On any given night--in the middle of flu season or not--you'll find a roomful of regulars at Amitabul, the Norwood Park restaurant that's been nursing Chicagoans with vegan Korean Buddhist cuisine for over 20 years.
Most of them will be ordering the most flavorful cold remedy in town: a nose-clearing, restorative concoction aptly named Dr. K's Cure-All Noodle Soup.
The potion (named for one of its most devout customers) is a deep bowl of vibrant red soup stocked with vegetables, tofu and noodles (pictured, $10). Deliciously spicy red miso broth is scented with ginger and garlic; wakame seaweed, dried shiitake mushrooms and sprouts add energy-rich nutrients.
For a less soupy but still curative option, try the Amitabul Herb Bi Bim Bop ($11). A jumble of plants unrecognizable to the Western eye--including ferns, fresh ginseng, lotus root and sweet-potato stems--is tossed with carrots, onions and brown rice. Douse it with spicy red miso sauce and sweet-tart plum sauce, then mix, enjoy and feel revived.
Flu Soup ($8) is less indulgent and more direct; the spicy kimchi broth--filled with vegetables similar to the Cure-All's--is clearly meant to help sweat out what ails you.
It might not be as convenient, but a cold-medicine run to Walgreens will never leave you feeling this satisfied.
Amitabul, 6207 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 773-774-0276 or amitabulchicago.com
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