Protein-Packed Udon Noodle Soup with Kale and Kimchi + My Friday Shares

I recently taught a class on making lacto-fermented vegetables. We talked about sauerkraut, pickles, and kimchi, and I demo’ed how to make kimchi. I used a recipe just a wee bit different from this one…I’ve been making it over and over and I love it. One of the ways I like to eat it is mixed into this Asian-inspired Udon noodle soup.

udon soup with kimchi | healthy green kitchen

This soup is ridiculously tasty; it’s also infinitely variable. Here’s how I make mine, along with some of my favorite ways to change it up (and you’ll find my “Friday Shares” at the bottom of this post):

udon soup with kimchi | healthy green kitchen

For 2 servings (or maybe 1: I’ve eaten the whole thing for dinner at once when I accidentally skipped lunch!), I start with 4 cups of chicken stock. I prefer to use homemade stock (here’s my chicken stock recipe; vegetable stock is another option, and so is store-bought stock). Put the stock in a medium pot on the stove and add a few handfuls of kale leaves (torn away from the tough stems) plus the noodles. I like to use fresh udon noodles that come vacuum packed; feel free to use whatever type of noodles floats your boat.

Once the stock is boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook until the noodles are tender. If you want to poach some fish or 1-2 eggs right in there, go ahead (or cook in a separate pan, if frying them). At this point you may take the soup off the heat and add whatever else you fancy for protein: cooked thinly sliced beef, or chicken, or maybe seafood (if you didn’t use the eggs/fish mentioned above). Then garnish away (in the photo, you see generous amounts of chopped fresh cilantro, minced green onion, and lots of kimchi).

Once again, here are some of the ways you can make this the soup of YOUR dreams:

-Drop in two whole eggs (or use just the egg yolks) after you take the soup off the heat, or top with 1-2 fried eggs

-Add cubed silken tofu (or firm regular tofu sautéed in some coconut oil, rice vinegar, and tamari)

-Add thinly sliced beef or chicken (or try shrimp or scallops) that’s been stir-fried with minced garlic in some coconut or sesame oil, rice vinegar, and tamari; or add a fish filet (I like salmon) that’s raw (even frozen) and allow it to cook while the soup simmers

-Mix it up noodle-wise: use thin or wide rice noodles (gluten free), cellophane noodles (also gluten-free), soba (gluten-free if made from 100% buckwheat) or ramen-style noodles instead of the udon. If you avoid carbs (why, oh why?), then try this with vegetable noodles made in a spiral slicer.

-Vary the greens: any and all will work; sometimes I add wakame seaweed, too

-Change up the broth by using vegetable or fish stock; try adding some miso after you take it off the heat; you can also stir in some coconut milk and/or add a few dashes of Asian fish sauce and a squeeze or two of fresh lime juice to boost the flavor. Drizzle with sriracha or a chili-garlic type sauce if you want it to be spicy.

-You could skip the kimchi, but that would be a silly thing to do!

udon soup with kimchi | healthy green kitchen

More fabulous-looking Asian-inspired soups:

Japanese Udon Miso Soup from Steamy Kitchen
Thai Curry Noodle Soup from Heather Christo
Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup from Rasa Malaysia

And from my archives:

Vegetarian Pho
Coconut Salmon Soup
Coconut Curry Fish Soup

My Friday Shares:

Strawberry Tabbouleh (MJ and Hungryman)
Avocado Tartare with Roasted Beets, Basil, and Dukkah (The First Mess)
Pan Con Tomate (Chez Us)
Coconut Ricotta Pancakes (Running to the Kithen)
Watermelon Margaritas (So, Let’s Hang Out)
Gorgeous Homemade Pasta Video (Penny de los Santos and Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan)

The Lure of Forbidden Food (NY Times)
Stop Singling Out Sugar (Evolving Health)
Lessons of Immortality and Mortality from My Father Carl Sagan (Richard Dawkins)
Why It’s Easy to Believe Our Food is Toxic (Public Library of Science)
How To Be Prolific from Joss Whedon (Fast Company Create)

Leave a Comment

7 thoughts on “Protein-Packed Udon Noodle Soup with Kale and Kimchi + My Friday Shares”

  1. I never actually knew gluten free noodles existed until I read through this post. Thanks for the recipe, I’m definitely going to try it out now because of that.

  2. Gorgeous and delicious as always, Winnie! I really need to stop being lazy and make my own stock. I absolutely adding eggs to a boiling soup at the very end. It’s why I love sundubu jjigae so much..and the spiciness of course. Yes, I’m with you – lots and lots of kimchi is a must!

    • Hi Min,
      I am not familiar with sundubu jjigae. I just looked it up and it looks like something I will love!!!

  3. This looks beautiful, Winnie. Despite our 90 degree weather, I could slurp down a bowl of this for lunch right now.

    • I am jealous of your weather, Liz! Well, sort of. I guess 90 is pretty hot. We had two days in the 40s this week. But now it’s warming up consistently…at least I hope so!