½ cup organic sake, such as Hakutsuru Organic Junmai Sake
1 tablespoon mirin
4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons ground ginger
4 cups filtered water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon smoked sea salt
½ cup wakame seaweed, rinsed
1 cup bonito flakes
4 shiitake mushrooms, chopped
One whole chicken
A splash white vinegar, roughly 1 tablespoon
1 package buckwheat soba noodles
Toppings, such as shredded chicken breast and slices of chicken thigh; 1 halved, hard boiled egg; toasted sesame seeds; julienned kale leaves; slivers of scallions or green onions; smoked sea salt; and/or fresh ground pepper
Add all ingredients (except noodles and toppings) to the slow cooker in the order listed. We like to add some additional salt and pepper to the part of the chicken breast not submerged. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.
At the end of the cook time, remove the chicken and place on a cutting board to prepare. Shred the chicken breast and slice the other portions you like for toppings.
Cook your noodles for about 2 minutes less than the instructions state, and add them to your bowls.
Strain the broth or ladle it out through a screen into your bowls. This removes the larger pieces of ginger, seaweed, shiitake, and bonito flakes (those ingredients were there to deepen umami and flavor, not to add bites to the broth). Add your toppings and enjoy!
Store any remaining broth in the fridge for about a week or freeze it for longer storage.
Variations: Explore your noodle options. A buckwheat soba noodle is a good place to start. Many buckwheat noodles are blended with wheat, which is oishi (delicious), but not gluten-free. Use 100% buckwheat noodles for a gluten-free option, or use rice or millet ramen noodles, and use a gluten-free tamari instead of shoyu soy sauce.
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