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Spicy Leek Soup with Mirin Chicken


3 leeks, coarsely chopped into 1″ – 2″ pieces

3 – 4 dried chili peppers (I use Tien Tsin, but you could use anything spicy – including fresh chilis, just chop them coarsely membrane, seeds and all)

2 cups water

3 tbs. mirin

5 – 6 cloves garlic, sliced

1 tbs. fresh ginger, grated

1/2 cup white wine

Salt and Pepper

3 – 4 cups Vegetable Broth

Soman noodles (you’ll find these in the asian section of your market…you can also use GOOD rice noodles)

Green onions for garnish


1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup mirin

1/4 dry white wine

4 – 5 cloves of garlic, sliced

1 tbs. fresh ginger, grated


3 – 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add leeks and chiles and saute until lightly browned.

Browning the leeks

2. Add water, mirin, garlic, ginger, white wine, salt and pepper bring to a boil and then reduce heat.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until leeks have fallen apart and are fairly transparent (up to an hour, or more if you have the time! I usually start it in the morning and keep it on low all day).  Add broth as water evaporates.

3. Meanwhile, in a medium size bowl, stir together soy sauce, mirin, wine, garlic, ginger, and black pepper.  Add chicken breasts and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

4. When leeks are transparent and soft, strain out solids (don’t strain into the sink like I have done more than once…be sure to put something underneath the sieve to catch the liquid – TH. AT’S what you’re serving, not the actual leeks!).  Return liquid to clean saucepan, and return to a simmer.

Ready for the sieve!

5. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Brown chicken on both sides (about 1 minute on each side).  Add a small amount of remaining broth (or use some of the soup), reduce heat to medium, and cook for 6 – 8 minutes on each side, or until juices are clear (internal temperature of 165° – 170º).  Slice into 1/4 inch pieces.

6. Meanwhile, return soup to a boil, add soman noodles and cook for 10 minutes (or according to timing on their package).

7. Serve soup topped with sliced chicken and green onions.

Chicken, Recipes, Soups

6 Comments to “Spicy Leek Soup with Mirin Chicken”

  1. how sad…i don’t even know what mirin is! Let’s see if our lame neighborhood grocery store carries it though because i really want to try this out! sounds so yummy.

  2. Mirin, Soy Sauce, and Rice Wine Vinegar are totally a staple in my house. I like to use equal parts of those three, add a bit of sugar (sounds strange but it works) and add that to some miso paste and use it for a ramen (the proper Japanese noodles, not the cheap packaged ones at the store) soup base- fantastic. The mirin/soy/rice vinegar combo is also really my base marinate for a lot of things these days!

  3. Melanie, you would love how Jake and I cook during the week then…but you’re forgetting the Sambal Oelek!!!!

  4. haha! You’re right- I usually don’t mention it because I use it SOOO sparingly. Like, one or two drops. I don’t handle super spicy as well as some people can! 🙂

  5. Okay…I tried making this tonight. I didn’t have chilis so used flakes and over did it a bit, so it was really spicy. And it didn’t look nearly as beautiful as your photos. But all that said, IT WAS DELICIOUS!!!!!! I am so making this again…and again. The left over white wine went well with it, too. So f%^&ing scrumptious. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  6. its pretty awesome

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