Sunday, 7 October 2007

Chicken Yakitori with Udon Noodles in Miso Broth

All too often relegated to the role of appetizer, I am a proponent of yakitori featuring as a main. I’m rather addicted to these skewered caramelised morsels and along with gyoza they inevitably appear when I’m left to do the ordering. I love the deliciously sweet charred exterior and moist flesh within. Salty, sticky and terribly moreish they are a delightful post-work snack with an Asahi. They are also just the thing to turn a steaming bowl of udon, sprinkled with strips of wakame and an obligatory serving of virtuous greens into something a little more special. Like many untraditional pairings it is surprisingly delicious and like all the best mid-week dinners, reasonably balanced and quick to prepare.

This will also be my entry to Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Ruth at Once Upon a Feast.

Chicken Yakitori with Udon Noodles in Miso Broth

Chicken Yakitori
200g/7oz skinless chicken thighs or breasts diced
4-5 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Mirin
2 tbsp Sake
1 tbsp caster sugar
wooden skewers (soaked in water to prevent burning)

I have substituted the sake with rice wine vinegar in the past to save a trip to the shops. Feel free to fiddle with the ratios to your taste.

Over a medium heat warm the soy, Mirin, Sake and sugar. Bring to the boil stirring all the while to prevent the slowly caramelising sauce sticking to the sides of the pan. Reduce the heat and taste. Add additional soy or sugar if necessary for balance. As the sauce reduces the flavours will concentrate so be careful not to add an excess of soy. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes until thickened.

Thread bite sized cubes of chicken breast or thigh onto pre-soaked skewers.

Baste the skewers with the thickened sauce and place on a pre-heated grill plate. Continue to baste and turn the skewers until the chicken is cooked through. The sauce should caramelise and turn the pieces a glossy brown. Be careful not to overcook to ensure you are left with deliciously moist flesh within.

Udon Noodles in Miso Broth

Small bunch gai lan or green of choice
200g/7oz udon noodles
2 tbsp miso paste
3 cups water
1 sheet wakame shredded into strips

While the yakitori is cooking, steam the gail land for a few minutes.

In a medium sized pot add the miso paste and water. Allow to heat through and the paste to dissolve. Add the noodles and allow to cook through on a gentle heat. Just before serving, sprinkle over the wakame.

To serve ladle the noodles and miso broth into bowls. Top with gai lan and serve with yakitori.


katiez said...

They look very 'moreish' to me - as in 'yes, please, I'll have some more!' (Old joke, sorry - but they really do look good)

Margot at Coffee & Vanilla said...

I must try miso finally. I saw this name several times reading blogs and it made me curious....
Your chicken looks sooo delicious.

Anonymous said...

MY goodness truffle you have done it again! This is great stuff. Your photography gets better and better too!

Deborah said...

I often like to have appetizers as the main - this looks like the perfect dish to serve as a main!

Anh said...

Truffle, a dish of comfort indeed! I would eat at least a bowl of that at any time!

Truffle said...

Katie- That's exactly what I was hoping for! I love the salty, sweet hit- very addictive!

Margot- Thank you! I think miso can be an acquired taste. It's rather salty but you could easily substitute any sort of Asian broth here.

Anon- oh thank you so much! That's a lovely thing to say :)

Deborah- thanks! I'm so glad you agree! Thankfully unlike a lot of the other appetizers I'd happily eat as a main (I'm thinking salt and pepper squid), this is relatively healthy.

Anh- thank you! Sometimes the simple things can be really satisfying.

Kelly Mahoney said...

Beautiful dish! The color on the chicken is beautiful.

Kelly-Jane said...

They do looks so moreish, sounds delicious reasing the recipe too :)

Truffle said...

Kelly Mahoney- thanks so much! I'm glad you like it :)

Kelly-Jane - thanks! It's also wonderfully simple and quick which is an added bonus!

Serenity Later said...

i have to agree with katiez on her understanding of moreish, i too thought it meant "oh yes i'll have some more thanks!"

As usual this is really lovely Truffle and while the noodle broth is a nice nourishing accompaniment (i loved your description of the greens as virtuous!) the yakitori skewers are the things us carnivores hanker for. Great writing & great pix!

Big Boys Oven said...

Oh such a lovely dish.... yakitori and udon...a perfect partnership!

Truffle said...

Serenity Later- Thank you! That's the meaning I had in mind too. Silly I know!

Have to keep those carnivorous tastes satisfied and this definitely does the trick!

Big boys oven- I'm quite sure it would be frowned up in traditional Japanese circles but I think it works beautifully. Thanks so much!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

This looks fantastic Truffle. Great writing as always and pics too.

p.s. I'd always order gyoza too!

Sylvia said...

Triffle I love the color of this dish. It was a long time that I don't eat.You make my mouth watering...Bad girl ...;-)

Truffle said...

Amanda - thank you! Your lovely comments are greatly appreciated. Nice to know you're a fellow gyoza lover :)

Sylvia - thanks very much!

Belinda said...

Oh, definitely main dish potential with these delightful Yakitori skewers, I agree! They look great, and along with the noodles in miso broth, a perfect combination. :-)

neil said...

Isn't it so great when you get to order and EVERYTHING you love comes out. Gyoza lover here too, though somehow I've missed the charms of yakitori chicken, will definitely have to address that as yours look wonderful.

Truffle said...

Belinda - thank you! I love them together because it's a balanced and low fat meal too, although you'd never guess from the taste!

neil - thanks so much Neil! I'm glad it tempts you. Gyoza are fabulous, aren't they? Very difficult to pass up.

The Cooking Ninja said...

ooh...I love Chicken Yakitori and I love udon noodles. Haven't had these for ages.

stickyfingers said...

Like Anh, that's my kind of comfort food too. Yummo! Miso can be so addictive, especially on eggplant or tofu Dengaku - smothered in miso, mirin & sake, then baked or Barbecued...mmmhmm.

Truffle said...

The Cooking Ninja - We have similar tastes! Udon has recently become a bit of a staple for me because it's so quick to prepare and filling too!

stickyfingers - those eggplant and tofu dishes sound wonderful!

Ruth Daniels said...

What a perfectly gorgeous addition to Presto Pasta Nights. Thanks for sharing.

Susan said...

Ooh, your description of this dish is simply mouth-watering, and it looks fabulous!

Truffle said...

Ruth - thanks for taking the time to host such a great event! I look forward to the round up :)

Susan - thanks very much! I think the flavours work really well together and fortunately it requires minimal skill to make which is always a bonus for quick mid-week dinners.