Japan’s culinary jewels are the restaurants that pay homage to just one type of noodle. My son and I stumbled across a ten-seater restaurant where udon was the rock star. The only dish on the menu was bowls of fat, chewy noodles in a simple stock with crisp tempura. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making the tempura, use sliced duck breast, silken tofu, a soft-boiled egg or cooked pork.
Heat the chicken or dashi stock and add the soy, mirin and sugar. Keep to a low simmer.
Boil the water to cook the noodles. Pour in a cup of cold water as the lower temperature helps the thick noodles cook more evenly. If using dry, they will take 6–7 minutes. Fresh will take 4–5 minutes and frozen only 2 minutes as they are partially cooked. Drain, rinse under warm water and let sit while you prepare the other ingredients. Just before serving, run hot water over the noodles to unstick them.
Have four bowls ready to go and the stock simmering. Cook the tempura or tofu as per the recipe. Place the noodles in the four bowls, ladle the stock on top and sprinkle with spring onions, a few pieces of tempura or tofu and a good shake of togarashi.
© 2018 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.