Quick and easy to make and full of the BEST savory umami flavors, this Creamy Mushroom Udon with Chicken is made with bouncy udon noodles, perfectly seasoned and seared chicken pieces, shiitake mushrooms and baby spinach and a heavenly white wine miso cream sauce!
¼ – 1.5 TSP ground Cayenne (optional), to taste*(note 5)
½ – 1.5 TSP Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, to taste*(note 5)
To Serve: 1 TBLS chopped fresh Parsley
Season the chicken: Clean and pat-dry the chicken thigh fillets. Slice into bite-sized pieces and add to a medium bowl. Toss with ½ teaspoon olive oil, then season with kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper, garlic powder, and ground cayenne (or paprika) and mix to coat.
Prepare the rest of the ingredients: Finely chop the Asian red shallots, mince the garlic, and slice the mushrooms. Wash the baby spinach and set aside. Use a box grater to grate the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Measure out the dry white wine and cooking cream in separate measuring cups.
For the Creamy Mushroom Udon with Chicken:
Prepare the udon noodles: Bring a pot of water to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and add the udon noodle cakes. Use tongs to grab onto them, one at a time, and gently shake until the strands have separated and are tender. Reserve ¼ cup of udon cooking water before draining into a colander. Run cold water on top to prevent sticking.
Cook the chicken: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large deep sauté pan over medium high heat. Once hot, add the seasoned chicken pieces and spread them out in the pan. Allow to cook undisturbed for 1 minute. Then sauté for 3-4 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked. Transfer to a clean bowl and set aside.
Sauté shallots and garlic: Add 1 tablespoon unsalted butter to the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Once foamy, add the shallots and garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes until softened and fragrant.
Sauté the mushrooms: Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté for 1-2 minutes until starting to soften and become toasty on the edges. If the pan starts to look too dry, add a small drizzle of olive oil and continue cooking.
Add the wine and miso: Pour in the white wine and add the miso paste. Stir until the miso paste breaks down and the wine reduces. The mixture will be light brown and start to thicken.
Add the cream and seasonings: Reduce the heat to low and pour in the cooking cream. Stir in the seasonings and spices – the freshly cracked black pepper, dried oregano flakes, dried thyme, crushed red pepper flakes and ground cayenne – until combined well.
Stir in the cheese: Stir in the grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese until fully melted.
Add the baby spinach, udon and chicken: Add the baby spinach and mix well until it starts to wilt – about 1 minute. Add the udon noodles, 1-2 TBLS udon cooking water and the chicken. Mix well to combine until everything is evenly coated in the sauce. Switch off the heat.
To Serve: Divide evenly onto plates (or in bowls) and garnish with chopped fresh parsley. Serve immediately.
Asian Brown Mushrooms. I’ve used shiitakes, but any type of Asian mushrooms or even western mushrooms will work. Some great options are enoki (shimeji), maitake, oyster, cremini, champignon and button mushrooms. You could also use a combination of two or more types.
Cooking Cream: This is also known as single or light cream. It’s a cream with 20% fat content and is not super rich like heavy or double cream, which is usually 35% fat and above. If you would like to make the cream sauce lighter, you can opt to use half and half or whole milk instead and add a corn starch slurry to the sauce to help thicken it. It will still be delicious, just not as creamy. Stir in the corn starch slurry (1 tablespoon water mixed with 1 teaspoon corn starch) into the sauce before adding the noodles and chicken.
Udon Noodles. I’ve used vacuum sealed packs of pre-cooked shelf-stable udon noodles. They are available online and can also be found in Asian and Japanese supermarkets. Frozen udon noodles or par-cooked fresh udon noodles from the fridge section can also be used instead. Avoid using dried udon as it doesn’t have the same bouncy and chewy texture. You can also swap the udon for linguini, fettuccine, bucatini or other noodle-type of pasta you have on hand.
White Miso Paste. Also known as shiro miso or kome miso. This is a fermented Japanese paste made from rice and soybeans. It adds delicious savory umami notes to this creamy mushroom udon. You can purchase a tub in a mainstream or Asian supermarket, or a specialty Japanese ingredients grocery store.
Adjust spice level to taste. Use less or omit the ground cayenne for seasoning the chicken. Switch it out for paprika instead. You can also use less (or omit) the ground cayenne and crushed red pepper flakes in the creamy sauce.
Storing and leftovers. Store any leftovers in a sealed airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring halfway through, until hot throughout.
See ‘Variations’ section in the post above if you’d like to customize this creamy mushroom udon.