Chicken Udon Soup with Bok Choy

Give basic chicken noodle soup a twist with thick, chewy udon noodles and shredded gochujang chicken. Put it all together in a bold broth layered with ginger, toasted sesame oil, and soy sauce and you have a delicious dinner ready in 30 minutes—start to finish.

Gochujang Chicken and Udon Noodle Soup in a white bowl with a spoon and fresh herbs.
Sally Vargas

Chicken noodle soup is a classic recipe, but who wants to eat the same thing all the time? Take a break from your regular chicken noodle soup and try this one loaded with Asian flavors and ingredients like sesame oil, chewy udon noodles, ginger, and bok choy. Add in spicy shredded chicken and this dinner is sure to make the weekly rotation.

I used a box of store-bought stock, a little garlic, and a generous amount of ginger. (Secret’s out, oops.) You can also make your own stock. Shredded cooked chicken flavored with the sweet and spicy fermented chili paste, gochujang, put this soup over the top and also made the bowls of soup look pretty and appealing.

Even with the short-cuts, when I brought this to a friend’s house for dinner, everyone marveled at how flavorful the broth was.

Gochujang Chicken and Udon Noodle Soup in a white bowl with a spoon.
Sally Vargas

What Are Udon Noodles?

You can really sink your teeth into thick Japanese udon noodles. They are about the size of a fettuccini noodle, made from wheat, and can often be purchased fresh from Asian grocery stores. If you buy them fresh, just cook them in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes.

Dried noodles should be available at large grocery stores in the Asian food section, but if not, you can order them online.

Cook them in abundant boiling water as you would Italian pasta. They take about the same amount of time to cook as linguini, which you could substitute for the udon in a pinch, although I urge you to seek out udon noodles for a real treat.

What Is Gochujang?

Gochujang is a sweet and spicy Korean chili paste. Its color resembles tomato paste, and it is similar to Sriracha in taste, but with less garlic and not as much heat.

It’s widely available at most grocery stores, but you can also find it online. If you’ve never tried it let this be the time to do so. It’s delicious! We also use it in our Air Fryer Chicken Wings.

Save Time: Use Leftover Chicken

This is an ideal soup for using up leftover cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken. Shred the chicken and then reheat it in a skillet with the sauce to add a flavor boost.

Two whilte bowls filled wtih Gochujang Chicken and Udon Noodle Soup on a brown placemat. One bowl has a spoon in it.
Sally Vargas

Tips to Store and Freeze This Soup

Leftovers of this soup will keep in the fridge for two to three days, though the noodles will start to become mushy as they absorb more of the broth.

If you know you'll have leftovers, prepare the soup and the noodles separately, store them in separate containers, and combine them in the bowl when reheating.

This soup isn’t great for freezing because of the tender greens and the noodles. Plus, it’s so quick to make you can whip it up faster than it would take to thaw.

More Great Chicken Soup Recipes

Chicken Udon Soup with Bok Choy

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 4 servings


  • 4 ounces dried udon noodles

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely chopped

  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped

  • 4 cups chicken stock

  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste

  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded

  • 4 tablespoons gochujang (Korean chili paste)

  • 4 scallions, finely sliced

  • 4 to 5 (5-ounce) baby bok choy, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise

  • 2 large handfuls (about 2 ounces) baby spinach leaves

For garnish:

  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves


  1. Cook the noodles:

    In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Add the udon noodles and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until tender. Drain in a colander, and rinse under cool running water to remove surface starch. Add the sesame oil and toss. Set aside.

    Udon noodles cooking in a silver soup pot.
    Sally Vargas
    Cooked udon noodles draining in a colander.
    Sally Vargas
  2. Make the broth:

    In the same pot you used to cook the noodles, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic, and sauté, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

    Add the broth, soy sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Taste and add more salt, if you like. Turn off the heat and start the chicken.

    Chicken broth simmering in a soup pot.
    Sally Vargas
  3. Warm the chicken in the gochujang:

    In a small skillet over medium heat, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the shredded chicken meat and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until hot.

    Add the gochujang to the skillet. Cook and stir for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sauce evaporates and the chicken starts to brown.

    Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the soup broth to release the brown bits on the bottom of the pan and stir in the scallions. Remove from heat.

    Cooked chicken in a silver frying pan.
    Sally Vargas
    Gochujang seasoned chicken in a frying pan with sliced scallions for an Asian noodle soup.
    Sally Vargas
  4. Finish the soup:

    Return the broth to a simmer and add the bok choy. Cook for 2 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Stir in the spinach and noodles and cook for a minute or two, until the spinach wilts and the noodles are hot.

    Udon noodles, spinach and fresh herbs in a soup pot.
    Sally Vargas
  5. Serve the soup:

    Divide the soup among four bowls. Top each bowl with the chicken. Sprinkle with cilantro, and serve.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
401 Calories
20g Fat
30g Carbs
25g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 401
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 26%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 71mg 24%
Sodium 1708mg 74%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 25g
Vitamin C 18mg 90%
Calcium 90mg 7%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 698mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.