Photo by Yuya Tamai
Well, today we are going to re-visit that mixture again for another Japanese recipe. This time, we are going to make some Chicken Udon. The beautiful thing about our ‘base’ is that it’s so versatile. So we will be cooking up the chicken and negi in the base in the same way we did the spam. This is the basic teriyaki sauce. You can baste grilled chicken with, steak, fish…the possibilities are endless.
Now take that base again and add dashi and you have a soup for something like, say, udon? Ok, enough talk; Let’s get cooking!
You will need:
- Chicken, 2 thighs cut into 1 inch pieces
- Negi (green onion), 4 or 5
- the ‘base’ (2 Tbsp soy and sugar) x 2
- Dashi, 500ml
- Udon noodles, frozen (you can use the dry or the packaged, but the frozen ones taste the freshest)
- Egg, 1 hard boiled
- Bonito flakes
- a piece of lemon zest (fingernail size)
Now for base (let’s call it the base), remember that the proportions of soy and sugar are a quick guideline. You can adjust the sugar to taste. So what you want to do is make 2 portions of that 2/2/2 mix. One will be the sauce for the chicken, one will be a flavor base for the soup. So take the one part of the base and add it to the dashi. Put it into a small saucepan and heat it gently. Keep the other part of the base handy for when the chicken is ready.
Chop the green part of the negi finely (for the finish), leaving the white intact (for the chicken). You want about 2 or 3 inch pieces. Now heat up some oil in a pan on high heat and throw the chicken and white negi pieces in. You want to just get the chicken browned on both sides.
Meanwhile, get yourself a pot of boiling water ready for the udon. When the chicken is browned, add about 100 ml of water to the pan and put a lid on it. The steam will cook the chicken through. It shouldn’t take long, since the chicken is cut into small pieces. Leave that to steam for 3 or 4 minutes until the meat is firm and opaque.
Once the chicken is done, take the lid off the let the rest of the water evaporate. Then add the base and turn the heat down to medium. Toss the chicken around in the pan to take in the flavour. The sauce should thicken right away. Once the sauce is thick and ‘saucy’, take the pan off the heat and set it aside.
Pop the noodles into the boiling water. The udon noodles take only a 3 minutes or so to cook from frozen once the water is boiling again. Prep the bowl by putting in the piece of lemon zest. When the udon is done, strain the noodles and put into your serving bowl. Then take the heated broth mix of dashi and base and pour over the udon noodles. Lastly put in the chicken and garnish with chopped negi, bonito flakes and the hard boiled egg (cut in half). Done! Now pat yourself on the back and enjoy this great dish. Have fun in the kitchen!