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UDON

We tried a new Udon cafe in town.  It was good.  Yes, faint praise.  It was fine.  So Dad came home and read up on it.  Morimoto's recipe was FANTASTIC.  I simplified it and added some variety.  This is a quick version that is just right for 2-3 servings, depending on how hungry you are.  We ate it with a fresh sushi roll and some seaweed salad one night.  The next time, we just chowed down on a big bowl with some sushi ginger and a mochi or two as dessert.
You will likely need to go to an Asian market (or order online) for some of the ingredients.
But if not, Usukuchi is recommended since it is a soy sauce with more intense flavor and a lot more salt, but I think if you use regular soy sauce and add salt, you may still get the depth of flavor in the broth you need.
Bonito soup stock is basically fish bouillon so you might find it at the local store.  It may come in cubes instead of powder.  Don't worry, it smells like fish when you open the jar but the Udon doesn't have a fishy smell or flavor.
  And if you still have your mirin, you are ready!

Bring to a boil in a small dutch oven
3 c water
3 t bonito soup stock, our little jar is called Hon-Dashi
1/4 c mirin
1/4 c usukuchi or soy sauce

While the broth is boiling,
Blanch 2 c raw spinach in boiling water, remove and squeeze all the liquid out
If you use frozen, let it thaw and squeeze out all the liquid before adding to broth.
Set aside.

When broth is boiling, add
1/2 lb udon noodles, fresh or frozen
Boil about 2 minutes, until the noodles separate (frozen takes a bit longer)
Reduce heat to a simmer to add the following more or less, as desired:
1/4 lb chicken pieces, about 1/2 inch cubes or strips, cooked or raw
If raw, let simmer about 3 minutes before adding:
blanched and squeezed spinach
a couple green onions, white and green parts, sliced into inch pieces
4 handfuls of mung bean sprouts
1 package of tofu, cubed
3-4 eggs, one at a time in separate areas to poach
handful of frozen corn or peas

Serve hot - (when the eggs are white if used)

Ah, the flavor is so good!  Umami at it's simplest.




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