5 Nourishing Asian Noodle Bowl Recipes

From Thai Curried Chicken to Ginger Vegetable Broth, these noodle bowl soups hit the spot.

January 25, 2010

Try making this garlic pork noodle bowl for a heartly, slurpy, one-bowl meal.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Noodle bowls make great winter meals—they're quick and easy to make, they warm you up on a cold day, and the ingredients include pantry staples like noodles, spices, broth or stock, and leftover veggies and meat. Using chicken, beef, fish, or other proteins as a flavor-enhancing garnish, rather than making it the star of the dish, is the time-honored Asian culinary tradition that makes these noodle bowls such economical and healthy meals. Stock your kitchen cabinets with some Asian spices, rice noodles, and coconut milk, and it's easy to create an Asian noodle soup whenever you want it, with little prior planning needed. And if you're not a meat eater, you can easily substitute vegetable stock, tofu, and/or fish in these noodle-packed soups and stews.


Don't worry if you can't find the Asian noodles that these dishes call for. You can easily substitute vermicelli or thin spaghetti for rice stick noodles, whole wheat spaghetti for buckwheat soba noodles, or linguine for udon noodles. Try these Rodale Recipe Finder recipes for easy, comforting Asian noodle bowls; you'll be slurping up some savory, satisfying goodness in no time.

#1: Spicy Salmon and Noodle Soup. This Malaysian soup can be made with either wild salmon or another firm-fleshed fish, such as halibut. For another noodle bowl featuring halibut, try making Thai Fish Stew with Asian Noodles. Halibut happens to be a great source of magnesium, a mineral that helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps blood circulating properly, and ensures strong bones. Eating magnesium-rich foods may also help keep your blood pressure at healthy levels.

#2: Asian Pork Noodle Soup. Pork is a perfect addition to noodle bowls; you don't need much to get a satisfying flavor. And it's also a good source of niacin, a B vitamin that helps your body regulate cholesterol levels. In studies, a prescription version of niacin worked better than a newer, well-marketed drug at boosting the effects of cholesterol-lowering medication. Niacin may also help limit asthma-related wheezing, perhaps by preventing the release of histamine. Another study found that a high daily intake of dietary niacin reduced the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Other options featuring pork include Asian Noodle and Mushroom Soup and this garlic pork dish that's made easy with frozen mixed veggies.

Read on to see recipes for beef, chicken, and tofu noodle bowls.

#3: Beef Soup with Soba Noodles. This immunity-enhancing soup contains beef, which is full of selenium and zinc, two minerals vital to your flu-and-cold-fighting immune system; even a mild zinc deficiency increases the risk of infection. The sulfur compounds in this recipe's scallions also help your body fight germs. For another beefy noodle bowl, try these Curried Beef Noodles made with sweet, creamy coconut milk.

#4: Thai Curried Chicken and Vegetables. The chicken thighs in this recipe are a great source of iron. Getting enough iron ensures that all of the tissues in the body get enough oxygen to function optimally. Iron also plays an important part in maintaining a healthy immune system.

#5: Gingery Vegetable Broth with Tofu and Noodles. Looking for a vegetarian noodle bowl? Try this Japanese-inspired dish. Studies show that eating natural soy foods (such as edamame, tofu, and miso) at least once a week cut Japanese women's breast cancer risk in half. And remember, you can swap vegetable broth, tofu, and other ingredients into most of the above recipes to make a satisfying vegetarian noodle meal.

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