Dish Deconstructed: U:Don’s On-Tama Udon
Chef Takanori Kurachi
1. Udon Noodles
We make them with water, salt, and wheat flour I bring over from Japan that has the right protein and gluten content. The dough’s proofing, or rising, process is very specific. It must be proofed at two different temperatures, once for two to four hours, and again for 18 hours.
Certain ingredients are shipped from Japan, like anchovies and sardines. We soak our fish and kelp in water overnight, then steep another batch of fish and kelp in that same liquid the next day. It’s broth that you usually can only find in Japan.
3. On-Tama (Onsen Tamago, or Hot Spring Egg)
Some Japanese would use volcanic hot springs to cook eggs. They had the perfect temperature for cooking an egg inside the shell. Now we prepare the egg in water about the same temperature you would use to take a hot bath. The egg is ready when the whites are almost completely cooked and the yolk is heated through, but still runny enough to cling to the noodles. We crack it into the bowl right in front of the guest.
4. Dashi-Shoyu Sauce
We add flavorings like sake and red wine, then reduce it down so it’s like a fruity umami base. You can taste it more on the sauce, rather than the soup version of this dish, and that’s more traditional to the way people eat in Japan.