Chinese noodle soup is incredibly quick and easy – if you know the secret spices! You would swear that the Asian soup broth comes from a Chinese restaurant. It is so good.
Just 10 minutes 352 calories for a large bowl. Use pasta, vegetables, protein – or not! Great fridge food.
Quick chinese noodle soup!
This Chinese noodle soup is one of my classic “back pocket” recipes because it is so versatile and incredibly fast. Because people who cook all day to make a living need quick dinners for real life – ask every cook !!
Here’s an overview of how to do it:
- Broth: 6 simmer ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes (no trip to the Asian shop required!);
- Pasta: Prepare fresh or dried pasta according to the directions in the package.
- Covering: Browse the fridge and look for vegetables and proteins of your choice. Roughly chop and cook with the noodles or in the soup. Broth; and
- Serve: Put the pasta in bowls. Pour over soup and toppings.
See? 10 mins!
Spices for Chinese soup broths
If you’ve ever been disappointed with a recipe for an Asian soup broth, it’s probably because basic but essential flavors were lacking. It takes more than just chicken broth and soy sauce to make a Chinese soup broth!
What everything you need:
- Chinese cooking wine – the main ingredient. Only 1.5 tablespoons add complexity and depth of flavor to the chicken stock bought in the shop. Without it, the broth tastes “flat”, ie something is missing. Replace with: dry sherry, mirin or cooking sake. Best non-alcoholic sub for this recipe: replace part of the soy sauce with oyster sauce (which adds extra “umami” to the broth to compensate);
- Garlic and ginger – Crush the garlic and slice the ginger so that the fresh flavors get into the broth. If you hold it all the way, you can easily find it later. You can rub them straight into the broth with a fine grater, but you get small pieces in the soup (instead of being a clear broth).
- sesame oil – for the taste!
- Chicken broth / broth – Use little sodium, otherwise the broth may be too salty for your taste. Use a decent one as this is the basis for the soup broth (🇦🇺 I use Campbells. Better than Continental).
- soy sauce – Either all-purpose or light soy sauce works here. Do not use dark soy sauce or sweet soy sauce – the taste is too intense. and
- sugar – Just a touch to balance the aromas.
What goes into the noodle soup
And here’s what I put in the soup:
- Noodles – Chinese noodle soups are traditionally made from thin egg noodles (shown above and below in the soup). Fresh ones (sold in the refrigerator) have a better texture than dried ones. But all the noodles will be fine here – fresh or dried, rice noodles, white or yellow noodles, hokkien, Singapore noodles, wide, thin, vermicelli, ramen noodles (yup!), Diet noodles (like Konyaku – were there, did that), Zoodles (were there too). Really. EVERY noodle will be great in this broth!
- Bok Choy (also known as Buk Choi, Buk Choi, Pak Choi or Pok Choi – crazy, right?!) – or any vegetable. I like Bok Choy because you just split it in half in the middle and bam! You’re done! (Recipe notes contain an extensive list of chopping and cooking instructions for common vegetables)
- Boiled chicken (poach it using this method, which guarantees juiciness) – or another protein as desired. Everyone has small containers of cooked chicken in the freezer, right ?!
- Green onion or coriander / coriander or chives or even finely chopped onions (red, white, tan) – something for a little dash of freshness.
How to make chinese noodle soup
And so it happens in 10 minutes. (And to all those cheeky guys who point out that it takes more than 10 minutes to simmer for 10 minutes – fine! You can shorten the cooking time by 2 minutes!😉)
PER TIP: Never cook pasta in the soup broth unless a recipe specifically states this. Noodles absorb a lot of liquid when cooking. If you do this, you will get a lot less broth than expected. I learned that the hard way. 😖
Make it HEALTHIER !!
Since this is a noodle soup recipe and all, noodles are a key ingredient here. Even so, it only has 352 calories for a bowl.
But if you want to further reduce carbohydrates and calories, just skip the noodle and top it up with tons of more vegetables to make a Chinese vegetable soup. In fact, it’s one of my go-to diets (which should happen more often than it does …).
Do I miss the pasta? Of course I do. But I console myself with a healthy dose of chili paste and lots of fresh chicken pho herbs.
But before you go on a diet, try it as you intended. THEN make you healthy !!! – Nagi x
Watch how it works
Chinese noodle soup
Preparation: 5 min
Cook: 10th min
Total: fifteen min
Tap or move the mouse pointer to scale it
Recipe video above. A simple, delicious Chinese noodle soup with broth you would swear by comes from your favorite Chinese restaurant! This is a midweek version, so it is made with soup broth bought in the store and not with a broth made from scratch. I kept the rubbers very simple because this recipe is more about the broth than the rubbers. You can add any toppings – vegetables and proteins (see note 7).
