Don’t let the title “egg drop and crab nabeyaki udon” fools you thinking that you need to spend the whole day standing at the kitchen fixing this dish. As a matter of fact, it is so easy to make and one of the easiest udon noodle dish I’ve ever fixed. I always find “easy” or “easier” recipe on certain days of the week as my daughter now has activities in the morning. So, when we got back from her morning activities, I still have about an hour or so to fix lunch for everyone.
As shared by Takashi Yagihasi in his Takashi’s Noodles cookbook, this dish is best served in individual clay pots, which are such an intimate and satisfying way to enjoy a meal. But if you don’t own clay pots, really…don’t sweat it. Cast-iron pots is really the closest substitution you can use these days and I love cast-iron pots too. They are heavy I know, but they are one of the best things in kitchen.
Timing is important in preparing this dish. So, make sure you have everything ready at your reach when you are ready to cook. I did say that it’s easy to prepare this dish if you do a little preparation the night before, such as preparing the dashi (if you don’t have some in the refrigerator already) and also the udon broth, which uses dashi and you add soy sauce and mirin (how easy is that?). Have these ready the night before too if you can. The next day, all you need to do is, reheat the udon broth and cook the noodles, crab meats, peas and eggs in the claypots for individual serving. Cooking individually do take a bit more time. So, if you choose to cook all servings in one big dutch oven and portion the serving out at table, that will save more time.
Either way, they are delicious. I’ve tried both method. I like clay pots a bit better because it always gives me the feeling of home-cooked meals and the more “dramatic” presentation. Otherwise, anyone who doesn’t own clay pots can enjoy this dish just as much.
EGG DROP AND CRAB NABEYAKI UDON
- 1 lb dried udon noodles
- 3 quarts (almost 3 litre) Udon Broth
- 1 1/3 cups crabmeat
- 1/2 cup frozen green peas (thawed)
- 1/2 cup frozen corn (thawed) or canned corn
- 4 eggs , kept separated, lightly beaten
- 4 obha leaves /Japanese basil leaves - optional as it is hard to find substitution for this
- 1 Tbsp thinly lemon zest
- 1 cup chopped mitsuba leaves (or substitute with flat-leaf parsley)
- 3 cups dashi
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 cup mirin
Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat and keep warm until ready to serve
Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the udon noodles an cook, following package instructions. Drain well and set aside. Next step is depending on whether you are cooking with clay pots or other pots:
Divide the broth among 4 clay pots and heat over medium-high heat. Bring the broth to a boil, then decrease the heat and simmer
To each clay pot, add one-fourth of the cooked noodles and simmer for 30 seconds. Add one-fourth of the crabmeat and peas and pour 1 beaten egg over the top
Immediately turn off the heat (the broth will continue boiling) and garnish with the obha leaves (if using), lemon zest and mitsuba leaves /flat-leaf parsely
Bring the udon broth to a boil. Put in all the noodles and simmer for 30 seconds and add in all the crabmeat, peas and pour 4 beaten egg over the top. Bring it back to a boil and then turn off the heat and cover with a lid and let it sit for about 1 minute
Ladle the noodles along with the soup, eggs and crabmeats into individual serving bowl at table. Garnish with the obha leaves (if using), lemon zest and mitsuba leaves /flat-leaf parsely
Both Obha leaves (read oh- ba) and Mitsuba leaves are availabe at Japanese grocery stores, they are a bit pricier compare to regular herbs. Some Asian grocery stores may carry this too. I always ask the store owner or anyone who can help me with questions.