“This takes no time to prepare” are the magic words that greeted me at the top of the page for this Hairy Biker’s recipe. Chicken & Egg is a bit of a treat.
I’ve been really keen on cooking more Far Eastern cuisine for a while now. I’ve mastered the stir fry. I can now make a pretty sexy chicken or pork chow mein from scratch without even referring to a recipe, although I am indebted to the Hairy Bikers for teaching me. From vague experience, I find the Hairy Bikers to be most trustworthy when doing a new Chinese, Japanese or Thai recipe.
Here, I tick off a few things I’ve never cooked with before. First is udon, which I love for how chunky and filling it makes the humble noodle. Second, is shiitake mushrooms, whose profile is prevalent beyond how familiar most people are with eating them. Thirdly, is seaweed, which turned out to be a delectable element to the dish. I’ve also never cooked with miso or sesame before. So all the new things!
Good things: If you’re in the same boat as me, you’ll find yourself cooking with a load of ingredients you’ve never used before.
Bad things: If you discover there’s a sesame oil drought or that miso is mysteriously hard to find in a supermarket, then we can share in the experience. Luckily I can trust my local M&S to have all the absurd middle class ‘essential’ ingredients.
Ingredients & requirements: For 2 servings.
- 100-150g udon noodles
- 1/12 teaspoon of sesame oil
- vegetable oil
- 1 chicken breast
- 200g pack of mixed mushrooms (shiitake, oyster etc)
- 4-5 spring onions
- 1 garlic clove
- 5-10g root ginger
- 1/2 tablespoon miso
- 75ml chicken stock (or 125ml if using straight-to-wok noodles)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon mirin
- 1 sheet of nori (seaweed)
- sesame seeds
- sea salt & pepper
Preparation & cooking
Prepare the noodles:
- If you have fresh noodles: cook according to packet instructions, reserve 50ml of cooking liquid (discard the rest), then toss the noddles in the 1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil and some sesame seeds.
- If you have straight to work noodles: just set in a bowl and cover in 1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil and some sesame seeds.
- Prepare 75ml/125ml of chicken stock (see ingredient list above). I’d remove to a pyrex jug, add the 50ml of cooking liquid (if applicable), and then add the 1/2 tablespoon of miso, and mix together. Set aside.
- Set aside the 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1/2 tablespoon of mirin in a small glass or bowl.
- Separate the white and green parts of the 4-5 spring onions, and then slice. Set aside. You might want to chop up the garlic clove at this stage and set aside with the white pieces of the spring onions.
- Grate the 5g-10g ginger and set aside in a small bowl.
- Cut the chicken breast into strips. Set aside with the 200g of mushrooms which I left whole.
Get out a large wok and get cracking:
- Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in the wok and, once hot, add the slices of the chicken breast and 200g of mushrooms and cook until they’re browning.
- Add the following and fry for 1 min:
- white parts of the spring onions
- the chopped garlic clove,
- the grated ginger.
- Add the following and simmer for 2-4 mins until some of it’s reduced, and then season to taste:
- stock/cooking liquid/miso mixture
- soy-mirin mixture
- Finally, add the noodles and green parts of the spring onions. Tear the nori into strips and add. Mix in and wait until they wilt (almost like spinach does).
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.
I was so excited about tucking into this one that I actually forgot to take my usual photo of it in the pan, so all I have is one picture of it dished up. I was also incredibly hungry by this point and just wanted to tuck in.
I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing entirely new flavours at my own hands, there’s nothing quite like it. Really interesting to taste these strong mushrooms compared to my usual ‘strong shroom’ of choice (being the chestnut variety). Cooking with nori was also more than worth the struggle of finding it.