While most starved in college, we flourished. Well... senior year at least. My apartment-mates loved food just as much as I did. Yennei would go home and come back with arms full of grocery bags filled with delicious things to try- red chicken, dumplings, taro duck, etc. Dominating the kitchen was Asako with her set of standard issue Japanese spices. She could make cardboard taste good. It was always some combination of oyster sauce, soy sauce, and spice. We took good care of each other. MAYAMYAM always.
It was during this time I was introduced to one of my favorite vegetables: bok choy! It's like cabbage- but so much better. Something feels more fresh- the stems are strong and the leaves vibrant green. When I stumbled upon this recipe in The Kitchen, I knew I had to give it a shot. Asako's favorite noodle is Udon!
This is a perfectly light and tasty soup. It's super easy to make too! The broth is full of flavor and I loved the poached eggs.
I made some minor adaptations. If you can find Star Anise, more power to you! Cuz I sure as hell couldn't. I settled with extract. The original required wayyyy too many noodles. Even with 7 ounces, I feel like it was a hearty amount. I rather add more bok choy to bank in the nutritional points. It says it feeds 2... but it easily holds 4 servings. Add as many eggs as you want. I used reduced sodium broth and soy sauce.
4-5 cups chicken broth
2 whole star anise or substitute a tablespoon or two Anise Extract teaspoons
1 stick cinnamon-- seriously just one, anymore and it's too sweet
1 7-ounce packages udon noodles
4-5 bok choy leaves, sliced into ribbons
2-4 spring onions, thinly sliced
3-4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Bring the chicken broth to a simmer in a medium sauce pan. (The broth should be about 2 inches deep in the pan.) Add the star anise/extract and cinnamon and simmer for 5 minutes to infuse the broth with the spices. Add noodles. Let simmer for another 5 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
Crack the eggs into separate measuring cups and slip them one at a time into the broth. Cook for two minutes. Add bok choy and stir very gently so as not to break the eggs. Cook for an additional two minutes, until the egg whites are completely set but the middles are still loose. It's ready when the yolk has set.
Off the heat, gently stir in the soy sauce, garlic powder, and the spring onions. Taste and add more soy sauce if necessary. Remove the star anise and cinnamon with a slotted spoon. Serve immediately.