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Comfort Noodles

Comfort Noodles is the name we gave this soup: To comfort you on cold days and nights, to comfort you when having a cold. This recipe was inspired by phở gà, Vietnamese chicken noodle soup, and ramen.

Oddly, I haven’t made this yet using ramen noodles. Spaghetti works easily since I almost always have it in the kitchen.

I have a problem with one of the ingredients, though, the chili-garlic paste. Practically every brand I see contains huge amounts of sugar. Too much sugar. Could anyone recommend a brand which contains little or no sweetening?


  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
  • spaghetti for two people (150 to 160 grams uncooked)
  • several tablespoons minced shallots, garlic and/or scallions (amount depends on how much you love alliums)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • (optional) 1 to 2 teaspoons chili-garlic paste or sauce (Thai or Vietnamese style, found in Asian food stores)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Italian parsley and/or cilantro, minced
  • 1 tablespoon mint, minced
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1 lime: a half for each person


  1. In a saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer.
  2. In a large pot, cook the spaghetti in boiling water to 2 minutes before the noodles become al dente. You’ll eventually finish cooking them in the broth.
  3. While the spaghetti is cooking, sauté the shallots, garlic and/or scallions in another saucepan, large enough to accommodate the broth and spaghetti. The shallots and scallions are done when they’ve become a translucent golden. The garlic needs less time, so cook that until it’s barely golden.
  4. Add the chili-garlic paste to the shallots and stir well. Pour in the broth and bring to a simmer. Season with salt, if needed. Cover until the spaghetti is ready.
  5. Drain spaghetti and put it into the saucepan with the stock and other fixings. Stir in the parsley (and/or cilantro) and mint. Bring to a gentle boil, then cover and simmer for 2 minutes.
  6. Serve in bowls. Squeeze lime juice over soup. Slurp.

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