Stumped for dinner inspiration? With the help of a supermarket roast chicken, this simple chicken noodle soup comes together in just 30 minutes.
This chicken noodle soup is a bit like a cheat’s chicken pho. All the goodness of a long simmered soup, but in much less time. You can, of course, make a proper chicken pho, which I love, but isn’t really the stuff of weeknight dinners.
Noodle soups are incredibly versatile. All you need to do is start with a good broth and build from there. From your pantry add dried noodles, shiitake mushrooms, fried onions. Raid your fridge for things to add – cooked chicken, greens like spinach, bok choy or broccolini).
A few notes on ingredients:
There’s no secret to this recipe, but it does help if you can be bothered to make your own stock. It’s one of the best things about this supermarket roast chook recipe – no waste; the leftover roast chicken bones form the next batch of chicken noodle soup.
Add the chicken bones, skin and vegetables to a pot, then cover with water. Bring to a low simmer for 1-2 hours. It’s good use for all the sad onion, carrot and celery scraps in your veggie drawer. I often add brown onion skins to my stock (they’re often used in ramen and pho recipes). Carrot peel is fine to add too.
If you don’t have time to make your own stock – don’t worry – store bought is fine in a pinch.
I used dried rice noodles because that’s what I had in my pantry. I prefer a slightly thicker noodle, so I’ve used a thicker pad thai style noodle here. Use vermicelli if you’d prefer.
If you’re feeing really fancy, your local Asian grocer will often have fresh rice noodles which will really give this dish that authentic street food feel.
Broccolini isn’t traditional in an Asian noodle soup but I love its crunch in my noodle soups. Here it adds a lovely contrasting sweetness to a slightly salty broth.
Use what you like and have to hand. Buk choy is traditional, but really any greens will work. Try broccoli, kai lan (Chinese broccoli), asparagus or wilted spinach. Beansprouts also add a satisfying freshness and crunch.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a multitude of sauces to hand. Soy sauce is the only thing that’s absolutely essential. I’ve forgotten any number of the below in my soup, and it is still resoundingly delicious.
That said, every added extra you have adds dimension and depth. Sesame oil adds a subtle nuttiness. Shaohsing rounds out the flavours. Oyster sauce adds savouriness and dimension. Fish sauce adds umami. Use what you have in your pantry – some or all of the above. Obviously, the more sauces you add, the more balanced and well-rounded your soup will be.
Use what you have and buy things that you’ll use again. For more information on stocking your Asian pantry, read my guide to Asian pantry sauces here.
Asian chicken noodle soup
for the soup
- 1 liter chicken stock best if you make your own
- 1 cm ginger thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- ½ tsp sesame oil optional
- 1½ tsp shaohsing optional
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce optional
- ½ tsp fish sauce optional
for the noodle bowl
- ½ roast chicken skin removed and meat torn into large pieces
- 300 g thick rice noodles also called rice stick
- 1 bunch broccolini
- pinch white pepper black pepper also o
- 1 spring onion finely sliced on the diagonal
- 1 red chilli finely sliced
- Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a saucepan.
- Add ginger and soy sauce, along with the sesame oil, oyster and fish sauce, if using, and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adding more soy sauce if necessary.
- In a separate pot, bring water to boil and cook the rice noodles according to packet instructions. Remove from water and reserve.
- In the same pot, cook the broccolini for 3 minutes then drain.
- Drop the shredded chicken into the stock to warm through.
- Assemble individual bowls with noodles and broccolini, then ladle over the chicken and soup.
- Garnish with pepper, sliced spring onions and chilli.