Udon (wide flat noodle)

400 g dry udon (2 - 200 g pkgs.)

4 cups water (for stock)

1 cup Memmi

1 cup fresh chicken breast, cut in fairly small pieces

3-4 dried shiitake

1 scallion, chopped

Kakiage (optional - see below before commencing)

Soak shiitake in 1 cup water for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile boil about 8 qt. water and cook dry udon noodles as you would spaghetti for about 16 minutes or until tender (al dente). Time varies depending on which type you buy.

Start your stock. Boil 4 cups water. Reduce heat to slow boil and add Memmi. Add raw chicken and shiitake, including the cup of water shiitake was soaking in, yielding 5 cups broth. High heat until boiling resumes then reduce heat to slow boil for about 3-4 minutes so that the chicken is cooked.

Important side note: Kakiage "tempura crunchies" (a topping) are made by dropping small amounts of tempura batter into boiling oil, making small crunchy pieces of fried tempura batter. Perfect timing is to take the kakiage out of the oil and get it onto the individual bowls of udon immediately as the bowls are served, or put in a separate community bowl. Kakiage has an effective shelf life of about one minute, so don't let it sit around while you're waiting for grace or because you're not ready to serve and eat. Provided the batter and hot oil are ready, it takes just seconds to make. Tempura and udon go well together, as tempura materials are used for kakiage. Needless to say, kakiage may be omitted if it's too much trouble.

Serve drained udon in large individual bowls. Add an appropriate amount of stock with chicken and shiitake to each bowl. Top with chopped scallion and kakiage. Eat immediately. Serves 4.