Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lou's Most Excellent Soba Chicken

Look! No garlic!

This is an excellent, fast, and light meal that we like to cleanse ourselves with after a week of heavy, greasy eating. What's nice about it is the freshness conveyed while filling you up. While some of the ingredients may not be household staples (mirin), they last a long time in the fridge.

You can grill the chicken breasts (preferred) or sear on a hot skillet.

Also, as this dish is served at room temperature (!) there's no need to rush any of the steps. As such, this is also a great meal on a hot day.

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 oz soba (buckwheat) noodles
1 bunch green onions
10 oz baby spinach leaves
1 medium cucumber
1 TBS toasted sesame seeds
2 TBS mirin
2 TBS soy sauce
1 TSP sesame oil
1 TSP chili oil

Bring a large pot of water - about 4 quarts - to boil.

Cut the tenderloin off the chicken breasts and then filet the breasts length wise.

Finely chop the white ends of the green onions halfway up into the green part and save. Reserve the green parts too.

Peel and quarter the cumber, remove the seeds, and then filet each quarter. Julienne the cucumber into 2 inch, very thin strips.

In a medium bowl mix all the liquid ingredients along with the green ends of the green onions. Remove half the mixture and reserve for later. Marinate the the chicken in the bowl for 5 minutes and then immediately grill or sear. Do not overcook the chicken; once it begins to turn opaque half way around the edge, flip, and cook for an equal amount of time on the other side. Total cook time is about 4 - 5 minutes, pending the thickness of the chicken.

Put the spinach in a large strainer. Boil the noodles for 5 minutes in lightly salted water (about 1 TBS). Slowly pour the noodles over the spinach thereby lightly blanching the spinach. Immediately run cold water over the noodles for about 1 minute to cool them down.

Add the remaining sauce - minus the green onion strips - into a large bowl and toss in the noodles. Dish up noodles (a large soup bowl works best). Slice the chicken into thin strips against the grain and set on top of the noodles. Add as much cucumber and chopped green onions as desired and finish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Voila....

A nice addition to this dish is Sriracha chili sauce too.


  1. Lou,
    Allison and I had this for dinner last night. It was fantastic. First I thought the sauce wasn't enough but the subtle sweetness and hint of spicyness from the Sriracha chilli sauce was perfect.

    Thanks for the post.


  2. You're welcomed! Yes - you don't need that much sauce - it's a bit deceiving but I think the wetness of the spinach helps keep it moist. Glad you enjoyed it!