I love noodle bowls—a big bowl of noodle-y soup, chock full of vegetables, interesting Asian flavors, and noodles (obviously). I especially love the idea of a poached egg in my soup—I can’t explain it, but it just makes me smile.
I’ll admit I’ve had a few noodle bowl clunkers while eating out. I endured one pho that tasted like thawed frozen seafood in hot water. I’m pretty sure it literally was frozen seafood in hot water. I used so much sriracha to add flavor that I worried they’d charge me extra. I don’t even like sriracha. While this recipe isn’t pho, it is inspired by Asian noodle soups.
On a recent grocery store visit I picked up a package of pork chops, and for some reason by the time I checked out I'd decided that those chops were not destined for simple chopdom; they would soon star in a noodle bowl with the half bag of peapods and whatever carrots they hid behind in the vegetable crisper.
I had enough ingredients to work with—“rice stick” noodles, half a bag of sugar snap pea pods, a few carrots, onions, garlic, tofu, and of course eggs.
I’d never made this sort of soup before, so I thoroughly expected to have an evolving recipe, but it was so delectable right out of the gate that I haven’t tweaked it much, other than to try it with shrimp and different vegetables. Every time I’ve made it it’s been a success.
The beauty of a noodle bowl is its versatility. If you want to use beef or chicken instead of pork, go ahead. If you prefer napa cabbage or bok choy, use some of that—use whatever stir-fry vegetables you have home. You can make a vegetarian version with vegetable stock and tofu. Soba noodles or vermicelli noodles would work as well. Just figure the amount of time the noodles will take to cook.
If you choose to make a shrimp noodle bowl, add the shrimp to the soup at the end of the cooking time. Since shrimp only take a few minutes to cook, the soup will be done when they turn pink and curl.
Another beauty of this recipe? It uses one pot for the soup. I wasn’t dirtying a wok and a frying pan and a pot—just one pot for the soup, and one for the poached eggs.
It’s a steamy bowl of deliciousness for dinner. Who doesn’t like that?
Asian Noodle Bowl
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Onion, chopped
1 Clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp. ginger (or a bit of fresh ginger, smashed—remove before serving)
3 Pork chops, cubed
8 Cups Chicken broth
4 oz. tofu, cubed (optional)
2 Carrots, sliced (or other stir-fry vegetables)
2 Cups peapods, strings removed (or other stir-fry vegetables)
2 tsp. fish sauce
1 Tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
8 oz. “Rice stick” noodles
Heat oil in soup pot. Add onion ginger and cook for a 3 - 5 minutes, or until onion is soft. Add garlic and cook for one minute longer. Add pork and cook until no longer pink. Add broth, tofu, carrots, peapods, fish sauce and soy sauce. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer. Total simmer time will be 20 minutes. Add rice noodles according to package cooking directions. If 5 minutes, then add to soup after it’s been simmering for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile bring small pan of water to boil. Poach eggs in barely simmering water. Remove when white is cooked but yolk is still runny. Move to serving bowls.
Serve soup with poached eggs and a sprinkling of scallions or chives on top. Serve with additional fish sauce and soy sauce.