I think there should be a t-shirt or sign that reads: Miso butter just makes it all better. Not soba noodles, shredded chicken, and crunchy vegetables come together in one pot. It take half an hour to make from start to finish, but it'll only take a fraction of that time to slurp it all up whether you use chopsticks or forks.
Combining salty, deeply savory miso with butter creates an intensely rich sauce with a nutty aroma that works perfectly for coating noodles and tender shreds of chicken. The kicker for the recipe is that I use skin-on chicken thighs that brown in the pan, releasing bits of char as well as tasty drippings that are later used as the cooking liquid for the soba noodles.
The hot noodles are tossed with the miso-butter combo and quickly absorb its addictive flavor. I top it off with scallions, cilantro, and crunchy bean sprouts for that necessary hit of fresh crunch.
Why this recipe works:
- Searing the chicken first ensures extra flavor and tasty drippings in the pot.
- Cooking the soba in chicken drippings adds tons of flavor.
- Miso butter makes it all better.
- 1 pound bone-in, skin on chicken thighs (about 3 thighs)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon white miso paste
- 3 bundles dried soba noodles (about 6 ounces)
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced, white and light green parts
- 1/2 cup picked cilantro leaves
- 1 cup picked bean sprouts
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook the chicken, skin-side down, until crisp, about 7 minutes. Flip and cook until the second side has browned, about 4 minutes more. Add the broth, adjust the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until the chicken has cooked through, about 12 minutes more. Meanwhile, mix the butter and miso together in a small bowl.
Transfer the chicken to a plate and shred with a fork and knife. Discard skin and bones. Bring the broth to a hard boil over high heat. Add the noodles and cook according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving broth for another use if desired, and immediately toss in a serving bowl with the miso-butter. Toss to coat, then add in the chicken. Top with scallions, cilantro and sprouts. Serve immediately with lemon wedges