It happened again. I made a poor, poor decision that led me down a treacherous road… a path of tremendous discomfort and violent consequences. Looking back, the cues were so obvious I’m stunned I missed them. We were the only patrons on a Saturday night, and I ordered food from the sea, in the form of a soup? What was I thinking?! I shudder when I think about the moment where it all went wrong.
We’ve all been down this road, yes? The one where you get to decide how the evening will turn out… Choose wisely, and the memory is a symphony full of beautiful food and glorious flavors. But choose otherwise, and the grand finale is a surprise of gut-wrenching, porcelain hugging tragedy. My unintended takeaway: I may never want to taste shrimp bisque again.
So what do you turn to after such an exhausting episode? First, I take a time out (preferably with a dog in my lap). Second, I make a pot of chicken stock. Then, I make soup.
Today’s selection: an udon noodle soup; because it’s the quintessential remedy for a fragile state of health. These noodles were introduced to me a little late in life; just last autumn, when a friend came over and taught me how to make nabeyaki udon. Simply put, this one pot meal has enriched my repertoire. I fell so hard for this recipe that fresh udon noodles now have permanent real estate in the icebox.
Loosely based on Rachel’s original recipe, this counterfeit version starts with a homemade chicken stock. Ginger, garlic, soy sauce and mirin give it a Japanese profile. Thick and chewy udon noodles give it substance, spinach makes it green, and fresh chicken eggs make it elegant.
A few notes:
Mushrooms would make a wonderful addition to this soup. I just didn’t have any on hand today.
Feel free to add whatever vegetables you have handy.
Happy day to you!
For a Japanese-inspired one-pot meal, start with a chicken broth base. Simmer it with ginger, garlic, soy sauce and mirin before adding fresh thick and chewy udon noodles and your favorite vegetables. Finish with a fresh chicken egg to cure your woes.
- • 4 cups chicken broth
- • 1 ½ tablespoon minced ginger (about 1” cube)
- • 1 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3-4 large cloves)
- • 1 shallot, peeled and diced (or ¼ cup diced brown onion)
- • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- • 1 ½ teaspoon mirin
- • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced thin on the diagonal
- • 6 ounces fresh udon noodles
- • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, washed
- • 2 large eggs
- • 2 scallions, chopped
- • shichimi togarashi, to garnish
- In a 5-quart saucepan, add the chicken broth, ginger, garlic, shallots, soy sauce, and mirin and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a medium-low and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the carrot and continue to simmer until carrots are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the fresh udon noodles and continue to simmer for 3 minutes.
- Add the spinach and swirl into the broth to cook. Then gently crack the eggs, one at a time, and add on opposite sides of the saucepan. Cover the pot with a lid and continue to simmer for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat to allow the eggs to finish cooking. Garnish with scallions and shichimi togarashi. Serve immediately.
Source: Rustic Garden Bistro