Country-Style Chicken Soup

Kashiwa-Jiru

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

An American Taste of Japan

An American Taste of Japan

By Elizabeth Andoh

Published 1985

  • About

Brimming with tasty bits of chicken, fried bean curd, and vegetables, this filling chowderlike soup is thickened with mellow bean paste. The Japanese would make a light meal of this by adding steamed rice and pickles to the menu; you might translate that to read a hot, crusty peasant loaf and a tossed green salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 large chicken breast, 5–6 ounces with skin and bones removed
  • 1 teaspoon saké (Japanese rice wine) pinch salt
  • 1 piece abura agé (fried bean curd), about by inches
  • cups dashi (basic sea stock)
  • 1 teaspoon mirin (syrupy rice wine)
  • 1 teaspoon usukuchi shōyu (light soy sauce)
  • 2 ounces carrot, peeled and cut in 1½- by ¼-inch julienne strips
  • 3 ounces daikon (Japanese white radish), peeled and cut like carrots
  • tablespoons sbiro miso (light fermented bean paste)
  • 1 slender scallion, trimmed and chopped fine (green and white parts)

Method

Holding the knife diagonal to the cutting board, slice the chicken breast across the grain into thin, broad slices. You may find it easier to use partially frozen meat. Stack several of these slices at a time and cut lengthwise to yield fairly uniform strips approximately inches long and ¼ inch wide. Toss these slices in the rice wine until they’re coated, then sprinkle all with a pinch of salt. Bring several cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Blanch the chicken in it, stirring to separate the strips, for 10 seconds or just until the surface of the chicken turns white. Remove the strips with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate.

In the same boiling water, blanch the fried bean curd for 15 seconds or until the slice puffs slightly and a film of oil clearly appears on the water’s surface. Drain the bean curd and blot dry on paper towels. Cut the bean curd in half lengthwise, then across into narrow (-inch) strips.

Heat the stock and season with the syrupy rice wine and light soy sauce. Add the fried bean curd and the julienned carrot and radish. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the chicken and continue to cook for 1 more minute or until heated through.

In a separate bowl, dissolve the light bean paste in a bit of hot broth, then pour this mixture back into the pot. Stir to combine thoroughly. Sprinkle with the scallions and serve the soup hot.