Traditional sukiyaki is not a soup but a hotpot dish. This sukiyaki-style chicken noodle soup has many of the flavors of the traditional dish but the preparation is simpler.
If you’ve never really understood the meaning of “umami” from the gazillion descriptions from the mouths of chefs and wanna-be chefs, make this sukiyaki-style chicken noodle soup and you’ll know why words are not the proper vehicle to understand it.
There are four steps in making this sukiyaki-style chicken noodle soup. First, soak the dry ingredients. Second, make the broth. Third, pan-fry the chicken and vegetables. And, finally, assemble the dish. That might sound like A LOT but it’s not hard work at all.
- 1 chicken breast (or two fillets)
- a dash of sake or mirin
- 150 grams of glass noodles
- 1 packet dashi granules (or make your own dashi)
- soy sauce, to taste
- 2 teaspoons sesame seed oil
- 4 to 6 shiitake mushrooms (caps only), sliced
- a bunch of spinach, rinsed well
- 3 eggs
- toasted black sesame seeds
- Cut the chicken breast meat into strips less than a quarter inch thick. Season with salt, pepper and a dash of sake or mirin.
- Soak the glass noodles in hot water until softened but not mushy. Drain.
- While the noodle soak (it may take a souple of minutes), make the broth. Boil six cups of water. Pour in the dashi granules. Stir. Turn off the heat. Season with enough soy sauce to suit your taste.
- Heat the sesame seed oil in a frying pan. Add the chicken strips. Cook over high heat just until lightly browned and cooked through, about 45 seconds per side. Scoop out the chicken.
- In the remaining oil, lightly saute the sliced shiitake and spinach with a little salt and pepper. When the spinach wilts, turn off the heat.
- Reheat the broth until boiling. Turn down the heat and leave it simmering.
- Divide the glass noodles among three bowls. Top each with a third of the chicken, mushrooms and spinach.
- Crack an egg into each bowl. Pour in hot broth. Sprinkle with toasted black sesame seeds.
- Serve the sukiyaki-style chicken noodle soup immediately.