Sunday, September 8, 2013

Chicken Udon

This is one of the meals I remember eating as a kid.  My dad was in the Navy. We spent quite a bit of time in Japan.  I saw the Udon noodles in the supermarket awhile back and decided to find a good recipe so I could share Udon with my kids.  As a kid, we just called this dish Udon.  On a menu you will likely find Udon called Pork Udon or Chicken Udon depending on how it is prepared.  I've even seen it called Chicken and Udon noodle soup. In Japan it is understood that Udon is a noodle soup so adding "noodle soup" seems a bit redundant, in my opinion.  Whatever you call it, it's a delicious meal.

1 shallot, roughly chopped
1 chicken breast
4cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thickly sliced
2 Tbsp dried shiitake mushrooms
600g udon noodles
2 bunches of baby pak choy, rinsed and trimmed
1/3c mirin
1/4c soy sauce
green onion, rinsed and sliced

In a soup pot, add the chicken breast, shallot, ginger, and mushrooms to 7 cups of water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer (covered) for 10 minutes.  Skim any scum that appears on the surface.  Remove from heat and stand (covered) for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.  Transfer the chicken and mushrooms to a plate.  Strain the chicken stock, discarding the ginger and shallot.  Return the stock to the pot.

Shred the chicken.  Slice the mushrooms into thick slices if necessary.  (The mushrooms I used were already sliced.) 

Reheat the stock over a high heat.  Add the noodles.  Cook for 2 minutes (or until the noodles are tender).  Return the chicken and mushrooms to the pan.  Add the pak choy.  Cook for another 2 minutes. The leaves will have just wilted and the chicken will be heated through.  Stir in the mirin and soy sauce.  Garnish with green onion.

Alternatives: Fresh cilantro leaves are also a tasty garnish for Udon, but my family doesn't really care for cilantro so I pick my battles.

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