Life-Changing Udon

with Soft- Boiled Egg, Hot Soy Sauce, and Black Pepper

Serves 4

In the debate over rice or noodles, I choose noodles. Dishes like this remind me why. Noodles come in so many shapes and sizes and textures. The type of noodle can make one dish feel entirely different from another one. A big favorite is udon, a thick, extra-chewy noodle. The first time I had udon was in Japan, and it was in a noodle soup that was perfectly rich and salty. I ate it so fast. My friend the cookbook author Hetty McKinnon had a similar experience in Tokyo, and this is her ode to that life- changing udon. No exaggeration: this is one of my favorite noodle dishes I have ever cooked, and I think it might be your new favorite dinner, too.


TST-Priya's Kitchen adventures cookbook cover Priya's Kitchen Adventures: A Cookbook for Kids Priya Krishna
  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 (28-ounce) package fresh, vacuum- sealed, or frozen udon noodles or 16 ounces dried

  • 2 cups vegetable broth

  • 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons mirin

  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, cut into 4 cubes

  • 4 scallions, sliced

  • Freshly ground black pepper, for garnish

  • Toasted sesame oil, for garnish


  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil over high heat. Carefully add the eggs and set a timer for 6 minutes. As soon as the timer is up, immediately— and again, carefully— scoop the eggs out of the water with a slotted spoon 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 the eggs for another minute.) Peel and set aside.

  1. Bring a large pot of water seasoned with a large pinch of salt to a boil over high heat. Add the udon and cook according to the package instructions. This will take 1 to 3 minutes for fresh, vacuum sealed, or frozen udon, or a few more minutes for dried udon. Drain, then scoop the hot noodles into four bowls.

  1. While the water for the udon is coming to a boil, combine the broth, tamari, and mirin in the small pot you used to boil the eggs and place over low heat until hot.

  1. Divide the hot broth among the bowls of noodles and top each with a soft- boiled egg cut in half lengthwise. Add a cube of butter to each bowl and allow it to melt into the noodles. Add the scallions and a generous amount of pepper (use as much pepper as you’d like, but this dish is intended to be very peppery). Finish each bowl with a little drizzle of sesame oil.

Printed with permission from Priya's Kitchen Adventures: A Cookbook for Kids by Priya Krishna. Copyright 2024, Prestel.

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