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my lunch

Recipe: soy sauce chicken

Hrm, some recent developments might require that I curtail the posting frequency. Not sure. We’ll see how it goes in the next few weeks.

A few folks have inquired about the lunch I had in this entry, so I figured I should write it up seeing as it is a great dish in cold weather months.

Chinese noodle soups in my mind are as versatile as sandwiches. You can put whatever you want in them. I think of it in terms of a few major components: the noodles, the broth, the fixins. Noodles can be bean thread (aka glass noodles), soba, somen, iron man, ramen, rice noodles, and the list goes on. The broth is whatever you want it to be. The fixins can be vegetables, meat, leftover stir-fry, delicious spicy chili radishes (my fav!)…

We’ll start with one of my standards: soy sauce chicken. It’s just chicken drumsticks simmered for a few hours, but what you get is chicken and a lovely aromatic broth.


ginger, green onions, sugar, star anise



I like using organic chicken. If you’ve ever made broth from organic chicken and from conventional chicken, the fats are completely different. When I refrigerate the broth to remove the fat, the conventional chicken is practically a yellow disc of fat whereas the organic chicken renders an almost colorless and slightly liquid fat.

layer the chicken and add the rest of the ingredients



The star anise adds a nice accent to the soy sauce base. Simmer for a couple of hours or until the chicken is falling off the bone.

chicken is done



Usually, after the chicken is cooked, I remove the drumsticks from the broth and chuck the skins and bone. I store the chicken meat in a tupperware. The broth is poured into a bowl or tupperware and refrigerated for defatting. Now on to noodles. My favorite noodles (almost a comfort food, really) are Japanese somen noodles.

and this is the brand i buy



My grandmother used to make these noodles for me when I was a little girl. They cook in no time flat, so be sure they don’t turn too soggy (like a couple of minutes). I prefer to boil them in water rather than the broth because the noodles tend to make the broth starchy and the whole thing is just too salty. Once the noodles are cooked, drain them and place in a bowl.

delicate, thin somen



In the same pot I just used, I’ll heat up some of the broth with a little water (it’s somewhat concentrated broth). When it comes to a boil I chuck in pieces of the chicken along with greens – my favorite being spinach.

pot o’ flavor



Pour the contents over the noodles. If I’m feeling decadent, I’ll add a poached egg (runnnnnny) and I always top the whole thing off with some spicy chili radishes. That bowl will take your energy into the wee hours, really.

so easy!



Soy Sauce Chicken
[print recipe]

4-6 chicken drums (organic is preferable)
4-5 stalks green onions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
8 slices ginger root, peeled
2-3 whole star anise
2/3 cup soy sauce
2 tbsps sugar
enough water to cover the chicken

Place all ingredients in a pan with a tight lid (or use a crockpot). Bring to boil and then reduce to a simmer so that when you cover the pot, the liquid will not boil over. Simmer for 2 hours. I like to remove the bone and skin from the chicken and serve the meat with the broth over Chinese noodles with bok choy, napa cabbage, or spinach for a Chinese noodle soup.

39 nibbles at “my lunch”

  1. Ma-li says:

    Wow! I don’t mind having one of that now. Sure looks yummy! :)

  2. peabody says:

    That looks great for cold weather.

  3. African Vanielje says:

    I think this will be dinner tonight. Thank you.

  4. African Vanielje says:

    Jenn, what camera do you use. I am trying to decide which camera I want to put on my christmas wish list (doesn’t mean I’ll get it, but my pics are hopeless and yours are gorgeous. ) I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s not the camera that’s at fault, but I am a crappy enough photographer to need all the help I can get.

  5. Anh says:

    Delicious!

  6. hannehanne says:

    I love the colours! I can tell this must be delicious, because the colours are so deep and rich.

  7. beruta says:

    mmmmmmmm!!!

  8. Katie says:

    This looks sooooo good. I am going to have to try it this week!

  9. Anita says:

    Jen,
    I love your photography – it’s so clear and simple and stunning. Not to mention I’m supremely jealous of that gorgeous bank of windows I saw in your last post! *sigh* I’m taking pictures in a tiny apartment that gets good light for about 2 hours each day. Love coming here and being inspired by your photos!

  10. Esther says:

    That sounds wonderful, including the egg on top. It may well get on next weeks menu to try.

  11. Kevin says:

    This looks and sounds really good.

  12. holybasil says:

    I’ve never tried this noodle soup. It sounds so wonderful.

    There just aren’t enough days for me to try all your recipes, Jen!

  13. jenyu says:

    Ma-li – isn’t it funny how a bowl of this stuff makes you hungry?

    Peabody – great for cold weather and incredibly comforting when sick!

    AV – I hope you like it! I’ll send you an email about cameras.

    Anh – thank you :)

    hannehanne – I think it is especially good when served piping hot.

    beruta – you said it.

    katie – great, i hope it works out for you.

    Anita – you’re too sweet. Your photos are great too. The lack of daylight hours is putting a cramp in my style though. I may have to resort to flash before you know it!

