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A bowl of udon noodles topped with eggs and hot sauce.

Life-Changing Udon Noodles


From Hetty McKinnon’s To Asia, With Love


  • Every recipe in To Asia, With Love is vegetarian. Hetty’s note from the book: To veganise this recipe, omit the eggs and use vegan butter. 
  • You may find you might want more of the broth (it’s so good), so just keep the ingredients handy — the veg stock, tamari or soy, and mirin. I often make a double batch of broth.  
  • Scale the recipe as needed. I often make a half recipe, which is perfect for Ben and me. Note: In the video, I make a half recipe, but I do not halve the amount of soy sauce — I use 2 tablespoons instead of 1.5 tablespoons. One of you noted that this made for a salty broth, so please keep this in mind if halving the recipe. Start with 1.5 tablespoons and add more salt to taste. 


  • 4 large eggs
  • 800 g (1.75 lbs.) udon noodles
  • 1/4 to 1/2 lb. of greens such as baby bok choy, optional
  • 500 ml (2 cups) vegetable stock 
  • 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons mirin
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 80 g (6 tbsp) butter, cubed, or to taste, see recipe
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil or to taste
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • Sambal Oelek or other chili paste, optional


  1. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the eggs and set the timer for 6 minutes. As soon as the buzzer goes, immediately drain the eggs into a colander and run under cold water (or transfer to an ice bath) until they are completely cold. (This will make very soft-boiled eggs – if you prefer a firmer yolk, cook them for another minute.) Peel and set aside.
  2. Cook the udon noodles (and greens if using) in a large saucepan of salted water according to the packet instructions until al dente. This should only take 1–3 minutes, depending on whether your noodles are fresh, vacuum-sealed, or frozen. Drain, then scoop the hot noodles (and greens) into four bowls.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the stock, tamari or soy sauce, and mirin in a small saucepan and place over low heat until hot. 
  4. Pour the hot broth over each bowl of noodles (and greens), and top with a soft-boiled egg. Add a knob of butter and allow it to melt into the noodles. Add the scallions and scatter a generous amount of black pepper over the noodles (use as much pepper as you like, but this dish is intended to be very peppery). Finish with a little drizzle of sesame oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
  5. If you like spicy, stir in a spoonful of Sambal Oelek or hot sauce of choice. 
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian

Keywords: udon, noodles, Asian, simple