Fresh Udon with Shiitake and Chicken
Delicate and flavorful, this noodle soup will warm you up on even the chilliest of days.
- Veggie or peanut oil (not olive oil; it has too low of a smoke point)
- 1.5lbs chicken thigh
- 3 tablespoons sake or dry sherry
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
- 1 pint shiitake mushrooms
- 2-3 small shallots
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1" piece fresh ginger
- 1/2 large napa cabbage or 1 small
- For noodles: 200 grams AP flour (weight to cup measurements are often listed on your bag of flour for accurate measuring), 6 tablespoons water, 1.5tsp salt
- Combine salt and water and stir until dissolved.
- Carefully measure flour and add to a large bowl. Little by little, add salt water and mix, forming a ball. The dough should be very firm. If some flour remains, add a tiny bit more water, just enough to form a ball.
- Place dough in a plastic bag and let rest for 30 min so gluten can develop. (Skipping this step will result in a weak dough that will be very difficult to work with.)
- Fun part! Put a dishcloth on the ground, then place the bag of dough on top. Cover with another dishcloth, then squish the dough with your feet. (Yes, you could roll out with your hands, but this is much more enjoyable and is traditional in Japan.)
- Take dough out of bag and fold in each side, forming into a ball. Put back in bag and repeat squishing process 5 times, until dough is soft and supple.
- Let the dough rest for 2 hours, longer if your home is below 70F.
- Take dough out of bag, dust a work surface, and roll out into a rectangle that's 10-12" long and about 1/8" thick.
- Sprinkle with cornstarch and fold into thirds, then cut into 1/8" wide ribbons. (If you have a steady hand, you can also use a pizza cutter and skip the folding step.)
- Cook noodles immediately in a large pot of unsalted water for 10 min, then drain and rinse under cold water and set aside.
De-bone and skin chicken if needed. Pat dry. In a dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot, add oil and bring heat to medium.
Combine sake, soy sauce, and sugar in a small bowl.
Place chicken in pot, making sure not to crowd. Cook until golden brown, roughly 3 minutes, flipping to sear both sides.
Add sauce, reduce heat to low, and cook (covered) for roughly 5 min until chicken is cooked. Remove chicken from pot.
Peel and dice shallots and add to pot, cooking for ~3 minutes until softened. Peel and mince garlic and ginger and add to pot, stirring, until aromatic (30 sec). Dice salad turnips and shitakes, including stems. Add broth, mushrooms, and salad turnips to pot and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes until turnips are tender.
Meanwhile, slice napa into ribbons. Add thick white pieces to the pot and cook until tender, roughly 3 minutes.
Add noodles and remaining cabbage and cook until tender (2-3 min). Remove pot from heat.
Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and place on top of soup. Serve with cilantro and/or scallions!