Zucchini Noodle Bowl with Chicken and Spinach

Zucchini Noodle Bowl with Chicken and Spinach
Martha Rose Shulman © 2016
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings


1 1/2 to 2pounds zucchini
3 pounds chicken pieces (on the bone), or 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 onion, quartered
1 piece ginger root, about 2 inches long, peeled and sliced
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1teaspoon peppercorns
2tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1 bunch spinach, stemmed and washed twice
1cup chopped cilantro
2 limes, cut into wedges


  1. Use the shredder blade to spiralize the zucchini. Take up handfuls of the spiralized zucchini and cut long strands into manageable lengths with scissors.
  2. Next, make the broth. If possible, do this step a day ahead. Combine the chicken and 3 quarts water in a large, heavy soup pot and bring to a simmer. Skim off foam and add the onion, ginger root, garlic cloves, peppercorn, and 1 teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat, cover partially, and simmer 40 minutes for chicken pieces on the bone, 20 minutes for chicken breasts. Skim occasionally. Remove the chicken from the broth and let cool. If you use chicken breasts, simmer the broth for another 40 minutes.
  3. Line a strainer with cheesecloth and strain the broth into a bowl. Refrigerate the broth overnight or for at least 3 hours. Lift off the fat from the surface and discard.
  4. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred and refrigerate in a covered container until ready to serve the soup.
  5. About 30 minutes before you wish to serve, remove the chicken and broth from the refrigerator. Bring the broth to a simmer and add the fish sauce and salt to taste. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  6. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the zucchini noodles and cook 1 1/2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  7. Just before serving, add the spinach leaves to the simmering soup. To serve the soup, distribute the zucchini noodles among four to six large bowls. Top with shredded chicken and a handful of cilantro. Ladle the simmering broth, with some of the spinach, into each bowl over the chicken and noodles. Serve at once, passing the limes for guests to squeeze on as they wish. You might not use all of the chicken. Add leftovers to salads.

Note: The broth can (and should) be made the day before you make the soup. It can be made up to 3 days ahead.

Text excerpted from SPIRALIZE THIS! © 2016 by Martha Rose Shulman. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.