Udon Soup with Prawns and Poached Egg

Udon Soup Ready to Eat
Udon Soup Before Broth

So, there's this Japanese movie, Tampopo, all about a woman's quest to serve the perfect noodle soup in her small roadside soup shop. If nothing else, its an interesting look at Japanese food culture.

Anyway, inspired by that and memories of walking by this (Japanese, I think) soup shop ever day we were in Paris last year, I decided we should try and make Japanese. soup. Our local bodega, P&C Market, sells Japanese noodles (both soba and udon), so we gave it a whirl. It actually turned out pretty good for the first shot.

We based our recipe on this one.

There are two basic steps to this recipe: make "dashi," or one type of Japanese stock (sort of like our equivalent of chicken stock, but more like seaweed stock), and then make this recipe. Dashi is the base of many other Japanese soups, such as miso soup. So I've separated out the recipe for dashi and this recipe assumes its already made.

Serves 4.

Broth Ingredients

  • 6 cups dashi
  • 1 Tbsp miso paste
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1.5 Tbsp mirin
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • Salt, to taste

Soup Additions

  • 1 carrot, cut into 1 inch segments on the diagonal and then thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bunch of spinach, coarsely chopped
  • Fresh mushrooms, such as oyster or shiitake
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • Eggs (raw egg is typically used, but we like poached and breaking the egg open and seeing the golden yolk ooze out)
  • Udon noodles

Preparation

Bring a pot of water to boil and quickly blanch the spinach and carrots and set aside. In same pot, add the udon noodles and cook until al dente. Cooking time for the noodles varies depends on the thickness of noodles; our noodles took about 3 minutes. When ready, strain noodles in a colander and shock with cold water to stop the cooking. Then poach the eggs.

While doing the above, heat the dashi and add the miso paste, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar along with the prawns, and bring to slow rolling boil. Make final adjustments with salt if needed.

To serve, put individual servings of noodles, mushrooms, spinach and carrots in bowls. Fill the bowls with broth; top with prawns, poached eggs, and scallions and enjoy!

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