Life-Changing Udon with Soft-Boiled Egg, Hot Soy, and Black Pepper


Butter, egg yolk, and starch enrich the soy broth, dressing chewy udon noodles in a silky sauce inspired by Hetty McKinnon's visit to Udon Shin, a restaurant in Tokyo's bustling Shinjuku ward. Sharp black pepper and scallions break up its deeply savory edge with light spice and fresh flavor.

udon noodles
Photo: Hetty McKinnon
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 4 large eggs 

  • 2 cups vegetable stock 

  • 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons mirin 

  • 1 ¾ pounds fresh, vacuum-sealed, or frozen udon noodles (such as Twin Marquis) 

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3 ounces), cubed

  • 4 scallions, finely chopped (about 2/3 cup)

  • Black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil  

  • Fine sea salt 


  1. Fill a small saucepan with water; bring to a boil over high. Lower eggs into water, and cook 6 minutes. Transfer eggs to a large bowl of ice water. Let cool 5 minutes. Drain and peel eggs, and set aside.

  2. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high. While water comes to a boil, stir together vegetable stock, tamari, and mirin in a small saucepan; cook over low, stirring occasionally, until hot, about 8 minutes. Add noodles to boiling water, and cook according to package directions for al dente. Drain noodles, and divide evenly among 4 bowls.

  3. Divide butter evenly among bowls; pour hot soy sauce mixture evenly over bowls. Halve eggs lengthwise, and top each bowl with 2 egg halves. Sprinkle evenly with scallions, and scatter a generous amount of black pepper over noodles. Drizzle evenly with sesame oil, and garnish with sea salt.


Find vacuum-sealed or frozen udon noodles at Japanese markets or online. For Twin Marquis udon noodles, visit to search for retailers by zip code.

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