Friday, November 12, 2021

Udon Soup with Chicken Meatballs

I saw this recipe on The Kitchn ages ago, and I think what stopped me from making it was the scarcity of fried tofu sheets in my neck of the woods. I ended up buying dried bean curd sticks online and it worked great! I doubled the amount of meatballs and mushrooms (based on the size of packages at my store) but left the other ingredients as is; the yield was at least 8 servings. Surprisingly enough, the Little Prince liked this! So did the Engineer and I. (The Fox was not home for lunch that week, but I doubt this would have been his cup of tea anyway.) 

For the udon 
4 oz (125 g) dried udon noodles 

For the meatballs 
½ lb. (500 g) ground chicken 
1 tsp. salt 
¾ tsp. shichimi togarashi or ¼ tsp. ground red pepper (I used Korean pepper), or to taste 

For the soup 
8 cups (2 liters) water 
1 cup (100 g) shaved burdock (about 1 whole) (optional; I did not use it) 
1 cup (60 g) sliced fresh mushrooms, preferably eringi or shiitake 
one 3 x 5-in (7.5 x 12.75-cm) sheet fried tofu (abura-age), rolled in paper towel to remove excess oil, thinly sliced 
½ cup (40 g) thinly sliced leek 
¼ cup soy sauce 

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the udon according to packaged instructions (about 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are slightly underdone). Drain, rinse, and drain again. Set aside. 

To make the meatballs, combine the ingredients in a small bowl. With damp hands, form 1 teaspoon of the mixture into a ball. Repeat with remaining mixture; you should have about 18 meatballs. 

To make the soup, bring the water to a boil in the same pot used to boil the udon. Add the burdock, if using, and the mushrooms and fried tofu. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer 5 minutes. Add the meatballs, cover, reduce the heat to low and cook 5 minutes more, or until the meatballs are cooked through. Add the leek, soy sauce and cooked udon. Cook 1 minute more to heat through.

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