1401 N. Ashland Avenue
Mentaiko Kimchi Udon
1 cup kimchi juice (the juice from about two 16-ounce jars kimchi)
1/2 cup chicken stock
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
In a small pot over medium heat, warm the kimchi juice, chicken stock and butter until the butter has melted. Transfer to a blender and puree until emulsified.
1 (8.8-ounce) block frozen udon noodles
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup strained and minced (preferably pureed) kimchi
2 Tablespoons (1 3/4 ounces) mentaiko (scrape out of the sacks before measuring)
1 Tablespoon tobiko
1 Tablespoon shredded seasoned nori (seasoned with soy sauce)
1 Tablespoon thinly sliced scallion greens
1 Tablespoon bonito flakes
In a large saucepan of boiling water, cook the noodles until soft, about 2 minutes. Strain, reserving a few Tablespoons of the cooking water.
In a blazing hot saute pan over high heat, add the butter and the minced/pureed kimchi. Stir until it begins to caramelize, about 45 seconds. Add the mentaiko, stirring constantly, to lightly toast it, about 45 seconds more (careful as it can spatter). Add 1/2 cup of the kimchi nage to the pan and stir vigorously to form a sauce. Add the udon noodles, along with a splash of their cooking water, and toss the noodles to coat in the sauce. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, and then add another 2 to 4 Tablespoons of the kimchi nage (enough to make it saucy). Cook the noodles for another 30 seconds, and then transfer to a bowl. Garnish with tobiko, nori, scallions, and bonito. Serve.