Nabeyaki Udon

Chicken Vegetable Soup

The nabe is a table top pot, sometimes cast iron but more often it is a ceramic pot with a lid. In the simplest nabe dishes, the pot has simmering broth and the diners cook their own morsels in the pot, placing and retrieving the food bits with their chopsticks. All this while the dinner conversation flows about them. After, noodles are added to the now flavored broth to make soup. Same pot but a somewhat different dish is a premade, thick and hearty soup, nabeyaki, in other words, a one-pot nabe dish made in the sukiyaki style. To say what is in nabeyaki is difficult as there is no definitive recipe. The recipes vary from place to place, with each locale having a familiar topping. There is no right or wrong list of ingredients. It is safe to say that nabeyaki will usually contain familiar ingredients from the Japanese larder. It is probably also safe to say a good nabeyaki can be made out of the left-over items you have just cleared out of the refrigerator.

My better half wouldn’t be happy at all if I added a nabe to my already sizeable kitchen gadget collection. She is also very much against my cutting a hole in the dining room table to fit a burner for a nabe. So, to preserve domestic tranquility, I improvise and use my crock pot. After all, it is a ceramic pot and I can sit it on the table. To save time, this soup is made with prepackaged chicken and vegetable broths, frozen vegetables, frozen pepper strips and canned mushrooms augmented with fresh vegetables. It all fits very nicely in a 4-quart crock pot.

Preparation: 3 hours Life Experience Recipe
Serves 4 to 6 persons
  • 2 14-ounce cans chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pound bag frozen broccoli stir-fry mix
  • 1 cup frozen Bell pepper strips
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 scallions, sliced diagonally
  • 1 14-ounce can vegetable broth
  • 1 4-ounce can sliced button mushrooms
  • 2 7-ounce packages prepared udon noodles
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce/marinade
  • Red pepper flakes, in shaker
  1. Place chicken breasts and teriyaki sauce in zip lock bag. Carefully squeeze out all the air and seal the bag. Knead gently to distribute the marinade over all the chicken surface. Place in refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours, turning every hour.
  2. Place vegetable broth and water in crock pot and turn on pot to heat the liquid
  3. Place 2 cans of the chicken broth in a small saucepan and parboil the carrot slices until almost tender. Add frozen vegetables and pepper strips and hat through. Add to the crock pot. (This particular frozen vegetable combination has broccoli, carrots, onions, red Bell pepper, celery, water chestnuts and mushrooms. Select other combinations to your liking.) Add mushrooms.
  4. Grill chicken until browned an grill marks are apparent. Cook for appearance - the chicken will complete cooking in the broth. Remove from grill and allow to cool enough for safe handling. Cut into bite sized pieces. When the crock pot liquid is simmering, add chicken pieces to the pot.
  5. In a medium saucepan with lightly salted boiling water, add noodles and parboil until they separate. Don’t use the flavoring packets included with the noodles. Drain and add noodles to the crock pot. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Slice scallions and place in a small bowl for the table along with the red pepper flakes. Ladle bowls full of soup. Garnish with a pinch of sliced scallions and a shake of red pepper flakes.

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Latest revision done June 2006
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