« Egg and two-cheese breakfast casserole with broccoli, mushrooms, bacon and herbs | Main | Cookbooks in the Pantry: The Breath of a Wok »

Chinese chicken and greens ramen noodle soup

Chinese chicken noodle soup, packed with dark leafy greens and ramen noodles.

Two lessons I learned in childhood: chicken soup cures all ills, and Chinese food cures all ills. So, what do you call a Chinese chicken soup that also happens to be packed with anti-oxidant rich dark leafy greens? A miracle cure, I think.

If you get hit with a seasonal cold, or pneumonia, or if, like me, you feel like you've got a touch of the flu from getting your annual flu shot, you're going to want to try this recipe for Chinese chicken soup, made with inexpensive and readily-available ramen noodles and packed with dark leafy greens like bok choy (you can substitute spinach or other Chinese greens). Remember to discard the salt-filled flavor packets that come with ramen noodles. If you don't have ramen, use spaghetti, angel-hair pasta, or even wide egg noodles. Any noodles will work; the curative powers are in the broth.

Chinese chicken noodle soup, packed with lots of dark leafy greens for extra healing power.

Chinese chicken and greens ramen noodle soup

From the pantry you'll need: dry noodles (ramen, spaghetti, or egg noodles), chicken stock, fresh ginger root, garlic, low-sodium soy sauce, sesame oil, fresh black pepper.

Serves 6-8.


2 qts chicken stock, low-sodium canned or homemade
1/4-inch disk of fresh ginger root
1 clove garlic, smashed
3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2-3 packages dry curly ramen noodles (discard seasoning packets)
6 oz canned sliced mushrooms (or fresh white button mushrooms)
3 cups chopped bok choy or other Chinese greens
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
Fresh black pepper, to taste


In a Dutch oven or heavy stock pot, heat the chicken stock over low-medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. The stock should be very hot, but might not have come to the boil. (That's fine.)

Add the noodles, and stir gently until the noodles soften and begin to cook. (Instant ramen noodles are meant to cook quickly, so stay right with them.) Allow the noodles to cook for 2-3 minutes, until they are softened. 

Stir in the mushrooms, greens, and chicken. The vegetables will cook almost instantly from the heat of the soup. Season with fresh black pepper, and serve hot.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More noodle soup:
Lentil noodle soup, from The Perfect Pantry
Shrimp and coconut curry noodle soup, from The Perfect Pantry
Pho ga, Vietnamese chicken noodle soup, from Steamy Kitchen
Chicken noodle soup (New York Penicillin), from A Family Feast

Chinese chicken and dark leafy greens ramen noodle soup will cure whatever ails you!

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


Lydia, you had me stop and do a double take at your recipe title a couple of times. I had to stop and read the recipe a couple of times and now you still got me wondering.

Chinese first invented Chinese-style “wheat noodles”.
Japanese copied Chinese-style wheat noodles calling the noodles and accompanying soup "Ramen". It consists of Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a meat or (occasionally) fish-based broth, often flavored with “soy sauce” or “miso”, and uses toppings such as sliced pork (chāshū brazed in soy sauce), dried seaweed (nori), menma (dried gourd), and green onions or a soft boiled egg. The word ”Ramen” refers more to the Japanese soup used (normally pork based) than it does to the noodles. The toppings define the name of the Ramen finished dish.

If you came to Hawaii and ordered “Chinese chicken and greens ramen noodle soup” in a Japanese Ramen restaurant or a Chinese restaurant they would look at you with a what she talking about????

You can’t believe how many mainland people come to Hawaii trying to order dishes created on the mainland that are Americanized knock offs of regular Asian dishes with Americanized names. I had a large learning curve when I spent 6 months in Hong Kong about Chinese foods verses Americanized versions and then when I moved to Hawaii they cook here like they cook back in their original Asian homeland not East Coast Americanized versions. The same holds true for South Americans, Europeans and South Africans that open restaurants here. That is why Hawaiian Regional Cuisine is like nowhere else in the world!

Don’t forget, on the mainland the dish is not Hawaiian if it does not have pineapple and ham in it but pineapple is not native to Hawaii as it is South American and native Hawaiians did not have means to dry cure pork into ham.

Seeing how we are talking about mainland America and Asian cooking here is one for you to ponder as I came across it in a non-descript paragraph in one of my new cookbooks and I’ve made it and my friends have made it and all can’t stop eating it and trying to pair it with everything we cook: “Korean Kimchi Pineapple.” Totally addictive!

This definitely sounds like a more interesting version of chicken soup! And I am wondering why I don't buy bok choy more often. Maybe because there are none of those fun Asian markets near me!

Ken, yes, of course ramen noodles are Japanese, but they are often what we have in the pantry. And the point here is the soup itself, and its curative powers! As I explain in the post, any noodles will work in this recipe.

Kalyn, although I can buy bok choy at the regular supermarket, I can only find the small baby bok choy at the Chinese grocery (which I feel so fortunate to have in my neighborhood). I think a shredded Napa cabbage would be delicious here, too.

This is my type of recipe. My intern is from Thailand and he made a similar soup for us last week. We used cabbage (since that is what I had from my CSA in the fridge) but I will try your version with bok choy and ramen soon!

Janice, I've even used cole slaw mix from the grocery store in this soup!

This is such a flavorful but yet quick and easy recipe. It is readily adapted to whatever one has on hand in the pantry and fridge (dried shitake mushrooms, which I always keep in the pantry, are fantastic in this). Makes a very nice chilly day lunch.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.