I said it before (a million times before) I don’t care for Asian food— I go in and out of phases where I somewhat enjoy it. More times than not, I don’t want it. Then BAM, something happened this past month and I can’t get enough: Now I find myself multiple times a week eating an Asian inspired dish. Not just somewhat enjoying it, but craving it (no, I’m not pregnant). It’s been a fun new twist to the cooking adventures that take place around here. I’m not Asian (I’m part Colombian, part Canadian– in case you were wondering) so this dish is in no way as authentic as it should be, but thats okay, its delicious nonetheless, not to mention, incredibly easy! I’m not some kind of broth expert (hell, I only started making my own broth after I dated Marlowe’s father— he was the first person I had ever seen do it), but I do know: with some good flavorful vegetables, herbs, and some slow cooking you can pull together a really nice broth— meat or not.I’ve made this dish twice now. The first time I put less cooking vegetables and spices in the broth, but it was still incredibly flavorful. Also, I used the thin rice vermicelli noodles. This second time around I added much much more to the broth and used the thicker, flat noodles. I overloaded the bowl with ingredients….. my hungry stomach took control of the meal. I ended up preferring the thinner noodles, allowing the broth and fresh vegetables to be the star… but it’s all a matter preference.

For the broth:
celery, onion, daikon radish, carrot, ginger, bok choy, garlic, lemongrass (fresh, of dried if you can’t find fresh), lime, serrano pepper, and fresh herbs (I used cilantro)
You don’t have to use all the ingredients listed above. At the very least I recommend you use: celery, onion, carrot, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, and some probably some fresh herbs.
bay leaves, cardamon, clove
The first time around I only used bay— no cardamon or clove.


Wash and chop everything. The thinner you slice the ginger the more flavor you will find, which is key. The ginger will bring massive amounts of flavor! Be careful with the pepper, it’s a spicy one. I used half, but found myself adding chili oil to bring more spice.
Place everything in a large stock pot filled with water and GENEROUS amounts of salt. Bring to boil. Let simmer. Also, feel free to add some powdered veggie stock if you’d like for an extra flavor boost…. I also added soy sauce, well not soy sauce, but: Braggs Liquid Aminos, it’s a soy sauce alternative and is much much much healthier for you than traditional soy sauce– it doesn’t have all that sodium.
Amount of time really depends on you. I had it shimmering for about two to three hours. In the photo, you can see how much it reduced. Once your stock is ready, pour through thin strainer into another pot or tuppleware. Be sure to press all the veggies down to release an extra juices! Set aside.
For the soup:
cilantro (or mint or whatever fresh herbs you prefer)
green onion
beech mushrooms or whatever mushrooms you prefer, sliced shitake or white mushrooms work well, but beech are so darn adorable.
tofu– however you like it.
Even though I don’t personally like to use pre-made sauces and marinades, I’ve used one for this. Once in a while isn’t going to kill me.) I pressed the tofu, cut it in cubes, marinaded for about four hours, and lightly fried it. Marinade or don’t. Fry or don’t, Whatever you like 🙂 One healthier alternative to the marinade: press tofu, and lightly fry with fresh pressed/grated ginger, garlic and soy sauce.
PREP! prepare noodles as directed. slice onions and green onions. clean, slice, chop, prepare mushrooms. wash herbs.
place everything in a bowl.
ladle in hot broth. and enjoy. add a squeeze of lime if you’d like &don’t forget the sriracha!  nom nom.Other optional items to add to the soup: broccoli, cauliflower, pickled radishes/onions/whatever, peppers…. whatever you please!

Simple enough. Great for hot or cold weather. All the ginger and garlic make it great for colds too! Also, as a bonus: cooked rice noodles are incredibly fun to watch a baby play with.


  1. I'm exactly the same way about Asian Food. It wasn't until about a year ago that I even got random cravings.
    I tried this recipe and it was amazing! Thanks!

  2. Drea! Thank you so much for posting this, I have been waiting patiently. I can't wait to try it!

  3. this looks so delicious. I love cooking ethnic foods…always hit or miss for me though. I guess you have to just keep trying. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    -Morgan (Born of the Sea)
    Born of the Sea <–this is my little blog

  4. so excited to try this recipe! My husband and I use to love eating pho but since we quit eating meat that is one thing we really miss. This will be a great alternative! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  5. I was catching up on reading my favorite blogs this afternoon, glanced at the title of this one and read it as "Diet Asian Water Noodle Soup" – did a double take, realized what it REALLY said, and had to tell you… water noodle soup didn't sound all that appealing, but this recipe sounds delish! 😉

  6. Mmmm! Yes please! I LOVE asian food and especially a good asian soup. This looks like it would be amazing. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  7. That soup looks delicious, and though I'm not a big fan of tofu, this recipe makes me want to try it out in the soup.

  8. so delicious, yum! I am going to have to try this version, very excited. <3

    I eat soup out of mugs too 😉