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Life-Changing Udon with Soft-Boiled Egg

COOK TIME
10 mins
PREP TIME
5 mins
SERVINGS
4
RATE THIS RECIPE
(14)
Courtesy Hetty McKinnon
COOK TIME
10 mins
PREP TIME
5 mins
SERVINGS
4
RATE THIS RECIPE
(14)

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 28 ounces udon noodles
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons mirin
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, cubed
  • 4 scallions, finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Chef notes

    In a diminutive noodle shop called Shin Udon, a short walk from Shinjuku station in Tokyo, I savored a bowl of udon noodles that would ruin me for all other noodle experiences. Perhaps it's unfair to compare all noodles to this — the thick, chewy strands are made fresh, moments before they are served (we spent half an hour watching the noodle maker at work while we waited for a table). My bowl of udon with hot soy, soft-boiled egg, butter and black pepper blew my mind and entranced my taste buds. As I slurped the toothsome, salty strands, I knew I was having a life-changing experience. While there is no way to truly replicate this unforgettable experience at home, my humble rendition of Shin Udon's incomparable noodle dish is still satisfying and crave-worthy.

    Technique tip: As soon as the eggs are ready, cool them under cold water to stop further cooking.

    Swap option: To make it vegan, omit the eggs and use vegan butter.

    Preparation

    1.

    Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Add the eggs and set the timer for 6 minutes. As soon as the buzzer goes, immediately drain the eggs into a colander and place under cold running water until they are completely cold (this will make very soft-boiled eggs — if you prefer a firmer yolk, cook them for another minute). Peel and set aside.

    2.

    Cook the udon noodles in a large saucepan of salted water according to the packet instructions until al dente. This will take 1–3 minutes, depending on whether your noodles are fresh, vacuum-sealed or frozen. Drain, then scoop the hot noodles into four bowls.

    3.

    Meanwhile, combine the stock, tamari or soy sauce and mirin in a small saucepan and place over low heat until hot.

    4.

    Pour the hot soy sauce over each bowl of noodles and top with a soft-boiled egg. Add a knob of butter and allow it to melt into the noodles. Add the scallions and scatter a generous amount of black pepper over the noodles (use as much pepper as you like, but this dish is intended to be very peppery). Finish with a little drizzle of sesame oil and sprinkle with sea salt.