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Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup is not your average version of everyone’s favorite comfort food. Velvety chicken, fresh cilantro and a swirl of chili oil tops bowls of rich egg noodles in a delicate, aromatic broth brimming with Asian flavors. It's a soup you'll crave.
I came across this soup in Lucky Peach's, “101 Easy Asian Recipes” (also the source of my favorite Cumin Lamb). It's a gem of a cookbook with recipes that strike a beautiful balance of being true to their origins while using ingredients that are easy to find.
Ingredients You Need to Make Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup
- Whole Chicken: 3-4 pounds
- Onion: white onion or yellow onion
- Green Onions: for the broth and more for garnish
- Ginger: fresh ginger root
- Garlic: fresh garlic cloves
- Chinese Five Spice Powder: essential to the flavor!
- Coriander Seeds
- Black Peppercorns
- Sichuan Peppercorns
- Bay Leaf
- Wide Egg Noodles: recommended, but any noodle you have on hand will work (or rice noodles for a gluten free option)
- Soy Sauce: or tamari for a gluten free option
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper:
- Fresh Cilantro: for garnish
- Chili Oil: for added heat
- Kosher Salt: to taste
About the Method
I have to admit my skepticism when I first read the method for making this soup. It's made with a whole chicken poached off of the heat in water with carrots, green onions and a range of complimentary spices: Sichuan and black peppercorns, bay leaf, coriander seeds, fresh ginger and garlic, and Chinese five spice powder. But would the chicken be fully cooked? Would the soup be flavorful? To both questions, the answer is a resounding, yes! The chicken comes out impossibly tender and juicy and the broth, delicious.
What Kind of Noodles Should I Use?
Wide, curly egg noodles are ideal with their creamy, silky texture. But any noodle you have on hand will work just fine. For a gluten free version of the soup, just swap in rice noodles and tamari for the soy sauce.
Comfort Food 101
There's something even more comforting about this spicy version of a classic chicken noodle soup recipe. Though the broth is delicate and subtle, the flavor is surprisingly complex. Embellished with buttery noodles, tender, salty chicken, a handful of herbaceous cilantro and a healthy dose of chili oil, Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup is the perfect meal for a cozy day or when you're feeling a bit under the weather.
More Great Soup Recipes
How to Make Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup
Add chicken, breast-side down, and water to cover to a large soup pot or Dutch oven; bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. After skimming off any foam, add next 10 ingredients (carrots through bay leaf), then cover and simmer 5 minutes. Turn heat off; cover and let stand undisturbed for 45 minutes.
Transfer chicken to a carving board. When cool enough to handle, shred chicken into bite size pieces, discarding skin and bones. Transfer shredded chicken to a small bowl and add soy sauce and pepper; toss to coat.
Strain and discard solids from broth. Rinse out pot and return strained broth; add kosher salt to taste and bring to a low simmer.
Cook noodles according to package directions; drain and divide between 6 soup bowls. To each bowl add hot broth and seasoned chicken. Garnish as desired and serve.
Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup
- 1 whole chicken 3-4 pounds
- 2 large carrots thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion thinly sliced
- 2 green onions plus more for garnish
- 2 slices fresh ginger ¼-inch thick
- 4 large garlic cloves crushed and peeled
- ⅛ teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
- ¼ teaspoon coriander seeds
- ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
- ¼ teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more to taste
- 12 ounces wide egg noodles
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
- chili oil to taste
- Place chicken, breast-side down, in a large pot or Dutch oven; add water to cover. Bring to boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat and let simmer 10 minutes. Skim off and discard foam. Add next 10 ingredients (carrots through bay leaf); cover and simmer 5 minutes. Turn heat off; cover and let stand undisturbed for 45 minutes.
- Carefully transfer chicken to a large baking dish or carving board (cutting board with a groove to catch liquid) until cool enough to handle.
- Meanwhile, strain solids out of broth. Rinse out pot and return strained broth; stir in kosher salt (plus more to taste) and bring to a low simmer.
- Bring a separate pot of water to boil for the noodles.
- Remove and discard skin and bones from chicken and shred into meat into bite-size pieces.
- Place shredded chicken in a small bowl; add soy sauce and pepper and toss to coat.
- Cook noodles according to package directions; drain and divide evenly between 6 serving bowls. Top each bowl with hot broth, seasoned chicken and garnish as desired. Serve immediately.