Korean-inspired Chicken Soup
February 22, 2011
Aunt Suzy says . . .
After a day and a half of snow, what could be better! This soup has great warming ingredients – the hot peppers of the kimchee and the fresh ginger – along with a wonderful earthiness. It may be the very definition of Umami, the fifth taste. The original recipe called for making the chicken stock with a whole chicken and then using all the meat from the chicken in the soup. I pared back on the chicken to one cup cooked which I think allows for a better balance of all the great flavors in this soup. Indeed, I think that chicken meat is optional given all the other goodies! A Riesling that’s on the sweet side or an Alsace blend is a perfect match for the flavors in this soup.
- 2 1/2 quarts chicken stock or 8 cups of boxed or canned chicken broth
- 8 ounces udon noodles, broken in half
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup peeled fresh ginger, finely julienned
- One 12-ounce block firm silken tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 cup kimchee, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
- ½ to 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
- 1 cup cooked chicken, shredded or in 1/2-inch cubes (optional)
Cook the Udon noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse and set aside. Bring the chicken stock to a boil and simmer uncovered until amount is reduced to 8 cups, about 5-7 minutes. In a Dutch oven, saute the mushrooms in the oil, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat until golden, about 3-4 minutes. Add the 8 cups of chicken stock, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits. Add the ginger, tofu, kimchee, fish sauce and sesame oil. (Start with 1/2 tsp sesame oil and add more to taste.) Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cooked udon noodles and simmer another 5 minutes or so. Add the chicken, if using, and heat to serving temperature. NOTE: The udon noodles, kimchee, fish sauce and sesame oil can be found at Asian supermarkets, Whole Foods or your local food co-op, if indeed you have local food co-ops.