Lemongrass-Ginger Chicken Udon Soup

This was something I made a weekend ago. It's not the quickest, or easiest, of dishes, but I was coming off a bout of stomach flu and needed to keep my diet clean and light. I like this noodle soup, the ginger's heaty earthiness was a nice contrast to the lively lemongrass notes, while the lime really rounded it all together.

Ingredients (feeds 2):
10 cups chicken stock (or more if you prefer a more soupy dish)
8 2" lemongrass stalks, white parts only, bashed and bruised
3 thumbs young ginger, sliced thickly
200gm Chinese spinach, cut into 2" lengths
1 hard-boiled egg per person (or as many eggs as you'd like, no judgment!)
250gm white button mushrooms, sliced
400gm chicken fillet, diced into 1" cubes and marinated in Japanese tare
2 servings wakame udon noodles (I got this from Isetan, but regular udon will do in a pinch)
4 cloves garlic, minced
sesame seeds for garnishing
lime wedges to finish
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp canola oil
Salt to taste
Light soy to taste

1) Blanch spinach in salted boiling water, about 35 seconds. Drain, squeeze out excess water, season with 1 tbsp soy sauce. Set aside, keep in the refrigerator if necessary.

2) Steep lemongrass and ginger in boiling chicken stock, about 15 minutes for the ginger and 30 minutes for the lemongrass on medium heat. Remove aromatics. Salt to taste.

3) While the broth is being done, fry garlic in sesame-canola oil on medium heat until fragrant, about 20 seconds.

4) Increase heat to medium-high, add mushrooms, stirring until the water released from the shrooms have evaporated.

5) Add chicken, toss until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

6) Cook udon, according to package instructions. I find taking this off the heat, and draining, a minute and a half earlier than cooking time, makes udon noodles the perfect chewy, not gummy, texture.

7) Assembly time, and this is where you get to customise your noodles any way you like. Serve garnished with sesame seeds and a wedge of lime

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