WINTER UDON and CLEANING HOUSE

1.06.2016

Hi, 2016!! I'm attacking you like a hungry mountain lion. Except in the fitness department because I decided to quit the gym, which I think is a hilarious thing to do in January, but more on that in a bit. The other areas of my life though, beware.

Something super exciting is in the business pipes that I hope pans out sooner than later. Sorry to be cryptic, but it's so early in the process I can't write about it publicly. Not that I'm writing to a huge audience, but that will change this year. I'll make sure of it.

I have a detailed clean-out-the-house plan that started with my closet several months ago after I read the life-changing book that was all the rage last year, but it stopped there so I'm picking up where I left off. I'm done with stuff! It's bad for Feng Shui and I'm all about good energy this year. And I'm applying it to everything else in life, too. Cleaning house and body is so cliché this time of year, but it feels so GOOD!


After the holiday season, everyone feels pretty blech from all the overeating, overindulging and most likely lack of exercising. Don't know about you, but I don't have the 'exercise-while-traveling' thing down. So like most, I'm focusing on clean, yummy food that is veggie heavy. No matter how much I workout, nothing changes unless I'm eating clean and eating less. It's the year of following Pollan and Hara Hachi Bu.

I decided to quit the gym not because I'm quitting exercise, but because I'm not finding the right times to go toting a two year old with a busier social life than me. It's back to my workout-at-home days. That way I can burn or zen it out in 45 minutes (or maybe 7 minutes like G is doing these days), rather than the minimum hour and half it takes with driving to and from the gym, taking a class and a shower. I can wear whatever tattered tank I pluck out of the drawer and 90% of the time I don't have to wear shoes.

Back to the food because this is a food blog after all. This recipe is so easy and delicious, I make a variation of it A LOT. This is more of a guideline recipe because you can sub out any or all of the vegetables and the protein. You can easily turn it into a vegetarian or vegan dish, if you want. You don't even need noodles, but I love udon almost more than rice so I don't recommend it. The key to this bowl is the ponzu because without it, it's crazy bland. Ponzu is magic and along with ginger scallion sauce and the best salsa of your life (recipe coming soon), everything it touches will be delicious. 

Fewer things are more soothing and cleansing than a hot bowl of soup and I hope you find a place for this in your cooking repertoire. And Happy New Year!! I hope this post is the start of an inspiring year of recipes that you will like and share with the hungry folks you love.


WINTER UDON
barely adapted from Chef Kuni-san
~serves two hungry people

This recipe makes far more chicken than you need, but I like to poach two breasts so I have leftover shredded chicken for other meals. If you choose to only cook one, you'll still need quite a bit of water to make enough broth, roughly 6 cups should do it. 

2 large chicken breasts
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 medium sweet potato, chopped
1 small daikon radish, chopped
small handful of enoki mushrooms or any other kind of mushroom you like
3 baby bok choys, chopped
12 oz fresh udon noodles or any other thick, chewy noodle of your liking*
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs rice wine vinegar
2" piece of ginger, skin removed and grated on a microplane
Zest of one lemon, divided
Togarashi and/or sriracha or sambal
Chopped green onions

Place the chicken breast or other chicken parts in a 6-8 qt pot. Add enough water to cover the chicken. Add smashed garlic clove and salt.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and gently simmer for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is done, skimming the foam as it rises.
Remove the garlic clove and chicken.
Add the sweet potato and daikon to the broth and simmer until a knife easily pierces the potato.
Meanwhile, shred the chicken.
Once the sweet potatoes and daikon are mostly cooked, add the bok choy and enoki mushrooms. Add the udon noodles and place a tight-fitting lid on top. Turn the heat off.
Combine the soy sauce, lemon juice and rice wine vinegar. Set aside.
To serve, spoon the noodles and broth in two large bowls.
Spoon as much of the sauce over the soup as desired and top with grated ginger, a pinch of lemon zest, togarashi and/or hot sauce and a sprinkling of green onions. 

*If you can't find fresh udon, frozen is fine just thaw and cook the noodles. If you can't find udon at all, any rice noodle will do. Just cook the noodles until they are almost done before throwing them in. 

5 comments:

  1. Should the chicken breasts be boneless? Skinless? Both? I want to make this tonight - perfect for a rainy day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Either! Bone-in will give the broth more flavor, but I used skinless, boneless and it was fine. My personal fav though is using bone-in, skin-on legs and thighs :) Hope you like it!!

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