I nicked this recipe from my own cookbook Lighten Up, because it's the meal I always turn to when I need something light, gentle, and low in fat that my husband will also eat.
2 medium carrots
300g daikon (long white radish)
8 fresh shitake mushrooms, trimmed of stalks
1 litre dashi broth (see tip) or vegetable broth
60ml soy sauce or tamarind
500g chicken breasts, skinned
100g dried udon noodles
100g baby spinach
1 tsp sesame seeds
Peel the carrots and daikon, cut in half lengthways and thickly slice. Cut the mushrooms in half.
Combine the dashi or stock, soy and mirin in a pan with the carrot, daikon, chicken and mushrooms, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and the carrot is tender, skimming once or twice.
Cook the noodles in a pan of simmering salted water for 8 minutes or until al dente, then drain.
Remove the chicken from the broth and thickly slice.
Arrange the noodles and vegetables in four shallow pasta bowls, scatter with spinach and arrange chicken on top. Spoon the hot broth over the top, scatter with sesame seeds and serve as the spinach wilts.
Tip: To make a quick dashi broth: bring 1 litre water to the boil. Add 10g sachet of instant dashi powder (from Japanese food stores and health-food stores), simmer for 2 minutes, and use.