Dashi stock (made with kombu, bonito flakes, or whatever you like)
500 to 800 ml
Shredded nori seaweed
White sesame seeds
Cook the somen noodles so that they are on the firm side. Wash well under running water, and drain in a sieve.
Chop the chicken (breast or thigh meat) into 2 cm pieces, and sprinkle with sake.
Make sure to discard the yellow fat from the chicken, since it will affect the flavor of the soup.
Chop the umeboshi finely into a paste. Put the pit into the dashi stock and simmer. This will give a faint umeboshi flavor to the dashi. Julienne the shiso leaves.
When the dashi comes to a boil, dredge the chicken pieces with katakuriko and put into the pot.
When the chicken is cooked, turn off the heat, and taste the soup. If it lacks flavor, add a little soy sauce. Since the soup will become diluted after it's mixed with the noodles, so make sure it's a little concentrated.
Put the noodles in serving bowls, add the umeboshi paste and ladle in enough hot soup to cover. Top with the shredded shiso (plus myoga ginger if you like), sesame seeds and shredded nori seaweed and enjoy!
Story Behind this Recipe
I've always served this as the last course of a feast, as well as when we're fighting summer fatigue. My son is rather worn out from his sports club activities... so I feed him this.
If you like it, add dried shiitake mushrooms to the dashi stock for even more flavor. If you don't like chicken, you can omit it... but chicken is also full of umami. Be sure not to serve the umeboshi pits. I think that plain umeboshi that's not sweetened with honey tastes better... but it's up to you. You can use shiso leaves instead of green onion as garnish/topping.