I'm very happy to announce that in just a couple of days I will be heading off to Japan! Finally, I can check Japan off on the list of countries I want to explore. Two full weeks of wandering the streets of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Asakasa, trying every food I see and soaking in the culture...words cannot express how excited I am. In anticipation of my vacation, I am making a Japanese dish with my favorite unagi. This dish is actually inspired by my last visit to New York where a vendor was selling grilled unagi on noodles. It was easily one of my favorite meals, so much so that I had to recreate it. Here is my recreation of cold ramen noodles with broiled unagi.
Cold Ramen Noodles with Broiled Unagi
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup mirin
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 packets cold ramen noodles
- 1 English cucumber
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 8 ounces unagi
- 2 tablespoon pickled ginger
- salted nori cut into strips
- ¼ cup chopped green onions
- 2 poached eggs
- Prepare the unagi sauce. Combine soy sauce, mirin, and sugar in a medium saucepot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes or until slightly thick.
- Meanwhile, cook noodles according to directions, until al dente. Drain and immediately submerge in ice-cold water. Drain and set aside.
- Using a spiralizer, turn the cucumber into noodles. Alternatively, cut the cucumber into 1-inch strips.
- Preheat broiler to medium-high. Place unagi on a lined baking sheet and broil for 3-5 minutes or until heated and slightly charred. Remove from heat and cut into bite-size pieces.
- Toss noodles with cucumber, rice vinegar, and unagi sauce. Assemble dishes. Place noodles into two bowls. Top with unagi, pickled ginger, nori strips, green onions, and a poached egg. Finish with more unagi sauce. Serve.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Ever since I was young, I have loved unagi. The Japanese bbq sauce smothered on the charbroiled seafood always has a special place in my heart. It only made sense to take that beloved unagi and topped it on cold ramen noodles and finished it with a poached egg. How can you go wrong with a dish like that?
Start by making the unagi sauce. Sure you can buy the pre-made sauce, but if you have the ingredients to make it, it can be done in a cinch. To make the sauce, just combine the ingredients and let it simmer until reduced and thickened.
Next, cook the noodles. Now, it's important to purchase fresh ramen noodles and not instant packets. Fresh noodles are chewier while dry noodles can easily become overcooked and too soft. Make sure to soak the cooked noodles in ice-cold water to prevent them from over-cooking.
To make this ramen dish a little more fun, I added spiralized cucumbers. English cucumbers are excellent for turning into noodles because of their length and thickness. Optimally, you want a cucumber that is at least 1.5 inches in diameter. Don't bother peeling the vegetable since the peel adds a bit of crunch that is desirable in the dish. Pat the noodles dry after spiralizing to soak up some of the excess moisture. If you don't have a spiralizer, simply cut the cucumbers into 1-inch strips.
Chop the green onions, cut the nori, and get your water ready to poach the eggs.
While the eggs are cooking, broil the unagi for about 5 minutes or until heated through.
Toss the ramen noodles and cucumber noodles together with the unagi sauce and rice vinegar. The vinegar balances the sweet and salty sauce, adding that needed acid. Add more vinegar if you like a bit more tang.
Finish the dish with the unagi, egg, nori, and pickled ginger. Drizzle extra unagi sauce on top and enjoy! Although this cold ramen noodle with unagi isn't a classic Japanese dish, it still makes it on the list as one of my favorite dishes!
Now off to Japan I go! Stay tuned for travel posts on Japan!
For more Japanese inspiration check out this instant pot shio ramen recipe!
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