I have a cold.
I know, I know. so does everyone else. (I guess everyone else has the flu?) but this is slightly remarkable for me. I have a cast-iron immune system, likely from eating a lot of dirt as a child. I never get sick, ever.
but after a few late nights, a couple of fêtes, and a bucket of stress, I too have succumbed.
however, I'm not going down without a fight. last night I could feel it approaching, so I took an incredible amount of supplements, drank a pot of tea and passed out.
I awoke at noon, feeling better... but not 100%. time to break out the big guns. this killer soup is my own concoction, and it features a list of ingredients that any cold would be terrified of.
mushrooms contain immune-boosting compounds and a boatload of B vitamins. cilantro has powerful detoxifying and anti-viral properties. garlic and scallions contain allicin, a sulfuric compound with potent antibacterial and anti-viral effects. ginger has been used as a cold and flu remedy for centuries. water chestnuts have been used in traditional Chinese medicine to relieve fever and break up chest congestion. chicken broth acts as an anti-inflammatory, and temporarily speeds up the movement of mucus. the hot component of chili peppers, capsaicin, thins mucus and promotes saliva production, which can make that dry, scratchy throat feel a lot better. five-spice contains star anise, which is the source of the main compound in tamiflu.
also, this is meant to be a guideline of sorts. if you hate an ingredient, leave it out. who cares? cooking isn't as much fun if you follow recipes to the letter.
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asian fusion, armed with cold-fighting properties on several levels.
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 roasted chicken breast, shredded with a fork
- 1 small can water chestnuts, sliced
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 2 bunches scallions, chopped
- a knuckle's worth of ginger
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- one package baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
- crushed red pepper flakes
- togarashi (optional)
- 7-8 thai chilies (optional)
- good sesame oil
- buckwheat soba, udon, ramen, spaghetti, whatever.
- in a stockpot, start water to boil.
- in a dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons or so sesame oil over medium-high heat.
- to dutch oven, add garlic, ginger, five-spice, thai chilies and crushed red pepper flakes.
- when the spices become aromatic, add the sliced mushrooms, shredded chicken and scallions. keep stirring until they are tender.
- add chicken broth and cilantro, stirring to make sure nothing's sticking to the bottom. bring to a simmer.
- meanwhile, prepare the noodles of your choice to your preference.
- put some noodles in your bowl, and top with a few ladles of soup and veggies. sprinkle some extra crushed red pepper and togarachi on top.
- devour with reckless abandon, and eat as much as you can.
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there you go. easy, kinda quick and terrible news for your cold. i feel better already after two bowls.