    Esther – yeah, that egg does it for me ;) I just love a runny yolk. My husband is afraid of them (runny yolks) hee hee.

    Kevin – thanks!

    HB – Ah, you’re kidding me? You’re like my sister in Asian food! How can you not have had this before? Okay, to be fair, I don’t make pho as often as I’d like. But now that I can snarf recipes from your blog, I know they’ll be authentic and delicious.

  14. Ma-li says:

    Not only is your cooking great, your photography skills is excellent as well! The pictures of your food are simply ‘so inviting’ …… wish I get a bite out of it :D Hahhahahaaa

  15. butternut says:

    I saw your savory bowl of soup and i knew i had to make it …i follwed your recipe but with out the aniseand i tweeked it a bit by adding garlic instead of anise…i made the stock yesterday so im planning to make the somen inspired noodles today for dinner…its perfect becasue its gloomy and rainy in boston!

  16. Tartelette says:

    Exactly what I was craving for dinner tonight and still crave by the way, so this shall be dinner saturday night!

  17. jenyu says:

    Butternut – I hope it came out wonderfully. I am not a fan of licorice… anise. But believe it or not, this actually adds a nice accent that I never would have guessed. It’s fine without, but it is also lovely with.

    Tartelette – great! It’s easy peasy and really warms your insides :)

  18. Traca says:

    Yowza! This looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it. Thanks!

  19. Jay says:

    I made this last night and it came out very good. This morning, the left over broth was very concentrated and I was surprised at the low level of fat left over from the organic chicken. Good choice. I think the noodles cooled the broth down too much, as I rinsed them with cold water, so I’ll try and pick up a bigger soup bowl today. Thanks!

  20. Esther says:

    I made this yesterday and it went down very well with everyone including the small one who had lots of fun eating the noodles :) We had eggs which it was agreed worked well but they would also have been happy without it without them as they liked it so much. I have enough left for my lunch in a minute which is even better. Definetly one to add to the regular recipe list.

  21. jenyu says:

    Traca – it’s pretty easy and really tasty.

    Jay – Great! So glad you liked it. Very versatile recipe too.

    Esther – Fantastic. Not very difficult to make, was it? A great goto recipe in colder weather :)

  22. Katie Atkinson says:

    Finally cooked this – its been in my recipe file for ages! My Bf is self confessed doll noodle king tho, and only when he’s away do i dare to experiement with noodles. Even have some of the same noodles as u used, and i agree about the runny yolk of the poached egg – makes the soup thick and mmmmmmmmm. This recipe is amazing, and the smell is intense, found myself pacing around the kitchen like a cat trying to finds turkey! x

  23. jenyu says:

    Katie – ha ha! That’s a great image of a cat pacing ;) I’m so happy you like it. It’s one of my comfort foods!

  24. Look and Taste’s Food Blog » Blog Archive » A profile of guest bloggers Jennifer Yu from ‘Use Real Butter’ says:

    [...] of Chinese noodle soup ready for lunch.  [here is a link if you want to see what it looks like: http://userealbutter.com/2007/11/13/chinese-soy-sauce-chicken-recipe/  Po Po filled a Chinese spoon with a little broth, a little bit of noodles, a little spinach, a [...]

  25. Daphne says:

    This looks so good. I’m trying it tonight for dinner without star anise but with some garlic & carrots :) I even bought the same somen noodles!! :D

  26. Zak says:

    Love your narrative and recipe. Crockpot worked like a charm. I put everything in it, left it on high for a couple hours, came home to some wonderful chicken. I boiled some eggs and left them in the crockpot (on low) overnight. I added a little shaoxing rice wine too. Great recipe!

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  29. laning says:

    I made this dish two weeks ago for dinner and was really surprised at how flavourful the soup was, considering how simple the ingredients were. We both loved it.. thank you.

  30. Jan P says:

    Oooh, totally making this for the week! It’s cold and rainy here in the Bay Area, and I am under the weather. Simple recipe and good pick me up. :)

  31. Laurel says:

    Dear Jen,
    You just fixed a very bad no good day with this soup. I made the broth last night and came home after a long, unproductive, and incredibly frustrating day attempting and failing to get some research done. I had the soup and suddenly the world is right again.
    Thank you,
    Laurel

  32. jenyu says:

    Laurel – I’m so glad to hear it and I’m sorry about your frustrating day. This is a soup that my grandma would make for me when I was little. I think of it as a grandma’s hug. xoxo

  33. EAC says:

    Dear Jen,
    I cooked this soup today, following your recipe, and lost my mind! It is so absolutely good I don’t know where to start! I discovered your site last year. Everything about it is wonderful! The pics, the recipes, the texts! Thanks for making the day of food-loving people! EA from Argentina.

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  38. Stacey says:

    I was wondering where you get your spicy chili radishes from? I would love to make this, and the addition of spicy chili radishes sounds amazing!

  39. jenyu says:

    Stacey – you can find those in any Asian grocery store.

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