Among the preparations that the Japanese prefer during cold days, nabeyaki udon stands out. It is a dish made in a single-portion earthenware pot (nabe) in which the udon (Japanese noodles) are served together with other various ingredients, including the egg (which hardens and becomes poached with the heat of the broth) and the kamaboko (or fish cake).
You can choose the rest of the toppings, so if you don't like the ones I've added (the more classic ones you'll find more easily in Japan), you can change them for something else you like.
The recipe is calibrated for one person, since the dish is served individually.
- 1 dried shiitake mushroom
- soy sauce
- starch / cornstarch
- flour for tempura
- frying oil
- enoki mushrooms
- 1 egg
- 1 king prawn
- 1 portion of udon
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- Soak dry shiitake mushroom for at least 5 hours to rehydrate it.
- Carefully squeeze the shiitake mushroom and keep the soaking water aside. Make asterisk incisions on the top with a knife.
- In a saucepan over moderate heat, cook the shiitake mushroom with its soaking water. As soon as the water begins to boil, skim off any scum.
- Add a spoonful of granulated sugar and one of soy sauce, lower the heat, cover with a lid and leave to cook for about ten minutes. After the time has elapsed, leave it covered and put out the fire.
- Soak the shrimp in cold water for 20 minutes.
- Drain the water and remove the carapace, but keeping the tail. Make an incision with a sharp knife along the outside of the prawn and remove the innards. Cut the tail diagonally and scrape it off. Clean with cold water. Press the shrimp firmly with your fingers so that it is perfectly straight: in this way it will not curl during cooking.
- Put the shrimp in a bowl and salt it. Add starch (or cornstarch) and a little cold water. Gently massage it.
- Dry the shrimp with kitchen paper. Make small oblique incisions along the prawn, so that it cooks better afterwards.
- Make the batter by mixing a large spoonful of tempura flour with very cold water.
- Put a generous amount of frying oil in a saucepan with high edges and bring to the heat.
- Dip the shrimp in the batter and then in the hot oil. Brown on all sides. Then place the shrimp on kitchen paper to remove excess oil.
- Boil water in a saucepan. As soon as it boils, insert the udon and follow the cooking time indicated on the package. Once cooked, pass them under icy water to stop the cooking process. Drain and keep aside.
- Put the nabe pot on the heat, add the water, the granulated dashi broth and a spoonful of soy sauce. Bring to a boil.
- Add the udon in the center of the pot and the rest of the chosen ingredients, in this case: boiled spinach, enoki mushrooms, diagonally cut leek, tofu, shiitake mushroom (with a little of its cooking water with soy sauce and sugar), kamaboko and a whole egg.
- Cover and cook for a few moments. Serve hot.