When bad days strike, the best thing you can do is try to end your evening on a high note. My high note is a bowl of delicious soba noodles with ultra crispy chicken and earthy golden beets. If you don't have dashi powder or you can't find the ingredients to make dashi stock, just use chicken stock.
Cost: Approximately $7.38 per serving.* (This price doesn't include dried herbs, oil, and other common pantry items.)
Skill Level: Easy
Time to Make: 35 minutes
4 boneless skin-on chicken thighs
8 ounces soba noodles
1 golden beet
3 teaspoons dashi powder
5 cups water (or chicken stock if you're not using dashi)
1 teaspon mirin
2 tablespoons soy sauce (or more to taste)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons raw pepitas
1 1-inch knob of ginger
1/2 serrano pepper (or more depending on how spicy you like it)
1/3 cup canola oil, plus more
Salt and pepper to taste
Soft-boiled eggs, for serving
Prep Main Ingredients: Prepare the soba noodles according to package instructions in a medium pot. Drain and wipe out the pan. Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper all over. Scrub and peel the golden beet. Cut in half and then slice very thinly into half moons. Thinly slice the shallot into rounds. Peel the ginger and use the peeler to shave the ginger into thin strips. Mince the serrano pepper. Trim and mince the scallions.
Make the Broth: In the same pot you used to cook the soba noodles, add the water and dashi powder (or stock) and bring to a boil. Stir in the scallions, soy sauce, mirin, and sesame oil. Taste and season with salt, pepper, or more soy sauce. Reduce to a simmer and keep on the back burner as you prepare the rest of the meal.
Make the Fried Shallot Mixture: Heat canola oil in a small pot over medium high until very hot. Add the shallots and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. Right as the shallots turn a light golden color, add the ginger. Once the shallots and ginger begin to turn a darker brown color, add the minced serrano and the pepitas. Cook until everything is a nice dark brown color. (Be very careful not to burn, adjust the heat as necessary. If things start to dark too quickly, immediately turn off the heat and remove the mixture from the oil.) Once the entire mixture is evenly browned, transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Season with salt. Discard the oil.
Make the chicken: Heat a slick of oil in a skillet over medium high until very hot. Fry the chicken, skin side down until very, very crispy about 10 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary to keep from burning. Flip and cook a few more additional minutes until a meat thermometer reads 165ºF. Remove from the pan, gently slice into 3 or 4 pieces on an angle, and keep warm.
During the last five minutes of the chicken cooking, add the sliced golden beets to the dashi broth and bring to a low boil. Cook until the beets are fork-tender but not falling apart.
To Serve: Divide noodles between bowls. Ladle the hot broth over and arrange golden beets on top. Divide the chicken between bowls and sprinkle with the fried shallot mixture. Serve with soft boiled eggs. Enjoy!
Designer and photographer living in NYC. I work as a design manager in ed tech and I make tasty recipes in my spare time!