Zoodles in a Quick Chicken Pho (Zucchini noodles in a Vietnamese soup)
Wondering what ‘ZOODLES’ are?? Zoodles= Zucchini noodles, or in other words noodles made by spiralizing zucchini (using a vegetable spiralizer). The resulting zoodles is a great low-carb substitute for any recipe that calls for noodles, pasta/spaghetti (or even rice)! You can even make zucchini sheets and use them instead of lasagna sheets. If you don’t have a vegetable spiralizer then use your vegetable peeler to make sheets, then cut the sheets into strips.
Zoodles are a low-carb substitute for noodles/pasta if you are on a low-carb diet, low-calorie diet or just want to increase your vegetable intake. Zucchini is a member of the gourd family and is low in calorie, high in fibre, also rich in flavonoid antioxidants (mostly found in the skin), B-complex vitamins, folate, B6, B1, B2, B3, and choline, as well as minerals like potassium, zinc and magnesium.
This is great dish when you are feeling a little under the weather or need something warm or on a cold winter’s day or when you are feeling lazy to make an elaborate meal. It’s a one pot dish which will keep you full for a long time.
Ingredients for Quick Chicken Pho with Zoodles: (Serves 4)
- Chicken: 500 gms cut into small pieces (with bone makes it tastier, but you can use boneless too)
- Zucchinis: 3 large (spiralized )
- Chicken stock/broth: 8 cups
- Onion: 1 large (sliced)
- Ginger: 3″ julienned
- Star anise: 1no.
- Cloves: 4
- Pepper corns: 4nos
- Fish sauce: 2 tbsp
- Pepper powder: 1tsp
- Green chillies/jalapeño (optional): 1-2nos (thinly sliced)
- Bok choy: 2 heads
- Bean/Moong sprouts- 1 cup
- Cilantro/coriander leaves: 1 small bunch (chopped)
- Basil: 1 sprig
- Lime: 1 no. cut into wedges
- Spring onions/ Scallions: 2 (sliced)
- Sriracha/hot sauce(optional): to taste
- Salt: to taste
- Heat 1-2 teaspoon of oil in a large pot, add the star anise, peppercorns, cloves and ginger strips. After a minute, add the sliced onions and saute till they are translucent. (this is an optional step as I find sauteing the onions and ginger adds a better flavour to the pho rather than boiling it all in the stock).
- Add the stock, the chicken, fish sauce, salt, black pepper and to the stock and bring it to a boil. Then lower the heat and let it simmer for 20-25 mins.(if you don’t want to saute the onions and ginger, then you need to add it directly to the stock along with the whole spices).
- Add the bok choy and cook till it wilts. (If you have used chicken with bones, you can take them out, remove the bones and put the chicken pieces back)
- Divide the zucchini noodles into 4 bowls.
- Ladle the piping hot soup into bowls and top with spring onion, bean/moong sprouts, basil, cilantro. Serve with a lime wedge to squeeze over, and hot sauce, extra fish sauce and sliced chilli to add to taste.