Mentaiko Udon Recipe

To learn more, read "Kimchi Chronicles" in our National edition. 

Recipe adapted from Edward Kim, Mott St., Chicago

Mentaiko Udon
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Carbonara takes a trip to Japan, by way of Korea, in this recipe from Edward Kim of Mott St. in Chicago. 
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total time: 45 minutes
  • Kimchi Nage
  • 1 cup kimchi juice (the juice from about two 16-ounce jars kimchi)
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Mentaiko Udon
  • 1 (8.8-ounce) block frozen udon noodles
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup strained and minced (preferably pureed) kimchi
  • 2 tablespoons (1¾ ounces) mentaiko (scrape out of the sacks before measuring)
  • 1 tablespoon tobiko
  • 1 tablespoon shredded seasoned nori (seasoned with soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallion greens
  • 1 tablespoon bonito flakes
  1. Make the kimchi nage: In a small pot over medium heat, warm the kimchi juice, chicken stock and butter until the butter has melted. Transfer to a blender and purée until emulsified.
  2. Make the udon: In a large saucepan of boiling water, cook the noodles until soft, about 2 minutes. Strain, reserving a few tablespoons of the cooking water.
  3. In a blazing hot sauté pan over high heat, add the butter and the minced/puréed kimchi. Stir until it begins to caramelize, about 45 seconds. Add the mentaiko, stirring constantly, to lightly toast it, about 45 seconds more (careful as it can spatter). Add ½ cup of the kimchi nage to the pan and stir vigorously to form a sauce. Add the udon noodles, along with a splash of their cooking water, and toss the noodles to coat in the sauce. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, and then add another 2 to 4 tablespoons of the kimchi nage (enough to make it saucy). Cook the noodles for another 30 seconds, and then transfer to a bowl. Garnish with tobiko, nori, scallions, and bonito. Serve.
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