Posts Tagged ‘phillipines’

Chicken Soup: Filipino Chicken Soup – Sotanghon

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

Sotanghon is one of my favorite soups. It’s a Filipino chicken soup that’s perfect anytime I need some brothy comfort food. It’s my husband’s favorite version of chicken soup.

It’s so good, it’s been in my regular soup rotation for several years, thanks to my girl Celestina, who is an amazing cook. When I get an invite for dinner from her, I dare not decline because she continually introduces me to new dishes from her homeland of the Philippines.

The first time I ate sotanghon I was in heaven. . .  It was a cold, Sunday afternoon and this soup was right on.  I remember it distinctively. It was one of those food moments that is permanently etched in my flavor memory – the first time I had this hot, gingery broth that is both citrusy from lime and salty from patis (fish sauce).

To me it’s the broth that makes this soup stand out and the reason why my version is more soupy than most traditional satanghon recipes you’ll find. Many years ago Celestina showed me how to make a quick version using chicken breasts. I’ve adapted it over the years using chicken thighs to make the broth. I also prefer this version because it has more vegetables than most.

A lot of recipes call for removing the ginger in the final stages. I prefer to leave it in, because the flavor gets more intense as the soup sits. Also, as you know from my ginger posts, ginger aides digestion and is a warming spice. Don’t eat it if it’s not your thing.

I usually buy these ingredients at the Asian market. FYI, sotanghon noodles are cellophane noodles made from mung beans; they are also called chinese vermicelli noodles. I like to get the package with bundles wrapped and tied (see photo below).

This recipe makes a huge pot, half it if it’s too much.

Tidbits on Chicken Soup:

  1. Chicken soup has been a remedy for colds, flu and other infirmities since prehistoric times. The hot broth is coveted because it is thin, protein-based, and easier to digest than a full-on solid meal.
  2. Chicken soup was also considered curative because of it’s light broth, which was similar to the human complexion.
  3. Originally and in some places today, old chickens were used to make chicken soup – because it was a good way to use the tough meat and also a way to stretch out a meal.