Taiwanese sesame oil chicken noodle soup is a traditional dish known for its postpartum benefits and comforting warmth, making it perfect for cold winter days

Authentic Taiwanese Sesame Oil Chicken Soup Recipe

Recipe by Annie Tibber


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Taiwanese sesame oil chicken noodle soup: a traditional postpartum remedy and winter warmer, infused with the comforting scents of ginger, sesame oil, and rice wine.


  • 3 pounds of chicken legs (approximately 1.35 kg)

  • 3 tablespoons of black sesame oil (about 45 ml)

  • 3 ounces of ginger (around 85g, with the skin on, sliced into thick pieces; if you don’t have a kitchen scale, aim for a piece of ginger that’s roughly 3 inches in length)

  • 1 bottle of Taiwanese rice wine (750 ml, also known as Michiu)

  • 20 grams of rock sugar (or 5 teaspoons of granulated sugar)

  • 4 cups of water

  • Salt (to suit your flavor preference)

  • 2 scallions (sliced thinly)


  • Begin by washing the chicken and then pat it dry using a paper towel.
    Heat your wok or thick-bottomed pot over high heat until it begins to slightly smoke. Reduce the heat to medium and wait for a few seconds. Then, add the black sesame oil and the sliced ginger. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Increase the heat to high and sear the chicken legs (in batches if necessary) until they are browned on all sides. Once the chicken legs are nicely browned, reduce the heat back to medium and add the rice wine, rock sugar, and water.
  • Cover it up and let it simmer over medium heat for approximately 30 minutes. The soup should be simmering but not boiling. The goal is to cook the chicken and enhance the flavor of the soup without evaporating too much liquid.
  • The soup is ready when the chicken legs are tender. Season with salt to your taste and garnish with scallions when serving.

Recipe: How to Prepare Taiwanese Sesame Oil Chicken Soup

This Taiwanese Sesame Oil Chicken Soup works wonders like a charm. Each ingredient in this soup is known for its “warming” properties, believed to enhance blood circulation, warm cold extremities, and stave off the chill of the approaching winter.

Winter has officially arrived! Do you know someone struggling with poor circulation, constantly cold hands and feet, or perhaps a female friend or family member in the postpartum recovery phase?

Well, I may not be a doctor, but I am a chef (and anyone who has experienced the soothing effects of their grandmother’s chicken soup knows what I mean!). In my culinary repertoire, I have several “healing” recipes, and this Taiwanese Sesame Oil Chicken Soup is one of them.

In Taiwan, Sesame Oil Chicken Soup is a must-have for both new mothers and the elderly, renowned for its ability to nourish and enhance overall well-being. Let’s delve into some of the ingredients in this soup from the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine:

  1. Chicken: Promotes physical health (it’s a common practice in many cultures for mothers to feed their children chicken soup to ward off colds).
  2. Black sesame oil: Nourishes qi and blood (numerous black foods like black rice, black seaweed, black dates, and black wood ear mushrooms are considered beneficial for qi and blood).
  3. Ginger: Enhances circulation and wards off cold and dampness.
  4. Rice wine, also known as Michiu: Stimulates circulation and boosts overall energy (Qi).

In Chinese culture, there’s an ancient saying: “All living things are born in spring, grow in summer, harvested in fall, and hidden in winter. It’s the same with humans.” Here, “hidden” suggests that winter is the ideal time to “nourish” the body and build strength.

This Taiwanese Sesame Oil Chicken Soup is just the nutritious—and delicious—addition our family needs, and the best part is that it doesn’t demand hours of simmering on the stove. You can have it ready in slightly more than an hour.

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