Photo: Sang An; Styling: Philippa Bathwaite
Hands-on Time
32 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 2 Mins
Serves 4

Thick Japanese udon noodles are the soul of Chicken-Udon Soup. Meaty shiitake mushrooms, fragrant star anise, and a touch of dry rice wine deepen the soup's flavor.

How to Make It

Step 1

Remove stems from mushrooms; reserve stems. Thinly slice mushroom caps; set aside. Combine mushroom stems, Chicken Stock, and next 4 ingredients (through star anise) in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes. Strain stock through a sieve over a bowl; discard solids.

Step 2

Cook udon noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain well.

Step 3

Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add canola oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add reserved sliced mushroom caps to pan, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add minced ginger and minced garlic; sauté for 1 minute. Add sake, and cook for 4 minutes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add stock to pan. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium-low. Add chicken, soy sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, and salt; simmer for 2 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly heated. Divide noodles evenly among 4 bowls. Add 1 1/2 cups soup to each bowl. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon green onions.

Chef's Notes

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Ratings & Reviews

pamela661's Review

February 04, 2013
Holy cow this soup was delicious! I made this soup because my boyfriend is getting a bit of a cold. I wanted a brothy chicken soup, but not just plain old chicken noodle. I only changed the recipe by using somen noodles (thin wheat noodles) instead of udon because that's what I had, I added a handful of shredded lacinato kale, and I added a handful of carrot tops to the broth. Everything else was followed to the letter. Fantastic soup, really. This could be easily converted to a vegetarian soup by eliminating chicken, and using a veggie or mushroom broth instead of chicken broth. I added this to our permanent repertoire.

ChefLake's Review

March 01, 2012
This soup reminds me of the Pho we eat when we go to our favorite Pho restaurant. I, like the others, like a very brothy soup and doubled the ingredients for the broth and used fresh udon noodles. Because I had Sake on-hand, I used it. For accompaniments we use: fresh Thai basil, cilantro, and culantro (Thai herb); sliced Thai chilis; sriracha sauce, fresh lime sections, and of course the sliced green onions. These make all the difference in the world! This has now become one of our favorite chicken soups. We even use our chop sticks and Chinese soup spoons to get every delicious drop!


December 09, 2016
We made this soup last night and loved it! I cubed the chicken rather than shredded it.  I've never made any soup with star anise and WOW! Delightful! And strangely, I was stuffed before I could get another bowl - it was much more filling than expected.

Decrease the honey

January 13, 2016
This soup has some great flavors. Even with using button mushroom stems, my broth captured the mushroom flavor. I also added a bunch of sliced baby bok choy and some thick grated carrot. Our bowls were topped with soba noodles (didn't have udon on hand) and sauteed shredded zucchini. My only issue was the amount of honey as listed. Was much too sweet. I would recommend using half of the amount and tasting.

Leanne EOwen's Review

Leanne EOwen
March 05, 2012
Outstanding! I did not change a thing. Great soup - definitely will make again!

liafinney's Review

February 09, 2012
I used my own home made broth, to which I added the carcass of a grilled game hen and used the meat from it to make the soup. Like others, I didn't have star anise, so used a pinch of 5 spice powder and more vegetables. I used fresh udon noodles (from a package; toss the flavor pack) and added a little sake to the broth just before serving. Nice soup, nice change, but nothing I would serve to anyone other than hubby and self.

mc1981's Review

February 08, 2012
This soup was a huge hit. It is much more filing than it would seem. I substituted 1/2 tsp anise seed for star anise. Also, as was mentioned by another reviewer, I would make about 1.5 times as much broth in order to get the noodles covered.

Melhoney1's Review

February 01, 2012
This was fantastic....I did not have the star anise...did not miss it either. Great combination. I also used portabellas as that is what I had. I added sriracha sauce to the finished product..YUM!!

Belladonna714's Review

January 21, 2012
Best chicken noodle soup...ever! I simmer the broth on the lowest possible setting, and didn't seem to have the evaporation problem that other reviewers had. I will absolutely make this again! I think it would be great with tofu instead of chicken as well! I'm wondering if this would freeze well?

clukes25's Review

January 19, 2012
We loved this soup. I would absolutely double the broth the next time we make it - we also added sliced carrot and half of a diced yellow onion to pack in a few more veggies. Enjoy!