Myr got sick as she was coming back from Peru so she wanted comfort food. In our house this usually means an Asian chicken soup. I found a Cooking Light recipe that was close to what I wanted and with only a few tweaks I developed what I was looking for. I saw some fresh bamboo in the Japanese store that I just couldn’t pass up. Another recipe called for using marinated chicken, instead of the shredded cooked chicken of the Cooking Light recipe.
Karl’s Chicken Udon Soup
Based on a recipe from Cooking Light
6-8 chicken thighs, cut into bite sized peices
2 Tbs. soy sauce
2 Tbs. sake
1 Tbs. mirin
1 Tbs. honey
15-20 fresh shiitake mushrooms
6 slices peeled fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 green onion, cut into large pieces
1 star anise
6 ounces dried udon noodles (thick Japanese wheat noodles)
1 Tbs. peanut oil
1 fresh large bamboo shoot, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/8 in slices
2 tsp. minced peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup sake (rice wine) or sherry or dry white wine
3 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
½ -1 cup diagonally cut green onions
1. Place chicken and the next 4 ingredients (through honey) in a plastic bag and marinate for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
2. Remove stems from mushrooms; reserve stems. Cut an X on each mushroom caps and set aside. Combine mushroom stems, 1 ½ cup of water, and next 4 ingredients (through star anise) in a small pot. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes. Strain stock through a sieve over a bowl; discard solids.
2. Cook udon noodles in a large pot of boiling water, do not use any salt or oil. Drain and rinse with cold water and submerge in ice water. Just before serving drain well.
3. Heat a large Wok over medium-high heat. Add peanut oil and coat the sides of the wok evenly. Add reserved mushroom caps and sauté for 2 minutes (one minute per side). Drain chicken of excess marinate, push mushrooms to the side of the wok and stir fry the chicken until mostly cooked. Add the mushroom stock, bamboo shoot, minced ginger, and sake. Cook for 4 minutes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add stock to pan, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 4 more minutes. Taste and add addition soy sauce, honey, and salt if needed. Reserve ¼ of the green onions and add the rest to the soup just before serving. Serve udon noodles and soup in separate serving bowls. Diners serve themselves to as much of the noodles as they wish and pour the soup over them. Serve the reserved green onions on the side to sprinkle over each bowl.
Serve with Karl’s Quick Pickled Japanese Cucumbers.