Chicken Soup with Brown Rice and Ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large carrot, diced
1 to 2 celery stalks, diced
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 to 4 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
½ teaspoon black pepper
8 cups water (or broth)
4 to 5 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 cup brown rice, uncooked
2 poached, shredded chicken breasts
1 ½ cups Chinese cabbage, chopped
½ to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- Poach 2 large chicken breasts in water. After the chicken is cooked, shred the chicken with a fork and set aside. Discard the water.
- Sauté the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic in the olive oil for 10-15 minutes.
- Chop the fresh ginger and add to the sautéed vegetable mixture. I prefer to peel and chop fresh ginger, rather than mashing it through a micro-plane grater.
- Stir the black pepper into the vegetable mixture.
- Add the water and soy sauce.
- Add the uncooked brown rice. Allow the mixture to cook for 45 minutes or until the rice is almost tender.
- Add the cabbage, shredded chicken, and crushed red pepper flakes to the soup.
- Allow the soup to cook for at least 15 minutes.
- Taste the soup and add more soy sauce, ginger, or crushed red pepper to your liking.
- Broth is not generally available at the grocery store in Tokyo, so I have been using water as much as possible and compensating for the lack of flavor through additional spices and vegetables during the cooking process.
- You could easily make broth with vegetables or a whole chicken (and then shred the chicken after cooking). Whole chickens are also generally not available in Tokyo, so I compensated by using chicken breasts. Using chicken breasts was a faster way to complete the soup as well!
- If you use a store bought broth, I recommend reducing the amount of soy sauce.
- I have been using Japanese brown rice (gemmai or genmai), but long-grain brown rice would work as well.
- Dried, chopped chilies are more commonly found in Tokyo (when compared to crushed red pepper flakes). This has been a perfect substitute to add a little heat to the soup!