Quick and easy 30-minute healthy Chinese chicken noodle soup that is big on flavour and perfect for a cosy weeknight dinner.
The simple trick to achieving a delicious and authentic chicken soup base is using Chinese chicken stock powder. The flavour is rich, delicious and close to the real deal (homemade Chinese chicken broth)!
For a vegetarian version, simply add noodles to my 20-minute bok choy soup recipe!
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs - are the ideal meat to cook in a hurry. It's a very forgiving cut of chicken that stays tender unlike chicken breasts (they toughen up very quickly!)
- Chicken stock powder - is a quick and easy solution for a tasty soup base. I recommend using a Chinese-style chicken stock powder for the most authentic and flavourful soup.
- You can find them in most Chinese grocers or major supermarkets (like Coles and Woolies if you're in Australia).
- Alternatively, the soup in my Chinese chicken soup broth recipe is a perfect replacement that is healthy and tastes (of course) even better than any store-bought stock powders!
- Bok choy - a great vegetable that holds its shape when cooked thus making it ideal in soups like my bok choy soup. Substitute: choy sum, gai lan, chopped cabbage or silverbeet aka Swiss chard (stems removed).
- Dehydrated shiitake mushrooms - add a rich, fragrant umami flavour to this Chinese chicken noodle soup. Substitute: fresh shiitake mushrooms (although not as fragrant).
- Fresh noodles - I like using yang chun mien noodles (as shown in the ingredients picture above) for soups. You can find them in the fridge section of Chinese supermarkets.
- Different noodles to use: dry or fresh wheat noodles, egg noodles, vermicelli noodles, glass noodles or even plain instant noodles (instant ramen). If you're desperate, angel hair spaghetti can work too!
- I do not recommend using hokkien noodles for soups as it's more suitable for stir-fries like my chicken noodle stir fry, beef noodle stir fry and prawn noodle stir fry.
- Olive oil - I almost always use extra virgin olive oil in my cooking as I find its flavour to be so subtle that I can barely taste it. Can use neutral-tasting oils if preferred like sunflower oil.
This Chinese chicken noodle soup is super easy and takes just 30 minutes from prep to serve. Which is what we want in a comfort food!
There are 2 core components to making this easy noodle soup:
- Make a quick chicken and vegetable soup
- Cook noodles and serve
Let's go through these step-by-step.
Make a quick Chinese chicken and vegetable soup
First, prepare the ingredients.
Thinly slice ginger, cut spring onions (scallions) into 2 inch/5cm pieces, thinly slice carrot diagonally, cut tomatoes into large wedges and separate bok choy stems and half the core lengthways.
Lastly, cut boneless, skinless chicken thighs into bite-sized strips.
In a medium-sized bowl, season chicken thigh strips with oil and salt. Mix well and set aside.
In a large pot, add chicken soup using Chinese chicken stock powder or fresh soup from my Chinese chicken soup recipe, dehydrated shiitake mushrooms, spring onions, ginger and tomatoes.
Bring up to a boil over high heat then reduce heat to low and gently boil for 10 minutes. Lid on.
Then, increase the heat to high and add soy sauce, shaoxing wine, oil and seasoned chicken thigh strips into the soup.
Bring up to a rolling boil then boil for 3 minutes over high heat.
The chicken should be just cooked (it's quick!)
Because this recipe is quick to make, there is no need to use a slow cooker nor instant pot.
To finish this easy Chinese chicken and vegetable soup, add bok choy to the boiling soup.
Cook for 1 to 2 minutes then turn the heat off. Bok choy cooks very quickly and it'll continue to cook even once the heat has been turned off in the hot soup.
Taste the chicken soup and adjust for salt if desired.
This soup is a little similar to my bok choy soup without the meat.
Cook noodles and serve
Cook noodles according to packet instructions.
If using fresh Chinese noodles (like the ones in the image above) it'll only take about 3 to 4 minutes to cook.
If using egg noodles, see my easy soy sauce noodles for the different types of egg noodles and how to use them.
