Mentaiko Udon

27 Ratings
100% would make again

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

Mentaiko Udon

Recipe adapted from Edward Kim, Mott St., Chicago

Yield: 1 serving

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

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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