I recently discovered the joys of Japanese Soba (buckwheat) noodles. I’d eaten it several times at restaurants, but only recently found out that a speciality store I frequent stocked them.
If there was one term that I could use to describe this dish, I think ‘restorative’ would be it. The noodles, made from buckwheat flour have this certain huskiness about them that your brain immediately classifies as being good for you. Which it is, but you actually feel like you’re nourishing your body from within. Also, the fact that there was no oil used in this recipe speaks for itself. But get this..Soba noodles are chock full of proteins and fibre, fat-free, cholesterol-free AND gluten-free. It’s a superhero amongst the noodle clan. The silent protector, the watchful guardian..the dark (brown) knight.
This was my first attempt at the elusive chicken soup, but I was very happy with the results I got, and so, confident enough to
brag blog and share with you. Happy slurping!
INGREDIENTS: (Serves 4)
400 g Japanese Soba noodles
250 grams mushrooms, chopped lengthways
Boiled vegetables (optional)
Spring onions (only the green parts), chopped
For the chicken stock:
¾ kg chicken pieces, bone in
1 leek, chopped into 3” pieces
3 carrots, chopped into thick rounds
2 big onions, quartered
1 whole head of garlic, halved crosswise
A sprig of thyme
The stalks of a thick bunch of coriander, roughly chopped (avoid the leaves)
15 black peppercorns, bruised
Put all the ingredients listed for the chicken stock in a large pot and cover with 2½ litres of cold water. Turn on the heat; when it comes to a boil, reduce to a very gentle simmer and clamp on a lid. Leave on for 1½ hours. (Check on it once or twice in between and remove any impurities or white foam that may rise to the surface with a ladle).
Once your chicken stock is done, scoop out the chicken pieces and shred them into pieces to use in your soup. Set aside. Send the vegetables and stock through a strainer, and press down to squeeze out most of the liquid from them.
Cook the noodles as per the instructions on the packet until al dente. Add the mushrooms to the same pot as your noodles 2 minutes before its done, and strain them both out together.
To serve, divide your noodles into bowls and top with mushrooms, shredded chicken, and boiled vegetables. Pour over your hot chicken soup and garnish with spring onions. Serve immediately.