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Drunken Chinese Chicken Soup is a nostalgic soup for me. The spicy kick of the ginger and the broth infused with cooking wine warms you right up in the chill of the winter months. It is also great at clearing out sinuses and it’s a giant hug in a bowl. It’s equivalent to American’s chicken noodle soup.

drunken chinese chicken soup with white rice in a white ceramic bowl next to smaller bowls of ingredients and a metal black spoon
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I remember the distinct smell of this soup boiling on the stovetop in my childhood kitchen. The spicy ginger would permeate the air and the hearty smell of chicken would follow. My mom made this soup often and I remember not being a big fan of it because I thought it was too spicy. I truly believe tastebuds change (for the better, most of the time) and many times, flavors are acquired. My mom would make this soup in the cold winter months and whenever we were sick. Not only does the hot broth warm you up and the rice fill you up, it’s the copious amount of ginger that is in this soup that really fires up your insides. That peppery, spicy kick is really all you need to clear those sinuses and to activate the blood flow. I like to think of this soup as the Asian version of America’s chicken noodle soup.

The Chinese cooking wine is so flavorful along with the spicy kick from the ginger. Using chicken thighs yields the most tender chicken and flavorful broth. The goji berries give you the cut of sweetness that makes this soup so perfect. You definitely break a sweat after having a bowl of this, but you won’t need to crank up the heat!

Why You’ll Love This

  • Simple ingredients. This soup has the simplest of ingredients and yet makes the most flavorful soup. You will be surprised at how simple it is to make something so delicious!
  • Natural remedy. Sometimes you don’t need to go to the drug store when you can just go to your pantry. I’m not saying this is a cure or any sort of medical treatment, but with the ingredients in this soup, it can certainly help!
  • Comforting. Is there anything better than a large, piping hot bowl of soup? Some days, especially those cloudy cold days, you just need it. This Chinese chicken soup is big bowl of comfort — kind of like a big hug from your favorite person.
chinese chicken noodle soup in a large pot with ladle in the soup. small bowls of ginger, goji berries, and white rice can be seen around the pot.

Ingredients You’ll Need

This short list of simple ingredients is what you’ll need to make this Chinese chicken soup. Make sure to scroll down to view the full recipe for exact measurements.

  • Chicken thighs
  • Sesame oil
  • Chicken stock
  • Water
  • Ginger
  • Goji berries
  • Chinese cooking wine
  • White rice
a bowl of chinese chicken soup with rice in a white bowl

Recipe Tips, Substitutions, and Variations

  • Use a different cut of chicken. If you prefer to use boneless skinless chicken breasts, you may, but keep in mind it might be drier since it’s white meat. You can also use shredded chicken instead of cubed chicken.
  • Don’t use ground ginger. This will yield a completely different result. Fresh ginger is more peppery and has more bite to it than ground ginger.
  • Storing ginger pro tip. After you’re done with the ginger, put it in a freezer-safe container and freeze it! Ginger lasts a very long time in the freezer and you’ll always have it on hand to use!
  • Goji berry substitute. Can’t find goji berries? While they’re definitely a lot more common these days, it might be hard to source these if you don’t go to an Asian grocery store. If you can’t find them, dried cranberries are an alternative, but keep in mind it is very different. It’s sweeter than goji berries and are slightly more tart. This will do in a pinch but I highly recommend trying to find goji berries.
  • Use noodles. Instead of rice, you could use Asian noodles in this recipe. Rice noodles or udon noodles would work well.
drunken chinese chicken soup in a white bowl with a spoon resting in it

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Refrigerator instructions: Allow the chicken soup to cool to room temperature then put into a container with a lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, you can reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Freezer storage: Allow the chicken soup to cool to room temperature then ladle into freezer-safe soup containers such as Souper Cubes. The soup will be good for up to 3 months. To reheat, pop a cube out and reheat on the stovetop or microwave.

What to Serve with Chinese Chicken Soup

Typically this Drunken Chinese Chicken Soup is good on its own as it is pretty filling with the chicken, rice, and broth. However, if you would like some sides to go along with this soup, here are some ideas:

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5 from 1 vote

Drunken Chinese Chicken Soup

Drunk Chicken with Goji Berries and Rice a very flavorful chicken dinner with a spicy ginger kick!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 1 ½ pounds (680 g) boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into cubes
  • ½ tablespoon (1 tablespoon) sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 cups (946 ml) chicken stock
  • 1 cup (237 ml) water
  • 2 knobs ginger, sliced thinly lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoon) dried goji berries
  • cup (79 ml) Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 ½ cups (237 g) cooked white rice

Instructions 

  • In a large pot, cook the chicken thighs in the sesame oil until mostly fully cooked through. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add in the chicken stock, water, Chinese cooking wing, ginger, and goji berries. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  • When done, in a large bowl, put a layer of rice at the bottom of the bowl then ladle the soup on top.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl, Calories: 272kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Cholesterol: 113mg, Sodium: 332mg, Potassium: 464mg, Fiber: 0.2g, Sugar: 3g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

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15 Comments

  1. I can’t believe you got sloshed on such a feeble quantity of alcohol. In Scotland we would pour the whole bottle in and chase down with whisky for good measure !

    1. well, 1. we aren’t in Scotland and 2. my body just can’t handle alcohol like most people/you. oh well! you can take an extra swig of whiskey for me ;)