Classic Chinese Noodle Dish with Half the Sodium
Classic Chinese Noodle Dish with Half the Sodium

This Brothy Chinese Noodles recipe is a Classic Chinese Noodle Dish with half the sodium and more than twice the fiber!

One thing I love about working in the EatingWell Test Kitchen is that we can make just about any recipe healthier. Even though Asian food in general has a healthier halo (often lean meat or fish and lots of vegetables cooked with little fat, over rice or noodles), it's easy to end up with a plate piled with chunks of fried meat drowning in a sauce sweeter than fake maple syrup over a pile of white rice.

Take, for instance, one of my favorite Chinese recipes -- Dan Dan Noodles. I first tasted this Sichuan dish of ground pork and noodles in a spicy broth at P.F. Chang's China Bistro, a popular Asian restaurant chain. It seemed healthy when I dug in, and when you look at P.F. Chang's nutrition analysis, things start off all right: 270 calories and 7 grams of fat (1 gram saturated) per serving -- this is, of course, only if I ate 1 of the 4 servings that came to my table as a single order. But the next two numbers were what bothered me: 1 gram of fiber and 1,388 milligrams of sodium. One serving has 60 percent of my recommended intake of sodium for the day!

I knew we in the EatingWell Test Kitchen could do better, and one of our recipe developers, Carolyn Casner, came through. Our Classic Chinese Noodle recipe has a few more calories and grams of fat, but we were able to up the fiber to 6 grams and slash the sodium down to 633 mg per serving. (Plus it only takes 30 minutes to prepare.) Now that's a dish I felt better about digging into!

This Classic Chinese Noodle recipe is inspired by Chinese Dan Dan noodles -- ground pork and noodles in a spicy broth. We use ground turkey and omit the traditional Sichuan peppercorns for convenience, but add hot sesame oil. Use toasted sesame oil instead if you want mild noodles.

Brothy Chinese Noodles

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook time: 10 minutes

    Yield: Serves 6

Brothy Chinese Noodles Recipe Ingredients

    2 tablespoons hot sesame oil (see Note), divided

    1 pound 93 percent-lean ground turkey

    1 bunch scallions, sliced, divided

    2 cloves garlic, minced

    1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

    4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

    3/4 cup water

    3 cups thinly sliced bok choy

    8 ounces dried Chinese noodles (see note)

    3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

    1 tablespoon rice vinegar

    1 small cucumber, sliced into matchsticks, for garnish

Brothy Chinese Noodles Recipe Directions

    Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

    Add ground turkey, all but 2 tablespoons of the scallions, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring and breaking up the turkey, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

    Add broth, water, bok choy, noodles, soy sauce, vinegar and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan.

    Bring to a boil over medium-high.

    Cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are tender, 3 to 5 minutes.

    Return the turkey mixture to the pan and stir to combine.

    Serve garnished with the reserved 2 tablespoons scallions and cucumber (if using).

Brothy Chinese Noodles Recipe Tips and Notes:

1. Ingredient notes: Hot sesame oil can be found in the Asian-food section of most supermarkets.

2. Dried Chinese noodles, often used in Chinese soups and lo mein, cook up quickly and can be found in the Asian-food section of most supermarkets.

Brothy Chinese Noodles Recipe Nutrition Facts:

Per serving: 292 calories; 10 g fat (2 g sat, 2 g mono); 43 mg cholesterol; 32 g carbohydrate; 0 g added sugars; 22 g protein; 6 g fiber; 705 mg sodium; 503 mg potassium

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (32 percent daily value), Vitamin C (22 percent dv), Iron (20 percent dv)

2 Carbohydrate Servings

Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 lean meat, 1 fat

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Classic, Brothy Chinese Noodle Recipe with Half the Sodium & twice the fiber

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