Chicken Udon ala Hototay

Chicken Udon Soup ala Hototay

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This summer made us realize we need to lose weight. Pag sumikip ang mga damit, yun na yun. Hindi pa naman bagay sa summer clothes ang namumutok na bilbil. The plan is… go back to regular exercise and a low carb diet menu. Sort of. More veggies, less rice.

With this latest challenge, I accidentally concocted this Udon soup ala-hototay. Sarap.

2 Chicken breast
1 onion, peeled
1 Carrot, diced
A handful of green beans, cut diagonally into thin slices
Pechay, cut thinly
120g Udon noodles
Freshly ground pepper
1 Egg
Stalks of chives, cut into rings
Fried, crispy onion
Cooked chicken liver, sliced thinly (optional)

Add chicken breast to a pot of boiling water. Bring to boil. Add peppercorns and salt and simmer to make stock until chicken is cooked. Remove chicken from the pot and set aside.

Continue boiling the chicken stock. Add onion and carrots and simmer while deboning the cooled chicken. Discard the bones. Sprinkle salt and pepper if desired and set aside.

Season soup with salt and pepper. Add udon to stock and cover with a lid. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until udon is almost cooked. Throw in sliced beans and cover. Simmer for another 3 minutes. By this time, udon is al dente. Turn off heat. Add the sliced pechay and cover with a lid for another minute until pechay is cooked.

Microwave chicken meat for a minute.

Arrange noodles and veggies in a bowl. Top it up with chicken meat and sliced liver. Pour hot soup and crack an egg on top. Garnish with chives and crispy onion.

(Note that I didn’t chop the onion for the chicken stock. This way, it’s easier to discard the onion afterwards. Kiddo is “onion-lergic”.)

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I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

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