Sleep Deprivation and Chicken Udon Noodle Soup with Lemongrass

If you have never made udon soup, this recipe for Chicken Udon Noodle Soup with Lemongrass is the one to try.

Chicken Udon Noodle Soup with Lemongrass by FamilySpice.com

I can’t sleep. It’s really annoying. I used to sleep like a log and not wake up ’til the alarm woke me. Then I married an insomniac. And had three kids. None of them slept for 12 hours as a baby like the baby books told me they would. Usually someone wakes up in the middle of the night because of a bad dream, a potty break or just because. One night, I think my youngest, the princess was 2-years old, and all five of us were awake at around 3-o’clock in the morning. I shook my head in frustration. Things have calmed down a bit, but I’ve been ruined.

Now when I wake up on my own or because of a munchkin or because of my snoring husband, I can’t go back to sleep. I think about the zillion things I have to do when I get up: pay this bill, run to Target, oh, don’t forget to stop at this market, did I pay that other bill??? It goes on and on.

Like I said, I’ve been ruined.

So when I can’t go back to sleep at 3-o’clock in the morning, (after laying awake in bed for up to an hour) I blog, edit pictures, type up recipes, catch up with my other food blogging buddies, watch hulu… you name it.

And here I am, almost 4-o’clock in the morning. I’ve been up for two hours and I’m still awake.

I blame my husband, of course.

Continuing with my quest to try new things and branching out of my comfort zone in the kitchen, I present to you my first udon noodle soup. Another great recipe from Fine Cooking. I found these delicious (and stick-to-my-teeth-noodles, as described by my 7-year old) noodles during my adventures at the Vietnamese market. And the are FRESH udon noodles, not dry.

Chicken Udon Noodle Soup with Lemongrass by FamilySpice.com

This was a very quick and easy soup to make and it was my first time using lemongrass – yeah, another first! Why was I intimidated by lemongrass????

Filled with shitake mushrooms, chicken, fresh herbs and oodles and oodles of yummy udon noodles. Sorry, couldn’t resist. Must be the sleep deprivation.

Shiitake mushrooms for Chicken Udon Noodle Soup with Lemongrass by FamilySpice.com

I cheated with the toppings. I wasn’t in the mood to chop my carrots into matchsticks, so I bought broccoli slaw and picked out the carrots. Hubby enjoyed it with the broccoli, too. You could use bean sprouts and cabbage to top your soup, as well. The possibilities are endless, of course.

Chicken Udon Noodle Soup with Lemongrass by FamilySpice.com

Well, my post is done. I’m still awake. Maybe I’ll catch up on an episode of “Bones” or “Parenthood” on hulu. My eyes should be droopy in no time, right?

Oh, a word of advice for the singles out there: If you like your sleep, don’t marry an insomniac. You will have kids who don’t like to sleep, too!

Chicken Udon Soup with Lemongrass

This chicken noodle soup is similar to Vietnamese pho and Japanese udon noodle soup. It is very satisfying and very easy to make. Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, March 2010

Ingredients:

  • 2 small chicken breast, boneless skinless, about 3/4 lb
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
  • 2 1/2 TBS vegetable oil
  • 3 medium shallots, thinly sliced into rings
  • 2 stalks of lemon grass, trimmed, outer layers discarded, halved lengthwise, and smashed with the side of a chef’s knife
  • 1 TBS ginger, fresh, minced
  • 2 tsp brown sugar, light, packed
  • 5 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3 1/2 oz shitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered (1-1/2 cups)
  • 9 oz udon noodles, fresh
  • 1 serrano chile, sliced into thin rings
  • 8 leaves of basil, fresh, torn
  • 2 medium lime, juice only
  • 1 TBS soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup basil, fresh, julienned
  • 2 medium green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, fresh

Directions:

  1. Rinse with water and pat dry with paper towels:
    • 2 small chicken breast, boneless skinless , about 3/4 lb
  2. Cut each breast horizontally almost all the way through, then open like a book and season both sides of the chicken breast with:
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
  3. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add:
    • 1 1/2 TBS vegetable oil
  4. When oil is hot add chicken and cook without disturbing until it’s browned and releases easily from the bottom of the pot, about 2 minutes.
  5. Flip and cook until the second side is browned and almost firm to the touch (just short of cooked through), 1 to 2 minutes more.
  6. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board to cool.
  7. Add to the hot Dutch oven:
    • 1 TBS vegetable oil
    • 3 medium shallots , thinly sliced into rings
    • 1/4 tsp salt
  8. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until the shallots start soften, about 2 minutes.
  9. Add to the shallots:
    • 2 stalks of lemon grass , trimmed, outer layers discarded, halved lengthwise, and smashed with the side of a chef’s knife
    • 1 TBS ginger, fresh , minced
    • 2 tsp brown sugar, light , packed
  10. Cook and stir until the ginger and lemongrass sizzle, about 1 minute.
  11. Pour in:
    • 5 1/2 cup chicken broth
  12. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, and raise the heat to medium high.
  13. Bring the broth to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
  14. Add:
    • 3 1/2 oz shitake mushrooms , stemmed and quartered (1-1/2 cups)
  15. Cook and stir occasionally, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
  16. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of well-salted water to a boil and add:
    • 9 oz udon noodles , fresh
  17. Cook until just tender, about 3 minutes.
  18. Transfer to a colander and run under cold water to cool slightly.
  19. Use your fingers or a fork to shred the chicken.
  20. Add the chicken and noodles to the broth.
  21. Cook until the noodles are completely tender and the chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes.
  22. Discard the lemongrass.
  23. Stir in:
    • 1 serrano chile , sliced into thin rings
    • 8 leaves of basil, fresh , torn
    • 1 medium lime , juice only
    • 1 TBS soy sauce
  24. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  25. Divide the noodles among 4 large, deep bowls.
  26. Ladle the soup over the noodles, and garnish with:
    • 1/4 cup basil, fresh , julienned
    • 2 medium green onions , thinly sliced
    • 1 medium carrot , cut into matchsticks
    • 1/2 cup cilantro, fresh
    • 1 lime , cut into wedges
  27. Serve immediately.

Notes:

Serving Suggestions: You could also garnish your soup with bean sprouts and shredded cabbage. To save time, you can buy prepackaged bags of shredded carrots and cabbage.

Cooking Tips: * This soup is also a great for shredded, leftover roast chicken in place of the chicken breast. Just add it to the soup along with the chiles, basil, lime juice, and soy sauce in step 16.

Prep Time:

Yield: Serves 4

Cook Time:

Chicken Udon Soup with Lemongrass Detail

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3 Responses to Sleep Deprivation and Chicken Udon Noodle Soup with Lemongrass

  1. Mei Teng at #

    Lovely noodle dish.m

  2. Such delicious soup, love the flavors here with the addition of lemongrass!

  3. A delicious soup! And I'll try this recipe, especially in Romania is such a cold and hot soup would be very useful.

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