Makes 5 servings
6 ounces fresh spinach leaves
6 cups dashi (basic Japanese sea stock)
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons mirin
1 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 leeks, cleaned and cut into 1-inch slices on the diagonal
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
21 ounces fresh udon noodles
5 large eggs
1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and cook the spinach for one minute. Quickly drain the spinach and plunge it into a bowl of cold water. Drain and rinse with cold water until the spinach is completely cold. Squeeze out the water, then cut into 1-inch lengths. Set aside.
2. Mix the dashi, soy sauce, mirin, and salt together in a 4-quart saucepan, then stir in the garlic and ginger. Add the sliced carrots and leeks, then bring the liquid to a boil over medium heat.
3. Add the chicken and simmer until just cooked through, about 5 minutes.
4. Add the udon noodles and place the spinach in 5 small bundles on the top. Simmer for 3 minutes.
5. Gently crack the eggs, one at a time, into the soup. Cover the pot with a lid, and let simmer for 3 minutes, then turn off the heat and let sit to allow the eggs to finish cooking.