Picture the year 2017. I was 24, and by myself in Tokyo, the largest metropolis in the entire world. There are so many possibilities, temptations and unknowns. I was visiting the campus of my exchange university and, during lunch, looking for some new foods to stuff my face with. Then, I saw a line of people from a far, queuing for a small shop. Japanese people love to queue, they just adore the heck out of it, but
they also love good food. So I decided to give it a go.
It took about 15-20 minutes until it was my turn. I slid open the doors and stood in front of a vending machine, typical for japanese noodle shops. There were countless choices with some small pictures and I finally decided to just buy a ticket for the most expensive one. Might as well go all out.
Finally, when it was my turn to sit at the counter, I was greeted with a huge bowl od noodles, covered with garlic, scallions, minced meat, nori, some indistinguishably looking powder and pork belly. I looked at my fellow peers and dove right in.
This flavor explosion changed my world. Compared to Ramen these "Maze Soba" noodles don’t have any broth, but are essentially a “dry” noodle bowl. After devouring the bowl, I had the option of getting some more rice into my bowl, in order to soak up all the sauce leftovers. DIVINE. After my final burp I realized that this recipe is supposedly a Taiwanese original dish. Who would've known. My big belly certainly didn't care.
So naturally, after a couple of years without eating this bowl of goodness, I decided to try and recreate this dish. I looked up some sites and finally found a mix that might not be the same, but very much delicious.
Some ingredients might sound foreign to you, but you should be able to get them all in a single asia store. I opted to use tofu or veggi mince meat, but I bet it tastes even more wholesome.
Time: ~20-30 min
Ingredients (per Person):
1 Pack of Udon (thick noodles)
1 egg yolk
a handful of mushrooms
½ sheet of Nori
100g veggie mince meat (or other source of protein)
1 spring Onion (minced)
1 piece of garlic + 1 pP (minced)
For the sauce
a bit of chilli (optional)
2 cm thicc ginger (minced)
3 Tbsp Doubanjiang (bean sauce)
1 Tbsp Chilli Oil
1 Tbsp light & dark Soy Sauce
1/2 Tbsp Mirin
Fry 1 garlic + Ginger using oil in a medium heat.
Put in your mince meat in and after a bit put in all the rest.
You're done when the mince is cooked through and the sauce thickens up.
Fry separately the mushrooms in butter until brown. Add some fresh lemon juice and parsley for maximum flavor.
Cook the Udon and drain them using a colander. Taking some chopsticks, move the noodles around the colander to rough up the surface.
Put your noodles in a bowl and add your sauced up minced meat in the middle. Arrange the spring onions, garlic, nori and the mushrooms around the bowl.
Separate the egg yolk and put it on top in the middle (yay looks pretty).
Mix everything with the chopsticks before you eat!