Soba Soup with Chicken, Shrimp, and Vegetables


Kombu, or dried seaweed, enriches the broth, but if you can't find any, you can still make the soup. The broth can be made up to a day in advance.


For the Broth

  • 4 chicken legs

  • 1 square kombu (6 inches), optional

  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms, rinsed

  • 1 medium onion, quartered

  • 3 scallions, stems trimmed, chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed

  • 1 piece (3 inches) ginger, sliced

  • 1 jalapeno chile, sliced and seeded

  • 1 medium carrot, julienned

  • 1 napa cabbage leaf, quartered lengthwise

  • 8 to 10 cups water

For the Soup

  • 8 ounces soba

  • 1 teaspoon toasted-sesame oil

  • 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sake

  • 1 small head napa cabbage, tough outer leaves discarded, thinly sliced (4 cups)

  • 1 medium carrot, julienned

  • 12 large shell-on shrimp

  • 1 package (14 ounces) firm tofu, drained, patted dry, and cut into 1-inch cubes

  • Scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish


  1. Make the broth: Place chicken, kombu (if using), shiitakes, onion, scallions, garlic, ginger, jalapeno, carrot, and cabbage in a large pot. Add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil.

  2. Reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Strain into a pot, and reserve mushrooms and chicken; discard remaining solids. Skim fat from broth. Thinly slice mushrooms. Remove skin from chicken, then shred meat into 1-inch pieces. (Broth, mushrooms, and chicken will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 day.)

  3. Make the soup: Cook soba in a large pot of boiling water until soft but not mushy, about 7 minutes. Drain, and rinse with cold water. Toss soba in a large bowl with sesame oil.

  4. Add soy sauce and sake to broth, and bring to a boil. Add cabbage and carrot, and cook for 5 minutes. Add shrimp, and boil until cooked through, about 2 minutes. Peel shrimp, leaving tails intact, and reserve. Add reserved mushrooms and chicken and the tofu to the broth, and cook for 2 minutes.

  5. Divide mushrooms, chicken, soba, cabbage, carrot, and tofu among bowls. Top each with 2 or 3 shrimp. Spoon broth over each serving, and garnish with scallions. Serve with individual bowls of chile sauce.

Cook's Notes

Broth, mushrooms, and chicken will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 day.

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