Ginger Garlic Noodle Soup with Bok Choy is a nutritious, comforting, and flu-fighting twenty-minute recipe made with a vegetarian broth, noodles, mushrooms, and baby bok choy. You can easily make this Bok Choy Soup your own by adding chicken, shrimp, spicy chilis, or other veggies.
The most popular recipe on my blog, this Bok Choy Soup remains a personal favorite thanks to its delicious simplicity. If you love this bok choy soup you may also enjoy Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup, Kimchi Ramen Noodle Soup, or this fast and healthy 10 Minute Garlic Bok Choy Recipe.
I have made a lot of soup in my life. Creamy soups, brothy soups, vegetable soups, and meaty soups. I’ve made them all. However, if I had to pick one soup to eat for the rest of my life it would be this Ginger Garlic Noodle Soup with Bok Choy. This Bok Choy Soup is that good.
Some of you may be wondering…why?
WHY THIS IS THE BEST GINGER GARLIC NOODLE SOUP WITH BOK CHOY
- The broth. The key to a delicious and memorable brothy soup is the broth. Unfortunately, achieving this wonderous broth often takes HOURS (learn how to make bone broth here!). The broth in this Bok Choy Soup? Twenty minutes, my friends. Thirty minutes tops.
- It tastes a lot like Phở. Ok, I know, this is basically the same as what I said above. But it deserves two points because it kinda blows my mind a little.
- It’s like chicken noodle soup…but better.
- This Bok Choy Soup will fight your flu. Now, I can’t claim that it will cure anything (I’m not a doctor), but things like ginger and garlic are there to help when you feel like crap.
- It’s completely customizable. In other words, you have the base, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go wild with it. This bok choy soup loves all the veggies and really loves shrimp.
INGREDIENTS IN THIS GINGER GARLIC NOODLE SOUP WITH BOK CHOY
- Shallots and green onions (white AND green parts)
- Low-sodium chicken broth (or veggie broth/water to keep it vegan)
- Soy sauce (or Tamari to keep it gluten-free)
- Bok Choy
- Rice noodles
- Star Anise
That’s the basic overall list of what you need to make this awesome soup. You’ll also need salt, pepper, and red chili flakes.
What is star anise?
This is one of the most frequent questions I get from readers planning to make this recipe. Every other ingredient is fairly easy to find, but whole star anise? What’s this? Star anise is the seed pod from the fruit of the Illicium verum plant. Shaped like a star, star anise has six to eight points, each containing a single seed.
This Ginger Garlic Noodle Soup with Bok Choy Recipe calls for 2 whole star anise. The star anise is not meant to be eaten. I repeat- you do not eat the whole star anise. Star anise provides wonderful flavor to soup, sauces, and marinades, but tastes horrible when eaten whole. Remove the seed pod after simmering the broth.
What does star anise taste like? Star anise is a mix of sweet, spicy (not the chili kind of spicy), and very similar to licorice. As someone who mostly hates licorice, I guarantee you won’t feel like your slurping a bowl of licorice (unless you forget to remove the star anise pods and bite into one).
No idea where to buy star anise? Most major supermarkets sell this must-have spice, but just in case,
If you are one of those people who absolutely HATE star anise, simply substitute with cinnamon sticks. The flavor won’t be quite the same, but it will still be delicious.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BOK CHOY AND BABY BOK CHOY
Since several of you have asked, I did a little research and this is what I have found.
- Baby bok choy and Bok choy are basically the same things.
- The difference is that baby bok choy is harvested earlier producing smaller, more tender leaves.
- This means that baby bok choy is much sweeter than bok choy and is often served directly in soups (oh HAY!) or even in salads.
- Bok choy, on the other hand, is much heartier, perfect for longer cooking times as in stir-frys.
That said, this Ginger Garlic Noodle Soup with Bok Choy could technically handle either baby bok choy or bok choy. Just remember that bok choy will be slightly more bitter and less sweet.
Bok Choy Soup Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I freeze this soup? Yes and no. Yes, you may absolutely freeze the broth. However, I do not recommend freezing this soup with the vegetables or the noodles. Fortunately, the vegetables and noodles in this bok choy soup take only minutes to heat together.
- Do I pre-cook the noodles? No no no no nooooo. Rice noodles cook super fast. Add the noodles to the broth just a few minutes before you are ready to eat.
- Does this bok choy soup taste good leftover? Similar to freezing, this soup can be eaten leftover but tastes best fresh- unless, of course, you make a big batch of broth and keep the vegetables and noodles separate.
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THIS GINGER GARLIC NOODLE SOUP WITH BOK CHOY
“This was a-mazing. A lot of flavour and very little prep and cooking time. Makes you feel warm inside. Tasty, delicious and satisfying, yet light. This seriously picked me up!” -Emma
“This really was delicious. I used ramen noodles from a pack, I think any kind of noodles, even angel hair pasta would work well. I love bok choy but don’t usually buy it to fix just as a veggie. Now I have an excellent reason!” -Judith
“OMG! Thank you for this recipe, it is sooooo good! I couldn’t help myself and had a second bowl.” -Bonnie
For more bok choy recipes check out,
- Easy Sheet Pan Thai Chicken with Bok Choy
- Sweet Chili Tofu with Coconut Rice and Bok Choy
- Spicy Stir Fried Tofu with Bok Choy
- Udon Noodle Soup with Bok Choy and Poached Egg
- Spicy Stir Fried Tofu with Bok Choy
For more soup recipes check out,
- Easy Chicken Avocado Soup Recipe
- Vegetarian Butternut Squash Black Bean Soup
- Turmeric Broth Soup with Wild Rice and Vegetables
- Pho Recipe (How to Make Vietnamese Noodle Soup)
- Minestrone Soup Recipe
- Easy Six Onion Soup
DON’T FORGET TO PIN THIS GINGER GARLIC NOODLE SOUP RECIPE WITH BOK CHOY TO MAKE FOR A FAST AND EASY DINNER, WHEN YOU HAVE THE FLU, OR ANY OTHER TIME YOU WANT TO MAKE A BIG BOWL OF BOK CHOY SOUP.
