcohol.  My mother used to swear by drinking two pints of water and two paracetamol before bed.  Not a bad idea really as this will overcome dehydration and kick-start the pain relief.  The NHS recommend drinking orange juice and having light soups if they can be tolerated to sooth the stomach lining and boost blood sugar levels.  This soup should fit the bill nicely!

Here are a few other remedies I found on the internet:

  • A full English Breakfast
  • Marmite on toast
  • The hair of the dog in either a Bloody Mary or a Prairie Oyster
  • A cocktail of gin, Guinness, milk and orange juice. (Yuk!)
  • A long walk or run to sweat out the alcohol
  • A swim
  • A crisp or chip sandwich
  • A lie in with heavy petting (does this mean stroking the dog!)
  • A hot shower followed by lying on the couch with a slave to fetch and carry

I have made a mental note of a few of these to try later!

Anyway, here is the recipe.  I made it with some left over roast chicken but you could braise a chicken breast with the spices, remove and shred then put back when the recipe states.  The chicken stock is really important so it is worth trying to get the best you can or, even better, make your own.

Thai style chicken noodle soup                           Serves 2-3

  • About 8oz cooked chicken, shredded or see above
  • 1500 ml good chicken stock (I used some made using a chicken carcass, carrot, onion and bay leaf)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 red chilli, sliced thinly (keep the seeds in if you like it hot)
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 inch piece of root ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
  • 1 bunch spring onions, sliced, separating the white from the green
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • sea salt flakes
  • 2 sticks celery, thinly sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 pack of wok ready thin noodles
  • Small handful of fresh basil leaves
  • Small handful of fresh mint leaves
  1. Put the stock in a large pan and add the onion (white bits only), chilli, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, star anise, peppercorns and two good pinches of sea salt.  Bring to the boil then simmer for about 10 minutes so the stock is infused with the flavours.
  2. Remove the cinnamon and star anise then add the celery, carrot and chicken.  Bring back to the boil then simmer for about 5 minutes.  Check the seasoning and add more salt if required.
  3. Add the noodles, breaking them up gently into the stock.  Add the herbs and green bits of the spring onions.  Simmer for a couple of minutes or until the noodles are warmed through.  Serve immediately.

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