Udon Noodles With Soft-Boiled Egg, Soy and Black Pepper

4 large eggs (optional)
Sea salt
26 ounces (750 grams) thick, round Japanese udon noodles, preferably fresh or frozen
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
2 teaspoons mirin
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (may substitute vegan butter such as Miyoko’s), cubed
4 scallions, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

If you’re including the eggs, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil; in a medium bowl prepare an ice bath and set aside. Add the eggs to the boiling water and set a timer for 6 minutes. As soon as the buzzer goes off, drain the eggs and transfer to the prepared ice bath. Let cool completely, about 5 minutes. (This will make very soft-boiled eggs — if you prefer firmer yolks, cook for 1 more minute.) Peel the eggs.

In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the noodles according to the packet instructions until al dente, 1 to 3 minutes. Drain, then divide the noodles among four bowls.

While the noodles cook, in a small saucepan, combine the broth, soy sauce or tamari, and mirin and set over low heat until hot, about 5 minutes.

Pour the hot broth over each bowl of noodles and top each with an egg. Divide the butter cubes among the bowls and let them melt into the noodles. Garnish with scallions and season with a generous amount of black pepper. (Use as much as you like, but this dish is meant to be very peppery.) Finish with a drizzle of sesame oil, sprinkle with a little sea salt, if desired, and serve hot.

Nutrition Information
Calories: 563; Total Fat: 27 g; Saturated Fat: 11 g; Cholesterol: 45 mg; Sodium: 1064 mg; Carbohydrates: 70 g; Dietary Fiber: 3 g; Sugar: 3 g; Protein: 9 g.

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