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Ginger Garlic Noodle Soup with Bok Choy
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 shallots - diced
- 1 bunch green onions - chopped, green and white divided
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- 2 tablespoon ginger - fresh, minced
- 5.5 cups low sodium chicken broth - or vegetable broth for vegan
- 2 whole star anise
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce - or Tamari for a Gluten Free option
- 10 oz crimini mushrooms - sliced
- 6 oz rice noodles
- 1.5 heads bok choy - roughly chopped
- sesame seeds - for topping
- red pepper flakes - for topping
- Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium-sized stockpot over medium heat.
- To the oil add the diced shallots and mix well. Cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until the shallots turn translucent and start to soften. Stir often.
- Chop the end off of each green onion- dividing the white part from the green part. Chop and set aside the green part for topping. Meanwhile, finely chop the white part of each green onion.
- Add the white part of the green onions, minced garlic, and ginger to the shallots and mix. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 minutes or until garlic and ginger is fragrant.
- Carefully pour the chicken stock or water (or mix) into the pot and bring to a simmer. To the pot add the star anise and soy sauce. Cover and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove lid from the pot and carefully remove and discard each star anise from the soup.
- Add the sliced mushrooms, uncooked noodles, and bok choy to the pot and simmer for 5-8 minutes, or until noodles and bok choy are tender. Season to taste.
- Divide soup between bowls and garnish with sesame seeds, the green parts of green onions and red pepper flakes (if desired).
- Not everyone loves the taste of star anise. However, I find that it plays a crucial role in the flavor of the broth. That said, if you hate it or don't have any on hand, I have found cinnamon sticks to be a good substitute.
- Need a little protein? Don't be shy about adding some chopped chicken or shrimp to the soup approximately 5 minutes before serving (assuming the chicken has been previously cooked).
- For a lower sodium diet, you can substitute low sodium soy sauce, and/or substitute unsalted chicken broth.
- Garnish with Cilantro optional.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)
Angele MacDonald says
So yum!! I rarely follow a recipe, but instead use them as a base for a few changes. This one was so perfect, that the only thing I added was miso paste. A new favorite for us!!
Ellie J says
Great soup! Very forgiving. I used yellow onions for shallots and tofu instead of mushrooms because that was what I had on hand. Was generous with the ginger and garlic. A new favorite.
Could I use Chinese Five Spice instead of star anise? If so, how much?
Jessica Randhawa says
For Chinese 5 spice in place of star anise, I would start small with a teaspoon and then add more to taste since there is a bit more going on 🙂
This is what I used and it was a great flavor
I think i eyed a teaspoon amount
I know most recipes do not tell the truth about prep time.
HOWEVER, be warned, this prep does NOT take 5 minutes,(more like 45 min) it takes 5 minutes just to peel the shallots before chopping them! Or clean the bok choy, BEFORE chopping it!. I did double the recipe, though, so perhaps it could be done in 30 minutes…. with already peeled and chopped garlic, ginger, shallots and green onions (I had to clean, peel and chop them all)
Also, the time for cooking is closer to 25 minutes
Other than that, fabulous!!!
I agree that the star anise turned out to be a star of this broth. Wonderful soup, thank you for the recipe!
Carla @ Foodie Digital says
This highly rated recipe lives up to the hype! The flavor combination is spot on and the whole family devoured their bowls and asked for more. I added tofu and prawns right at the end… delicious!
Jennifer A Dupuis says
The broth for this soup is so incredibly delicious! The star anise adds so much to the flavor profile; I highly recommend using it. I have been getting winter baby bok choy every week in my CSA box from our local farm, so this soup was the perfect way to use some of it up!
Theresa Johnston says
Just simply fantastic!! Love the anise…perfects the soup!! A regular in my kitchen since the first spoonful!!!
Judy Sandeen says
I made this tonight, and we did like it a lot! But how I wish I had read the comments b/4 making it! It says it serves 2, and it’s actually more like 6, so if I had cooked the noodles separately, that would have been a big improvement. As it is, I’m afraid they’ll be soggy by tomorrow. Oh, well. I added 1/2 package of tofu for protein, and that was a good addition. The noodles I bought were long, and I should have broken them apart b/4 adding to the soup, as they were hard to manage when eating But….the flavor is delicious, and I will make it again, just in smaller quantities, and with broken rice noodles.
Jason Baer says
This soup was really good…so easy to make.
I will definately be making it again, and making a vegetarian version for my daughter.
The soup is so good! Is the nutrition information for the whole soup or for a plate 647kcal?
Jessica Randhawa says
It is for 1 of the two total servings – it’s mainly in the noodles.
This is actually the best soup I’ve ever eaten. Thank you for the recipe!