This chicken and mushroom udon soup is made with a rich but relatively quick homemade stock and lots of mushrooms. Finished with a dollop of sweet and spicy black sesame paste, you’ll want to make this meal over and over again.
I am a huge udon fan. I love the big, slurpable noodles, and they pair perfectly with a rich stock.
In this chicken and mushroom udon soup recipe, I make a quick chicken stock, using hard-seared aromatics and bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and breasts. While homemade stock is almost always better when it has lots of time to cook, I find this one-hour stock gets the job done and tastes delicious.
The trick? Leave the skin on the onions and garlic and do a hard sear first. This will bring out the most flavor and the paper from the garlic and onions will add great color and deeper flavor to the stock.
This chicken and mushroom udon soup has a few components:
- The stock: onion, garlic, lemongrass, shiitake stems, and chicken.
- The soup ingredients: mushrooms and shredded chicken from the stock.
- The garnish: a blend of crunchy black sesame paste, chili oil, sesame oil, and maple syrup.
How to make this chicken and mushroom udon:
This chicken and mushroom udon soup is an amazing blend of flavors. It is a bit time-consuming, but fortunately, you can get everything prepped for the soup as the stock cooks.
First, prepare the stock. Start by searing the chicken and taking it out of the pot. Next, add the aromatics and cook until they begin to char and brown. Add the chicken and mushroom stems to the pot and cover with water. Bring to a rolling boil and then reduce heat to medium. The broth should hard simmer–not quite a boil, but harder than a low simmer–for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The broth will reduce by about half.
While the stock cooks, chop and dice the ingredients for the soup. Use this time to prepare the sesame topping and cook the udon noodles.
Once you’ve strained the stock, simply shred the meat from the bones. Wipe out the stockpot and cook the mushrooms, add the shredded chicken, and the reserved strained stock.
From there, simply ladle the hot soup over the cooked noodles. Finish each dish with a dollop of black sesame paste and sliced scallions.
Chicken and Mushroom Udon Soup
- Fine mesh sieve
- 2 tablespoon neutral oil divided
- 2 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
- 1 pound bone-in skin-on chicken breasts
- 6- inch piece of lemongrass tough outer layers removed and stalk smashed lightly with the back of a knife
- 1 large yellow onion skin left on, quartered
- 1 head of garlic halved crosswise
- 6 ounces shiitake mushrooms stems reserved and caps thinly sliced
- 10 cups water
- 6 ounces cremini mushrooms trimmed and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 4 scallions thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
- Salt and pepper to taste
Black sesame topping:
- 16 ounces udon noodles
- Sesame seeds optional
Prepare the stock:
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken, skin-side down and in batches, for 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
- Add the lemongrass , onion,and garlic, cut-side down, and cook without moving for 5 minutes until the garlic turns golden brown. Flip the garlic so it doesn’t burn and continue to cook the onions, cut-side down, for an additional 2–3 minutes until the onion starts to char.
Simmer the broth:
- Add the shiitake stems and chicken back to the pot, cover with 10 cups of water, and season liberally with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a hard simmer (not quite boiling, but not as low as a simmer). Hard simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the stock has reduced by half and the chicken is very tender. Occasionally skim any foam or scum from the top of the stock as it cooks.
Strain the stock:
- Remove the chicken from the pot and transfer to a bowl to cool. Strain the broth into a bowl through a fine mesh sieve. Discard the solids and wipe out the pot. Return it to the stovetop.
- Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, pick the meat from the bones and shred into bite-sized pieces. Discard the skin and bones.
Prepare the soup:
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon neutral oil in the pot over medium-high heat. Add the sliced shiitake caps and sliced cremini mushrooms and cook for 8–10 minutes. Add the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Pour in the prepared stock, soy sauce, sesame oil, and white parts of the scallions. Add enough water to cover the chicken and mushrooms, as needed. You may need an additional 2–3 cups water. Taste and season it to your preferences. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Prepare the black sesame topping:
- In a bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the black sesame topping. Taste and adjust to your preferences.
Cook the udon noodles:
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles according to package instructions. Drain, rinse, and divide between 4 bowls.
- Ladle the broth over the cooked udon. Garnish with the sweet and spicy sesame paste, minced scallion greens, and sesame seeds. Enjoy!