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Decadent Miso Udon: Asian Inspiration in Minutes

Here’s a 5-ingredient miso udon snack that you can whip together in less than 20 minutes. It’s a no-fuss favourite that’s oh-so-simple and incredibly tasty!  

Udon with Chilli

Classic Japanese udon, a dash of tantalising miso, an egg, and… chilli crisp?

Oh, yes. We’re blending complementary notes like a symphony orchestra here, and you can thank me later. One of the hallmarks of truly amazing food is that little spark of the unusual, the unexpected – and with this little gem, it’s never been easier.

Whether it’s a late-home-from-work kind of day, or simply not enough desire to conjure up that 3-course lunch, here’s a quick meal that honestly punches above its weight when it comes to flavour.

Oh – and if you’re already a miso fan , you might want to try this tantalising Miso Glaze Spiced Thai Coconut Salmon recipe, too!  

Magical Miso

Just in case you’ve been kept in the dark about one of the world’s most enigmatic flavours, know this: umami is almost impossible to describe. A traditional Japanese seasoning, Miso is a thick paste produced by fermenting soybeans and kōji. Often, a little barley or seaweed or fermented rice is added, and the result is a paste that actually defines umami – the so-called “fifth taste” alongside sour, sweet, salty, and bitter. Miso itself is hard to compare to anything, but if you’re hesitant, don’t be. Miso has been described as salty, deeply savoury, with a toast-like smokiness and an undertone of sweet richness. It’s an incredibly versatile ingredient, and here, it’s a star performer in this deceptively simple dish.

Oh, and healthy? Absolutely. Vitamin K, probiotics, zinc, protein, calcium… it’s particularly good for your nervous system and digestive system. Eat more.

Japanese inspired noodles

The World’s Most Stubborn Noodle

Udon noodles embody everything comforting about Japanese-style food. They’re thick, slightly chewy, and designed for broths and immersions where they pick up surrounding flavours and provide satisfying substance to just about anything you combine them with.

They’re primarily a wheat noodle, which might seem a little unusual coming from a culture where rice-based ingredients are in the majority – but it’s their slightly resilient, springy texture that makes them so appealing. In fact, the dough used to make udon is so delightfully difficult to knead that in Japan, it’s often beaten or stomped on to get it to cooperate. Ye olde udon actually originated in China as a beloved dumpling casing, and in some parts of Japan, it’s still cut into squares rather than pulled into noodle form.

The good news? You get all the fun with none of the labour.  

One More Not-So-Secret Ingredient

Is chilli crisp an oil, or a sauce, or a condiment? Ask three people and you’ll get three answers. But they’ll agree on one thing: it’s incredibly versatile and should be added to as many foods as you can.

I prefer using Lao Gan Ma spicy chilli crisp, because it’s a beautiful balance of taste and texture for just about anything. Not too spicy, not too runny, I recommend it for a reason. And the crunchiness of the chilli peppers and garlic and soybean is hard to beat.

Fun fact: in addition to making a great noodle and dumpling topping – and adding incredible flavour to roast chicken – you can even add chilli crisp to ice cream. 

And you should.

Rate This Decadent Miso Udon 

Did you have a go at making our Decadent Miso Udon? Show us how it came out!

Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag your photo#theculinarycartel onInstagramso we can see what you come up with.

Miso with Noodles

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this dish gluten-free?

Not quite. Udon is wheat-based, so be sure to look for gluten-free udon, or in a pinch, use a rice-based noodle as an alternative. Remember, check those labels! 

Is this miso udon vegan?

No, it isn’t vegan – it’s ovo-vegetarian because of the addition of the egg. For a vegan dish, you could look at using an egg substitute

I’m sensitive to spicy foods. Can I omit the chilli crisp?

This is a tough one. The Chilli crisp is really a star ingredient, but if you’d like to replace it with something a little gentler, you can. That said, remember that Lao Gan Ma chilli crisp isn’t actually too spicy thanks to the type of chilli pepper used – it’s geared toward richness of flavour rather than tongue-searing heat.

I’d recommend maybe doing a taste test and reducing quantity slightly in order to still experience the wonder.

 

udon noodles
udon noodles
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Japanese inspired noodles

Decadent Miso Udon: Asian Inspiration in Minutes


  • Author: Jess Bunn

Description

Here’s a 5-ingredient miso udon treat snack that you can whip together in less than 20 minutes. It’s a no-fuss favourite that’s oh-so-simple and incredibly tasty!


Ingredients

Units

From your pantry: 

  • 40g butter

5-Ingredient Wizardry: 

  • 400g (2 packs) fresh udon
  • 3 spring onions
  • 12 Tbsp chilli crisp (I use Lao Gan Ma)
  • 2 Tbsp miso
  • 12 eggs (choose 1 half egg, or 1 whole pp)

125-250ml water

 


Instructions

  1. Place a pan of water on your stove and bring the water to the boil. Poke a tiny hole in the base of your egg(s), then lower them gently into the simmering water. Cook for 6 minutes for soft, or 7-8 for medium. Remember that these eggs were cooked from room temperature, so adjust your cook times accordingly.
  2. Start out by thinly slicing the spring onions. Place the green parts into a bowl, while setting aside the white parts in another.
  3. Prepare the udon according to the packet instructions. Cook the noodles until al dente. Most fresh udon just needs warming through and can be used in this recipe straight from the bag without any added cooking time.
  4. Place a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the butter, and once melted and foaming add the whites of the spring onion. Cook until the butter is a light nutty brown, lower the heat, then add the miso paste and cook for 30 seconds.
  5. The butter should be deeply golden at this point (but not burned). Add in 125ml of the water, the chilli crisp, and the udon. Toss the udon through the water and sauce. The starch of the udon will start to release and emulsify the sauce, making it thick and glossy. Add more water as needed to create a lush glossy coating on the udon.

It’s as simple as that!

The taste reward from such a simple, time saving process is disproportionately amazing. The miso udon combination is the kind of taste that induces deep nostalgia – so don’t be surprised if you find yourself hankering after it on a regular basis.

 

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