1. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Sprinkle with sake and leave to marinate for 15 minutes. Put the abura-age in a sieve and rinse with hot water. Drain on kitchen paper and cut each abura-age into 4 squares.
2. To make the soup, heat the water and stock granules in a large pan. When it has come to a boil, add the chicken, shiitake mushrooms and abura-age. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add spring onions.
3. Put the mirin and miso into a small bowl. Add 2 tbsp soup from the pan into the bowl and mix well. To cook the udon, boil at least 9 cups water in a large pan. Cook udon for 6 minutes and drain.
4. Put the udon in a flameproof clay pot or casserole. Mix teh miso paste into the soup and check the taste. Add more miso if required. Ladle enough coup to cover the udon, and arrange the soup ingredients on top of the udon. Put the soup over medium heat and break an egg on top. When the soup bubbles, wait for 1 minute, then cover and remove from heat. Leave to stand for 2 minutes.
Serve with shichimi togarashi, if you like.
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