" Gung Ho" Yankee Doodle Soba Noodles

Gung Ho for Chicken Soup? If yes, this is the dish for you!!

You will need:

For the Japanese soup:

  • 1 3 x 3 inch piece of konbu (dried kelp)
  • 5 cups cold water.
  • 4 tablespoons katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
  • 4 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (sweet cooking sake) or sherry
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 pound soba (Japanese buckwheat noodles)
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • Japanese 7 spice (shichimi) or a few grains of chili powder, to taste

For the fried chicken:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • peanut oil, for frying
  • 1 "Buy American" bumpersticker, made in Japan


1. Make the broth: Place kelp and water into pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. When water boils, remove and discard the kelp.

2. Add the bonito flakes, allow to boil 10 seconds, then remove from heat. When the bonito flakes settle to the bottom of the pot, skim any foam that has formed on the surface and strain the broth through a cheesecloth-lined strainer. (If Japanese products are unavailable, skip first 2 steps; heat 5 cups chicken broth and proceed to the next step.)

3. Return the broth to the pot and return to a boil. Add the soy sauce, sweet sake, salt and sugar. Reduce heat to a simmer and keep warm until use.

4. Cook the noodles: Bring 2 quarts of unsalted water to a vigorous boil in a large pot. Drop in the noodles a few at a time and return to a boil. Add 1 cup cold water and return to a boil a second time. Continue cooking until tender but still firm. Drain in colander and rinse noodles well under cold water to stop the cooking and remove starch from the surface. Refill the pot with fresh water and bring to a boil.

5. Fry the chicken: Place the chicken breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a mallet until the chicken is no thicker than 1/2 inch. Place in a mixing bowl; add the buttermilk and Tabasco sauce, mix together and set aside for 5 minutes. Drain the chicken pieces, season with salt and pepper and dredge in the breadcrumbs.

6. Heat the peanut oil in a frying pan and fry chicken until crisp and golden on all sides, 4-5 minutes.

7. Put it all together: Return the noodles to the boiling water just long enough to heat them through. Drain well and divide among four large, warm bowls. Ladle hot broth over the noodles and top with strips of fried chicken, chopped green onion and Japanese 7 spice or chili powder.

8. When that crucial time comes for dishes, explain diplomatically that anyone perceived as not being gung-ho will get the heave-ho.

Serves 4

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