To serve, divide cooked, drained noodles into 4 large serving bowls.
Then, divide the soup with chicken and vegetables across the bowls.
Garnish with a few drops of sesame oil and finely sliced spring onions (scallions) if desired.
Useful tips and tricks
- To make in advance (up to 3 days), don't cook the noodles. You can make the Chinese chicken and vegetables soup first but leave the noodles until you're ready to serve. Just like pasta, noodles never taste as good the next day or even after 12 hours (the texture is no longer satisfying). Plus, once cooked, Chinese noodles get stuck together and break apart easily even after 30 minutes of cooking! So only cook it just before eating.
- Cut the carrots nice and thin. If the carrots are thick they might still be a little crunchy or hard which isn't ideal in this recipe (everything else is soft).
- Break off the stems of dehydrated shiitake mushrooms before cooking. The stems are very fibrous and hard to chew. Don't throw it out as it has an amazing flavour, add them into the soup, cook and when ready to serve, discard. This is not necessary if using fresh shiitake mushrooms.
- Have some fun and also add other different types of mushrooms! Such as enoki, oyster mushrooms, shimeji or brown mushrooms. Love mushrooms? Check out my healthy creamy mushroom pasta and creamy mushroom sauce (perfect for steaks!)
This tasty recipe uses Chinese chicken stock powder, dehydrated shiitake mushrooms, spring onions, ginger, carrot and tomatoes and is seasoned with soy sauce and shaoxing wine.
Dry or Fresh wheat noodles like yan chun mien and egg noodles, vermicelli noodles, glass noodles or even plain instant noodles (instant ramen). All of which you can get from Chinese supermarkets!
30 minutes all up, 10 minutes prep time and 20 minutes cooking time!
Great substitutes for bok choy are choy sum, gai lan (Chinese broccoli), swiss chard or even chopped-up cabbage (will need to cook longer until soft)! You can even add in some bean sprouts.
Leftovers and storage
Store the Chinese chicken and vegetable soup separately from the noodles, in airtight containers for up to 4 days in the fridge.
Made this recipe? Let me know your thoughts or questions by dropping a note in the comments section below.
I'd love to hear from you. 🙂
Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup
- 500 g (1 lb) chicken thighs boneless, skinless, cut into strips
- 400 g (14 oz) fresh Chinese noodles 250g if using dry noodles (note 1)
- 1 bunch bok choy stems separated, washed, core halved lengthways
- ½ tablespoon soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon shaoxing wine
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or a neutral-tasting oil
- salt to taste
- sesame oil to serve
Chicken soup base
- 1½ litres (6 cups) chicken stock ideally Chinese stock powder or Chinese chicken soup (note 2)
- 4 dehydrated shitake mushrooms or fresh (note 3)
- 2 tomatoes large, cut into wedges
- 1 carrot thinly sliced, diagonally
- 5 slices fresh ginger thin
- 2 spring onions scallions, cut into 2 inch/5cm pieces
Make chicken and vegetable soup
- Combine all chicken soup base ingredients into a large pot. Bring it up to a boil then gentlely boil over low heat for 10 minutes. Lid on.
- Whilst the soup is cooking, in a bowl, season chicken strips with ½ tablespoon of oil and 2 pinches of salt. Mix and set aside.
- Once the 10 minutes is up, remove the lid and increase the heat to high. Season soup with soy sauce, shaoxing wine and remaining olive oil. Mix with a ladle then add seasoned chicken. Bring up to a rolling boil then boil for 3 minutes.
- Add bok choy and push it down with a ladle to submerge it into the soup. Cook at boiling point for 1 minute then turn the heat off. Taste the soup and adjust for salt if required.
Cook noodles and serve
- Cook noodles according to packet instructions.
- Divide cooked noodles into 4 large serving bowls and pour chicken soup with meat and vegetables evenly across the bowls. Serve with a few drops of sesame oil and some finely sliced spring onions (optional).