Whenever my husband gets a cold, he always wants homemade chicken noodle soup. But he asks not for the traditional chicken noodle but my version which is called Japanese Udon.
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The udon (pronounced oo-don) noodles are thick and like no other noodle you have ever had. If you make one soup this winter, this is the one you need to try, ask my husband.
Today, I’m collaborating with a bunch of other bloggers on this soup theme hosted by Kristen from Ella Claire & Co. So, make sure to check out their delicious recipes at the bottom of this post.
Fond Memories Fron My Childhood
Growing up as a third-generation Japanese American, we often visited my dad’s client’s noodle restaurants. Yes, there are noodle shops in southern California where the windows are all fogged up from the big vats of hot chicken broth.
I have fond memories of watching everyone sitting around with their big bowls of udon and slurping up every last drop of delicious broth.
Not All Noodles Are Created Equal
Since I’m getting nostalgic, I can remember the time when Michael and I had just gotten married I wanted to share a bit of my Japanese cuisine with him. I was super excited to make udon, but I darndest time finding the special noodles. Well, Michael chimed in and said that I should use regular spaghetti noodles.
I was like, what?! In my mind, I was thinking I had to find the yummy udon noodles or not make it at all. Luckily our marriage survived this noodle crisis!
*If you like to learn more about the history of the Udon noodles, check out this Wikipedia source.
Chef Notes About This Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
So, I need to let you know that I’ve made this recipe a gazillion times, but I have never measured it. So that is why I’m warning you that my recipe may be a bit off, and please let me know if parts don’t make sense. I’ll try and tweak it and get it perfect.
But, basically you’ll make a soup base like a homemade chicken noodle soup and then we will add some cool and yummy ingredients.
I’ve attached a link to the noodles but I use a frozen brand, Shirakiku. If you happen to have an Asian market near you, try and find this brand in the freezer section. They are absolutely amazing, thick and a bit sticky and chewy. If you buy it through Amazon here is the link for the Udon Noodles.
Japanese Chicken Udon
- 1 whole chicken or use chicken bones that equal one chicken
- 5 chicken thighs approximately two pounds of chicken thighs
- 3 quarts chicken broth
- 4 quarts water
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 8 packages udon noodles
- 1 bunch green onions sliced
- 1 bunch enoki mushrooms optional
- 3 cups whole crimini mushrooms sliced
- 1 package bean sprouts optional
- 20 snow peas sliced diagonally but they are optional.
- fresh ground pepper top your udon with pepper
- siracha sauce can squirt a bit of siracha if you like a spice it up.
- 1 package seaweed optional
- 1 jar furikake optional
- Take the chicken off the bones and place the bones in a big soup pot.
- Add about 4 quarts of water to the pot. You can add vegetables like onions and garlic to the broth.
- Cover and boil for about 4 hours. The broth will evaporate and it should reduce down about halfway.
- After it is reduced, strain bones out and place the clear broth back in the pot.
- Rinse and pat dry chicken thighs. Heavily season the thighs with salt, fresh pepper, and garlic powder. Place in a frying pan with vegetable oil and cook until brown and crispy. Slice cook chicken into wedges.
- Quickly boil the bean sprouts in a separate pot of water. Strain and add them to the main stockpot of broth.
- Add sliced crimini mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, and sliced snap peas. Simmer broth.
- In a large pot add water and bring to a boil. Add your udon noodles and cook according to the packages directions. I usually boil them for a couple of minutes until they are warm.
- Add 3 tablespoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and 1/2 tablespoon of salt. If your chicken was salted, don't add the salt portion. Btw, Costco chicken is brined with salt so we don't use extra salt.
- If the flavor is weak, add the same ingredients in the last step. I usually double the seasonings, but I don't want to steer you to overly season it. It all depends on the broth and the chicken in regards to seasonings.
- Add noodles and let simmer for about 10 minutes before serving. It is nice to allow the noodles to soak up the juices and seasonings.
- Serve in a big soup bowl and top with sliced cooked chicken, fresh chopped green onions, squares of seaweed, furikake and freshly ground pepper.
Make Sure to Check Out My Other Chicken Recipes:
Here Are Some Great Soup Recipes From My Friends!
Easy Slow Cooker White Bean and Ham Soup by Ella Claire & Co. | Creamy Cauliflower Soup by Tidbits | Butternut Squash Minestrone by Nest of Posies | Light Creamy Mushroom Soup by The Chronicles of Home | Corn Chowder by On Sutton Place
Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup by Live Laugh Rowe | Apple and Celeriac Soup by Inspired by Charm | Chicken Gnocchi Soup by Tidy Mom | Chicken and Dumplings by House 214 | French Onion Soup Bowls by Shabbyfufu
Sausage Tortellini Soup by My 100 Year Old Home | White Chicken Chili by Rooms For Rent | Roasted Pumpkin & Garlic Soup by Home Made Lovely | Healthy Halibut Chowder by Town and Country Living | Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup- Japanese Udon by Happy Happy Nester
Creamy Low-Carb Roasted Cauliflower Soup by Summer Adams | Dairy Free Cream of Broccoli Soup by Zevy Joy | Butternut Squash and Pear Soup by Nick + Alicia | Harvest Lentil Soup by French Country Cottage | Creamy Asparagus Soup with Bacon and Lime Creme Fraiche by My Sweet Savannah
I’m happy to carry on this Japanese family tradition of homemade chicken noodle soup. After many years of marriage and many bowls of udon, Michael now understands that these noodles are very special. He also knows that you don’t eat a piece a bread with this yummy Japanese homemade chicken noodle soup. You could say that he is obsessed with this recipe and it is on his list of comfort food.