This recipe for teriyaki chicken noodle soup is an easy, intuitive way to liven up a classic chicken noodle soup. Marinate and sear juicy chicken thighs, then reuse that flavorful teriyaki-style sauce to build up a rich, hearty broth. I love all the textures in this soup: wide udon noodles and crisp-tender bok choy beautifully balance the rich teriyaki flavors.
What Does Teriyaki Mean?
The meaning of teriyaki refers to a Japanese method of cooking that combines grilling (“yaki”) with glaze (“teri” meaning “shine”). Traditionally, teriyaki requires grilling a protein like fish with a glaze of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sugar. This recipe incorporates fresh ginger and garlic into a quick chicken marinade. By reserving the marinade and thickening it with chopped spring onions, we’re able to build up a flavorful, aromatic soup base.
A Tip for Cooking Bok Choy
When adding the bok choy, try to submerge the stalks in the broth, buoyed by chicken pieces, and let the green parts float on the surface; the greens will steam slightly while the stalks boil for an evenly boiled texture.
- Almost any combination of vegetables works well with this recipe. In addition to mushrooms and carrots, try radishes, red cabbage, bell peppers, or other mushroom varieties.
- Use bone-in chicken thighs for added flavor and tenderness. Remove the chicken from the bone at step 5 when shredding the chicken into bite-size pieces.
Marinate the chicken:
Stir together the soy sauce, sugar, mirin, ginger, and garlic in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes or up to 1 hour (beyond that, the high concentration of soy sauce can affect the texture of the chicken).
While the chicken marinates, cook the noodles:
Prepare the noodles according to package directions.
Chop the scallions:
Chop the scallions, separating the white and pale green parts from the dark green parts; set aside.
Brown the marinated chicken:
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Set a colander or large strainer over a bowl and drain, allowing the excess to drip off. Reserve 1/4 cup marinade; discard remaining marinade.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown on both sides and a thermometer inserted into the chicken registers 165°F, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a medium bowl.
Build the broth:
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add the chopped white and pale green scallions; cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and translucent, about 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup reserved marinade to the Dutch oven. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the broth, stirring constantly, until combined. Bring to a boil over high.
Shred the chicken:
While the broth is coming to a boil, shred the chicken into bite-size pieces using two forks. Add the shredded chicken and its accumulated juices to the Dutch oven and bring back to a simmer over medium.
Cook the bok choy and mushrooms:
Add the bok choy and mushrooms to the Dutch oven and cover. Reduce the heat to a simmer over medium; cook, covered, until the bok choy stalks and mushrooms are tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the noodles and serve:
Add the cooked noodles to the Dutch oven and stir to combine. Divide the soup among 4 bowls, sprinkle with the dark green scallions, and serve.
You can store the soup in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months.
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