Japanese Chicken and Udon Noodle Soup

Serves 6

Udon are made from flour and water dough and may be round, square or flat.  In most recipes you can replace udon noodles with soba noodles, and Chinese noodles, or as a last resort, spaghetti.


  • 1 litre of light chicken stock or instant dashi, to make 1litre
  • 225g (8oz) finely shredded raw chicken breast
  • 2 tbsp rice wine or sake
  • 2cm piece of ginger, slightly bashed with a rolling pin, but still in one piece
  • 225g (8oz) udon noodles or soba noodles (I used soba on TV)
  • 3 tbsp mirin (sweetened rice wine) (if you can’t get this, you can even use white wine)
  • 5 tbsp Japanese soy sauce
  • 225g (8oz) sugar snaps or mange tout, topped, tailed, stringy bits removed, and cut in 2
  • 4 tbsp spring onions, sliced at an angle


  1. Place the shredded chicken into a bowl with the rice wine and ginger, toss lightly to coat. 
  2. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, drop in the udon and stir to prevent them sticking. 
  3. Bring rack to the boil and cook for 3-5 mins, until just tender.  Drain in a colander and rinse under warm water still in the colander.
  4. Divide the noodles between the serving bowls.
  5. Pour the stock (or dashi), the mirin, and the soy sauce into a saucepan and bring to the boil, add the chicken and cook for just 2 mins, skimming any impurities from the surface. 
  6. Add the sugar snaps and continue to cook for 1 more minute, or until the chicken and sugar snaps are just cooked. 
  7. Taste for seasoning, soy sauce. Ladel the broth with some chicken and sugar snaps over the udon in the bowls and sprinkle with some sliced spring onions to serve.

**NOTE Dashi a basic Japanese soup stock is made from kelp (konbu) and dried bonito fish flakes.  Available at some health food shops and Asian stores.