Asian chicken soup

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Asian chicken soup

As the distribution list for these recipes grows to almost 10,000 people each week, to people around the country, I get questions, comments, and special requests with many of the subscriptions. A very common theme is a request for a special diet of one kind or another; vegan, ovo-lacto, low carb, high carb, low fat, high fat, low salt, various ethnic cuisines, for diabetes, kidney disease, thyroid disease, weight loss, etc.

The recipes I share, all of which I have personally tried at home, only meet the criteria of being tasty and made using at least some farmers' market ingredients. They will contain carbs, fat, and other nutrients, but usually in moderation. You can modify any recipe to suit your particular needs. Many of these recipes eventually make it to where they are accompanied by a nutritional analysis.

There are also many comments extolling the virtues of farmers' markets, questions as to where markets are located in various home towns, and queries wondering when markets are going to start at local Kaiser Permanente facilities.

Our markets are likely to only be at the larger facilities where significant numbers of people work, members and patients visit, and surrounding neighborhoods have access. A market only thrives if it has enough customers. A challenge for any market, particularly smaller markets, is to make sure it is worthwhile for the farmers.

Still, once people taste locally grown, seasonal food, they usually become farmers' market converts. In response to a number of requests for Asian recipes, I tried this spicy chicken soup and, boy, was it good. It's quick and easy if you get everything organized first.

Servings: 4


  • 1 1/2 quarts chicken broth (low sodium is available)
  • 8 slices of fresh ginger, each about 1/8" thick (remember the trick of scraping the peel off the ginger with the bowl of a spoon)
  • 3 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce (regular soy sauce has about 1000mg sodium per Tbsp and low sodium about half that)
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • Rounded 1/4 tsp crushed red chili flakes
  • Juice of one lime
  • 12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced thinly
  • 3 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1 cup mushrooms sliced (I used white mushrooms)
  • About one cup snow peas, trimmed
  • One red pepper, seeded, and julienned or chopped in bite size pieces
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro


Add the broth, sugar, ginger, chili flakes, lime juice, and soy sauce to a soup pot. Boil for five minutes. Toss the chicken with the corn starch and shake off the excess. Add the chicken and mushrooms. Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the snow peas, red pepper, lime zest, and cilantro. Let sit for a couple minutes then serve. One could add rice noodles, etc., but I kept it simple for the first try.

Nutrition Information (per serving)