I just love pho. It’s a favorite of mine. However, my tummy does not love wheat and I try to avoid other grains as well for the most part. I just feel better on a grain-free diet. That is why I love my spiralizer! I have been loving making soup with zucchini noodles, as in my Spicy Mexican Chicken Zoodle Soup recipe, and have been kicking around the idea of a hot cucumber noodle for a while now.
I know it sounds crazy but it was a thought process that evolved. I personally have a stuff idea of which veggies to cook and which to avoid heat at all costs. I’m looking at you avocado. But recently I’ve been trying to shift my thinking and get more creative, thinking outside of the box a bit.
I’ve been eating my weight in Spiraled Cucumber Greek Salad this summer, so naturally I’ve had cuke on the brain. Now, I’ve always thought spiraled cucumber would make an amazing cold soba noodle substitute and it’s still one of my long term goals in the kitchen, but of course, that diverted me onto an Asian kick and landed me smack dab at pho.
I love the flavors that these spices impart and, beyond needing to pick up a knob of fresh ginger, I was actually quite proud of myself that I had all of these ingredients in my very own kitchen. Part of it is that I love making chai lattes at home. (Don’t worry – that recipe is soon to come!)
This recipe only looks difficult, but it is relatively quick and easy and the spices are oh so good for you!
As I mentioned in my previous coffee recipe post, The Coffee Drink That Will Change The Way You Do Breakfast, cinnamon is amazing at aiding in fighting infections and is an anti-inflammatory. Ginger is fantastic for digestive problems as is cloves. Beyond that, there is just something about chicken soup that is so darned comforting.
I hope you enjoy this as much as my husband and I did. I am looking forward to making up a beef version as well so keep your eyes peeled for that later in the year. Meanwhile, another hearty spiraled meal that I love is a steaming bowl of Spiralized Zucchini Pasta Puttanesca. Give that one a try sometime as well, and be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook LINK. We love to connect with our friends there. Oh,and if you don’t have a spiralizer yet, try out our little handheld one. It does wonders on cucumbers and zucchini!
- 2 quarts chicken broth
- 2½ tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 slices ginger
- 1½ cinnamon sticks
- 3 star anise
- 4 cloves
- 5 peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons maple sugar
- 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 6 scallions, sliced
- 1-2 baby bok choy, chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1-2 English cucumbers, spiraled
- Serve with:
- red jalapeño, sliced
- cilantro leaves
- basil leaves
- bean sprouts
- lime wedges
- Sriracha sauce or Asian chile sauce
- Using a medium or large pot, add the chicken stock, fish sauce, maple sugar and chicken breasts to the pot. Add the ginger, cinnamon sticks, cloves and peppercorns in a cheesecloth so it can be removed easily. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer 20 mins.
- While soup is cooking, prepare the jalapeños, cilantro leaves, basil leaves, bean sprouts and lime. Reserve on a serving platter.
- Remove chicken from soup and chop or shred into bite-sized pieces. Return chicken to soup and add scallions and baby bok choy. Cook for 10 minutes more or until the bok choy is crisp-tender.
- Add cucumber spirals to the bottom of the individual bowls. Ladle soup over cucumber noodles. This prevents cucumber noodles from getting soggy and overcooked.
- Serve immediately with your favorite condiments and enjoy!