- 3rd cups Chicken broth / broth, little sodium (Note 1)
- 2nd Garlic cloves smashed (note 2)
- 1.5 cm / 1/2 “ Ginger piece, cut into 3 slices (optional, but highly recommended)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon mild soy sauce or normal all-purpose soy sauce (Note 3)
- 2nd TL sugar (any)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon chinese cooked wine (Note 4)
- 1/4 – 1/2 TL sesame oil , roasted (optional) (Note 5)
Toppings & noodles
- 180 g fresh egg noodles (Note 6)
- 2nd large bok choy or other vegetables of choice (Use a blanchable vegetable – note 7)
- 1 Cup shredded boiled chicken (or another protein of choice)
- 1 Shallot / Shallot , green part only finely cut (optional garnish)
Put the ingredients of the broth in a saucepan over high heat. Put the lid on, bring to a boil, then reduce to medium and simmer for 8 – 10 minutes so that the flavors can pour into it.
In the meantime, cook the pasta according to the directions in the package.
Cut Bok Choys in half (for small / medium) or quarters (for large). Wash thoroughly.
Either cook the Bok Choi in the broth in the soup broth or pasta boiling water for 1 minute (if the noodles need to be boiled).
Remove the garlic and ginger from the soup.
Put the pasta in bowls. Top with chicken and bok choy. Scoop over the soup, garnish with spring onions. Great served with chili paste or fresh chillies.
2. Smashed Garlic – Hit the side of your knife with the ball of your hand on a clove of garlic so that it bursts, but remains largely in one piece. This allows the taste to penetrate the soup, but can be picked out before serving. You could just chop the garlic with a garlic crusher, but small cloves of garlic are visible in the broth instead of being a clear, clean broth.
3. Chinese cooking wine is an important ingredient for turning chicken broth bought in the store into a restaurant-quality soup broth. Dry sherry is an excellent substitute. Otherwise, Japanese cooking sake or mirin are a reasonable substitute (if you use mirin, skip sugar).
If you can’t consume alcohol, I think the best sub is as follows:
- Reduce soy sauce to 1 tbsp
- Add 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce (this has Umami and adds complexity to the taste of the broth to compensate for skipping the boiling of wine.
4. Additional flavor options for broth: Star anise, chilli, spring onions (just fold) or onion quarters.
5.Sesame oil – Use roasted (brown color, more intense sesame flavor), not unroasted (yellow, not common in Australia).
6.Noodles: Use whatever you want, fresh or dried, but if you use less, use less. Here is a guide to the amount of pasta per serving:
- Fresh pasta, thin (ie from the fridge, I use that) – 90 g per serving
- Fresh noodles, wide and flat (like thick Thai rice noodles) – 150 g per serving (much denser, so you need more)
- Dried pasta, pasta (yes, really!) – 60 g per serving
- Ramen – 1 pack / “cake” per person
Prepare according to package instructions – do not pour into the broth (it absorbs a lot of broth).
7. Covering: Cook proteins separately to keep things simple. My “go to” is chopped boiled chicken because I keep small bags in the freezer (poaching keeps it juicy). Egg is great too – just whisk it lightly, pour it in, and whisk it to create egg ribbons like in Hot & Sour Soup and Chinese Corn Soup. Chinese BBQ Pork Slices is fabulous (I order it in soup restaurants), but I never have left when I do it.
Vegetables – Cut and cook in one of the pasta boiling water (if the pasta needs to be boiled). If the pasta just needs to be soaked, cook the vegetables in the broth. Put the vegetables that take the longest to cook first (like broccoli) and the tender ones last (like sprouts).
Veggie suggestions – Toppings that are often found on Chinese noodle / wonton soups:
- All Chinese vegetables (Bok Choy / Buk Choi / Pak Choi, Gai Lan / Chinese broccoli, Choy Sum). Cut Bok Choy lengthways in half or quarters (image / video), for other vegetables cut it into about 5 cm batons
- Carrots – cut diagonally
- Bean sprouts
- Green beans
Other vegetables – not common in Chinese restaurants, but works great!
- Zucchini (sliced)
- green bean cabbage (thick slice)
- Asparagus, broccoli / broccolini and cauliflower,
- any other vegetable that can be cooked.
8. Nutrition is accepted per serving, provided 1/4 tsp sesame oil is used. Diet can be improved significantly by adding more vegetables! Reduce sodium even further by using low sodium soy sauce.
Portion: 585GCalories: 352kcal (18%)Carbohydrates: 39G (13%)Protein: 31G (62%)Fat: 10thG (fifteen%)Saturated fatty acids: 3rdG (19%)Cholesterol: 53mg (18%)Sodium: 1067mg (46%)Potassium: 493mg (14%)Dietary fiber: 2ndG (8th%)Sugar: 6G (7%)Vitamin A: 29IU (1%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 28mg (3%)Iron: 4thmg (22%)
Originally released in June 2016. It’s long overdue to add a video with brand new photos and process steps!
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