• Chef Dylan

CHICKEN UDON NOODLES



This comforting healthy Japanese noodle dish is the trifecta of the winner winner chicken dinner. It is super easy to make, bursting with flavour, and can be whipped up in under 20 minutes which means it’s perfect for a mid-week dinner.

Udon noodles are smooth with a unique firmness and chewy texture that makes them nourishing, and the caramelised garlic, sesame and soy in my Luck Dragon sauce are the secret ingredients that bring the all-natural umami bomb to this dish. Complemented with the mint and fresh lemon juice, which add the perfect balance for the flavours to dance across the palette.


This dish is full of healthy nutrients and leaves you feeling light and satisfied. It is one of those meals that will surely cheer someone up who needs a little extra care or has been feeling a little under the weather. It keeps very well in the fridge for up to 4 days which makes it a great meal prep choice for the week. You can even make it in bulk and freeze it for those days when you are short on time and need something for dinner in a hurry.


Did you know? Legend has it that this type of noodle was brought back to Japan after the wandering travels of Kukai, a famous Japanese Buddhist monk who travelled to mainland China 1200 years ago in the quest for ancient Chinese secret knowledge. Udon noodles are similar to soba noodles but the difference being Udon are made with wheat flour and are slightly thick and pale in colour, whereas soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour and are a little grainier in texture.


Chef Dylan Tip: Be sure to let the Udon simmer in the soup, so they soak up all that deliciousness. Also, slice the chicken into small pieces so it can be scooped up easily with chopsticks or a spoon. For convenience, a carton of store-bought chicken stock is totally acceptable for this dish.


Kota Kinabalu Borneo, 2015

The low hum of the air conditioner perched outside our hotel window is the first thing I hear as my eyes open after a hellish night of cramps in in-between small bouts of restless sleep. I sit up and reach for the bottle of water on my bedside table and take some large gulps. The feeling of the cool liquid relieves my desert-like mouth. “How are you feeling?” says my darling as she places the back of her hand on my forehead. “Well, your temperature feels normal”. "Yeah, I feel much better than yesterday”, I reply. “I bet you won’t order another chicken burger in a fast-food restaurant again,” she says light-heartedly. “No, darling, I certainly won’t”, I say, trying to shake the experience out of my head.


Having arrived at KK from Kuala Lumpur only the day before, she’s as keen as ever to get out to explore. “Let’s have a shower and get dressed because there is an amazing market I want to show you”, she says, clapping with excitement. I take a deep breath and sigh, “Ok, let’s go”, as I fling the sheets off me. We leave the comfort of the air-conditioned hotel, and the humidity envelops me like a thick blanket of moisture. I instantly start to sweat, and I feel my shirt begin to stick to my back. The street is filled with honking cars slowly making their way forwards, and men on scooters artfully weave through the heavy traffic. I look up and can just make out the sun trying to penetrate through the dense grey clouds looming inland from the coast.


Unfolding the tourist map, I see it’s a short 2 km walk to the open-air market. "Can we stop and get something to eat at that Japanese restaurant the receptionist recommended before we go to the market, as I’m starving?” I ask, pointing to the map. “I’m pretty sure it’s on the way.” “Of course,” says my sweetheart. Arriving at the small open-air restaurant, the cooks are busy frying on the woks and stirring broth in big pots. I instantly feel better as the smell of chicken stock fills my nose. We take a seat on the small plastic stools, and a cheerful-looking, the raven-haired waiter, makes his way to our table.


He approaches with a pen and notepad perfectly poised and is wearing a red Liverpool soccer jersey. Most of all, it’s his bright white and perfectly clean apron that impresses me most. “English?” he asks hopefully. “No, I’m Australian”, I reply “ahhh,” he says, nodding politely whilst turning expectingly to my partner, who replies, “I’m from Scotland”. This seems to delight him immensely. He beams, “Ahhh Whi-kee”, and pauses, followed by “Take your order?”. “Can we both have the udon noodle chicken soup, please? “Yes, yes and drink?" “Two cold bottles of Coke, please”, I reply. In no time flat, there is a bowl of steaming noodle soup in front of me as I breathe in its alluring scent, I instantly know I’ve made the right choice “This is just what the doctor ordered” I declare relieved whilst slurping up the noodles and broth.


This really is one of the easiest recipes to make, and believe me when I say it packs plenty of flavours. Most recently, I‘ve been told it’s a restaurant-quality dish.


PREP TIME: 5 mins

COOKING TIME: 15 mins

SERVINGS: 2-4


INGREDIENTS

  • 400g chicken breast or thigh

  • 1/2 capsicum, diced 1-3mm

  • 1/2 brown onion, diced 1-3mm

  • 150g button mushrooms, cut into 1/4 (optional)

  • 100ml LUCK DRAGON Asian sauce

  • 400g ready-cooked Udon noodles

  • 1 ltr chicken stock

  • Sesame seeds or herbs sliced, for garnish


METHOD


  1. In a large frypan on high heat, add a little oil and fry the chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side until cooked.

  2. Remove chicken from the frying pan and chop into cubes or shred, then reserve in a bowl on the side.

  3. Heat the frying pan on medium-high heat, then melt the butter. Add onion, capsicum and mushroom and fry for ~4 mins while stirring.

  4. Add cooked chicken and combine with vegetables.

  5. Add Luck Dragon sauce and stir in.

  6. Fry for another minute.

  7. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer.

  8. Add Udon and simmer for 7-8 mins. If you simmer less the result will be more of a udon noodle soup.


TO SERVE


Sprinkle with sesame seeds or herbs and enjoy.