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Chicken and Buckwheat Noodle Soup

Buckwheat or soba noodles are widely enjoyed in Japan. The simplest way of serving them is in hot seasoned broth. Almost any topping can be added and the variations are endless.

ingredients

serves 4
225 g (8 oz) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
120 ml (4 fl oz) 1/2 cup soy sauce
15 ml (1 tbsp) sake
1 litre (1 3/4 pints) 4 cups chicken stock
2 pieces young leek, cut into 2.5 cm (1 in) pieces
175 g (6 oz) spinach leaves
300 g (11 oz) buckwheat or soba noodles sesame seeds, toasted, to garnish

method

1. Slice the chicken diagonally into bite-size pieces. Combine the soy sauce and sake in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Add the chicken and cook gently for about 3 minutes until it is tender. Keep hot.

2. Bring the stock to the boil in a saucepan. Add the leek and simmer for 3 minutes, then add the spinach. Remove from the heat but keep warm

3. Cook the noodles in a large saucepan of boiling water until just tender, following the manufacturer's directions on the packet.

4. Drain the noodles and divide among individual serving bowls. Ladle the hot soup into the bowls, then add a portion of chicken to each. Serve at once, sprinkled with sesame seeds.

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