Inspired by my trip to Japan, I bought a Williams-Sonoma cookbook that covers Asian cuisine. I don’t do much Asian cooking. I have a large Chinese cookbook, but haven’t made anything from it. (Apparently I also have a Thai cookbook somewhere. Hmm) Generally, I don’t like to fry things and balk at the amount of oil that goes into most noodle dishes. I had so much good food on my trip that I was motivated to try again. This cookbook was appealing because 1) the pictures look amazing and 2) most recipes feature less than 20 ingredients. The pictures are all so appetizing and directions are clear and easy to follow. I also had a gift certificate to Williams-Sonoma, so it was essentially free!
Looking at my Japan posts, it probably doesn’t come as much of a suprise that the first recipe I decided on was a “Japanese dish”, udon. I love noodles and it is freezing in my house so soups are a must. While this recipe may not be 100% authentic, it was amazing. (I was informed in Japan that soy sauce based ramen broth is not to be eaten. Instead, noodles are dipped and then the broth is discarded. Pork broth however is fair game.) The hubby and housemate declared that it was the best dish I’ve made in a long time. I was also very impressed and cant’ wait to try out another recipe next week. I’m thinking “Egg Noodles with Shrimp, Chicken, and Vegetables” or “Chicken Stay with Peanut Sauce”.
Another plus is that it takes almost no time to make. We served it with sake I brought back from my travels. So good. Wish I could read the label. I have no idea what I bought…
Udon with Chicken and Vegetables from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of ASIAN COOKING
- 1/8 tsp granulated dashi mixed with 1 c. hot water
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 1/8 tsp ground white pepper
- 3/4 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 lb tofu (this was my addition)
- 3/4 tsp granulated dashi mixed with 6 cups hot water
- 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/8 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 lb udon noodles
- 3 cups spinach leaves cut into 2in strips, wilted in boiling water, drained, and squeezed dry
- 4 large eggs
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp chili powder
In a saucepan over high heat, combine the dashi, mirin, soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, and white pepper and bring to a boil. Add the chicken pieces, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, until chicken is opaque throughout, 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat.
To make the broth, in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the dashi, soy sauces, vinegar, sugar, and white pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the broth for 5 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
Bring a saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Stir in 1 tsp salt. Add the noodles and cook until just tender, 2-3 minutes. Drain the noodles and divide among warmed bowls. Top each serving with one-fourth each of the warm chicken mixture and spinach. Crack an egg into each bowl and gently pour the hot broth over the top.* Garnish with the green onions and dusting of chili powder.
*If you don’t like your egg yolks very runny (like me!), I recommend poaching the eggs first.