All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.

2015-03-27

Kamatama udon / hot wheat noodles with egg and soy sauce

The udon-version equivalent of tamago-kake gohan! The dish is as simple as its rice counterpart but with more variety, because of the endless possibilities of toppings. This one is kama-age udon, where udon noodles are not chilled (and reheated) after boiling. The method naturally leaves the surface of udon slightly rough, which lets noodles mingle with sauce better for a richer taste. Toppings for kamatama udon (kama-age udon with egg) can be as minimal as chopped green onion or as elaborate as including mentaiko spicy salted pollack roe, nori seaweed, cheese, and so on. Below is our favorite, a simple combination of green onion, chives, toasted white sesame seeds and agetama tempura pearls.   



451 calories (1/2 of recipe); 12.2 g protein; 8.7 g fat; 73.6 g carbohydrate; 70.7 g net carbs; 789 mg sodium (with namajoyu/kijoyu fresh soy sauce; 692 mg with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; 587 mg with regular soy sauce); 210 mg cholesterol; 2.9 g fiber


<Ingredients>

200 g dry udon wheat noodles (futomen thick handmade udon noodles in photo)
2 tsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp dashi
2 egg yolks
1 green onion
Tiny handful of chives
2 tsp toasted white sesame seeds
2 tbsp agetama (tenkasu) tempura pearls


<Directions>
1.

Boil udon according to directions on package.
(When using thick handmade udon, turn off heat 2-3 minutes before the cooking time indicated on package, let sit for 1-2 minutes, and drain.)




2.

In the meantime, heat serving bowls by pouring boiling water.
Thinly slice green onion, and chop chives.


3.

When udon noodles are almost done, discard hot water of serving bowls, and put egg yolk (breaking or not breaking egg yolk is up to you).



4.

Mix soy sauce and dashi, and heat up the mixture (microwave for 5-10 seconds).


5.

When udon reaches desired softness, drain.
Put udon noodles over egg yolk, and top with green onion, chives, sesame seeds and agetama
Pour soy sauce + dashi mixture.
Ready to serve.

(Mix everything before eating, and enjoy.)

<Notes>
  • The whole egg (with egg white) can be used. Eggs can also be half-cooked like onsen tamago. I do not like raw egg white, so only the yolk is used above. Including egg white also adds about 60-65 mg of sodium.
  • Ideally, the egg (yolk) should be semi-cooked when eaten. For this reason, take eggs from the fridge hours in advance; keep serving bowls as hot as possible; mix hot udon after putting in serving bowls if necessary (to cook the egg); make sure soy sauce + dashi mixture is hot, etc.
  • Other popular toppings include shichimi pepper, katsuobushi bonito flakes, shirasu young dried sardines.
  • Dry udon noodles are high in sodium (on average 1700 mg/100 g dry udon). The udon I used above (Himi udon futomen) contains 2100 mg sodium/100 g dry udon. Despite some information suggesting that when using a large pot at home around 90% of the sodium is released in boiling water, 90% is difficult to achieve, and a 75% reduction is more realistic even when using more water than specified by package instructions. 
  • The above nutrition figures are based on 75% of sodium being released in boiling water. The figures go down significantly if you do not finish the egg and soy sauce mixture pooled after eating the noodles.
  • Use good udon! Handmade Sanuki udon from Kagawa prefecture would be the first choice -- Kagawa officially calls itself "the udon prefecture," and kamatama udon originally comes from Kagawa. I like to use handmade udon from Himi, the west-end city of my hometown prefecture, Toyama. Himi udon is much chewier and resembles mochi rice cakes. Thicker udon noodles are recommended for this recipe, especially in cold months. Finding your preferred handmade udon is fun too, if you are into noodles.
  • Kama in kamatama implies kama-age, which in turn implies an udon cooking/serving method and means "directly from the pot" (kama means "pot"); tama is a shortened form of tamago [egg].

(Last updated: May 15, 2017)


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