Spring Chicken Miso Soup
This recipe involves a lot of pots and pans and prep work ahead of time but it is OUTSTANDING!!! You can easily play with flavors and spice and even the vegetables. It is hearty yet clean at the same time. Five stars! – Stevie Benanty
This recipe has been modified from The New York Times.
4 -5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs depending on size
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 – 6 garlic cloves, minced
1 – 2 tablespoons of grated ginger, to taste
1 tablespoon mirin (or sherry)
1 tablespoon light soy sauce (or tamari)
8 ounces soba (buckwheat noodles)
8 ounces sugar snap peas or snow peas, trimmed
8 cups water
2 medium leeks, white and tender green part, diced, about 2 cups
¼ cup white miso, or more to taste
5 ounces baby spinach, about 4 cups
4 – 8 shiitake mushrooms, sliced about an inch thick
Small package of baby corn
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Preparation: Season chicken thighs on all sides with salt and pepper. Put oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat. Add thighs and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, reducing heat to keep meat from browning. Turn and cook another side for about 2 minutes.
Add garlic and ginger and let sizzle without browning. Add mirin, soy sauce and 8 cups water, then bring mixture to boil. Lower heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Turn off heat. Remove thighs and chop into 1/2-inch chunks, then return meat to pot. Taste broth and adjust salt if necessary.In a separate pot, cook buckwheat noodles according to package directions, being careful not to overcook. Drain noodles and refresh with cool water, then leave at room temperature.
Meanwhile, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to a separate pan and when hot, add sliced shiitakes. Let them crisp and burn for a few minutes and don’t move them around so their undersides get dark. Then flip them over and turn down the heat. You can basically let them cook for the duration of your cooking on low heat (about 20 minutes) until they are crispy and tender. Set aside if done early.
In a separate pot, cook buckwheat noodles according to package directions, being careful not to overcook. Drain noodles and refresh with cool water, then leave at room temperature.
In another separate pot with a steamer basket, bring a few inches of water to boil with the lid on tight. Once boiling and steaming, add snap peas, leeks and baby corn and steam for a few minutes. Careful not to overdo it.
Right before serving, dilute your miso with a little hot broth from the pot and then whisk into the soup. Then, add spinach to the pot and let it wilt for a few minutes.
To serve, separate noodles into each bowl and ladle big spoonfuls of soup and chicken into the bowls. Add your steamed vegetables and shiitakes and top with small handfuls of thinly sliced scallions.