Wonton-ish Soup & Ginger-Garlic Chicken with Cilantro Sauce

If I had to choose one soup that most reminded me of my childhood it would be wonton soup. Yep, even above those Lipton chicken rice noodle soups, even above Top Ramen (though Top Ramen gets prime billing for my college years). Maybe it had to do with the fact that when my mom would get Chinese takeout for us my sister and I would practically dive headfirst into the hot container of soup. It’s surprisingly simple as we prepare it here, and I don’t think you’ll miss the wonton wrappers.

SERVES 4 TO 6 AS MAIN COURSE / PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES / TOTAL TIME: 25 MINUTES

2 quarts chicken stock, store-bought or homemade

1 teaspoon coconut aminos

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2-inch piece fresh ginger, coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic, smashed

4 green onions, white and green parts cut into 2-inch pieces, plus more for serving

2 tablespoons coconut oil or avocado oil

1. In a large pot, combine the chicken stock, aminos, fish sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and green onions and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes to let the broth infuse with flavor. Using a slotted spoon, fish out the ginger, garlic, and green onions.

2. Meanwhile, form the meat mix into meatballs the size of Ping-Pong balls. When hot, add the meatballs and sauté until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. (Alternatively, you can bake them in the oven at 375°F for about 15 minutes.)

3. Evenly divide the meatballs among the soup bowls, and ladle broth over each. Top with fresh green onions to serve.

VARIATION: Want to get in more veggies? Bok choy is very often seen in wonton soup. Add 2 cups roughly chopped bok choy and add it to the pot in step 1 after straining out the ginger, garlic, and green onions, then cook until tender.

Ginger-Garlic Chicken with Cilantro Sauce

I believe this recipe originally came from Gourmet magazine, and my then roommate would serve this dish over cold (cooked) udon or soba noodles. In this version we serve it over your choice of Paleo-friendly noodles, though if you aren’t Paleo, you can easily use any noodles of your choosing.

SERVES 6 TO 8 / PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES / TOTAL TIME: 25 MINUTES, PLUS 1 HOUR MARINATING TIME

FOR THE MARINADE

4 cloves garlic, peeled

1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh ginger

2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs

FOR THE SAUCE

1 cup chicken stock, store-bought or homemade

1 cup sprigs fresh cilantro (stems and leaves)

½ cup Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, stems removed

1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil

¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar

Salt and black pepper

FOR SERVING

4 zucchini, julienned or spiralized, or 2 packages of shirataki (Japanese yam) noodles, rinsed

4 green onions, thinly sliced

1. To make the marinade: In a small food processor or blender, combine the garlic, ginger, and vinegar and blend. Transfer to a bowl or plastic bag with the chicken. Allow to marinate for up to 1 hour.

2. To make the sauce: In a small saucepan, combine the stock, cilantro, parsley, and oil and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 1 min, then remove from the heat. Puree in a blender or food processor. Stir in the rice vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Preheat a grill to high. Grill the chicken over direct heat for about 4 minutes on the first side. Flip only when the chicken easily releases from the grill, then cook until an instant-read thermometer registers 160°F, about 2 minutes more on the second side. Transfer to a plate (where the carryover cooking will bring the temp up to 165°F).

4. To serve: Slice the chicken and place on top of the noodles. Pour the sauce over all and top with the green onions.