Ontama bukkake

Yes, the name sounds a bit odd. But when a soft boiled egg breaks over velvety udon and mixes with hot soup on a cold day—who cares what it’s called?

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The recipe that follows is my attempt to recreate one of my favorite Sydney foods: the ontama bukkake at Menya Mappen in Sydney. Ever since I moved back to the States (to a place that is Siberia for good Asian food) this memory of this soup haunted my dreams. The smooth udon! The egg yolk! The umami in the broth! So I got to work, and now, with a quick trip to an Asian grocer, this soup can haunt your dreams, too.

Ontama bukkake (serves 4-6)
Loosely adapted from Polyphagia

Ingredients
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons mirin (Japanese rice wine)
2 teaspoons sugar
3 teaspoons granulated dashi (this is like fish buillon)
3 cups/750 mL water
eggs (one per person)
udon noodles (frozen, see note below)
green onions, sliced
sesame seeds, toasted
sprinkle of shichimi togarashi (amazing, but you can use cayenne or chili oil to add heat if you don’t have this)
tempura flakes (optional)
slice of lemon (optional)
Note on the udon: this soup is only as good as the udon you use. Don’t settle for the dried “udon” at supermarkets. Seek out frozen or fresh at your local Asian grocer.

Instructions
Using a spoon, gently lower eggs in a medium-sized pot of boiling water. Cover pot. Let simmer for 5-6 minutes, making sure the water is boiling gently but not at a rolling boil. Remove eggs from pot and place in ice bath.

Combine the soy sauce, mirin, sugar, dashi, and water in the pot. Bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar and dashi dissolve. Set aside (or pour into bowls/pyrex so you can reuse the pot for the next step, unless you have dish fairies).

Boil udon in water according to package instructions, about 1-2 minutes. Drain.

Place udon in a bowl. Top with broth. Peel an egg and plop it on top of the udon. Sprinkle with green onions, sesame seeds, shichimi togarashi, and tempura flakes. Top with slice of lemon. Sit down (or don’t), and use your chopsticks to gleefully tear apart the egg, allowing the yolk to coat the noodles and thicken the broth.

Can be served hot or cold— so this need not just be a winter obsession (though it does make February more bearable).

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