SERVES 2 · PREP 15 MINS · COOKING 15 MINS
During my pregnancy, I really craved spaghetti carbonara. I would regularly get out of bed past midnight to rustle it up. I found out later that craving eggs was the body’s way of asking for cysteine, an important amino acid for a growing baby. On one such midnight carbonara quest, I found we were out of spaghetti – and when I spied some udon in the back of the fridge, kimchi also caught my eye.
Serving a raw egg yolk in the middle of the noodles creates such a pretty finish – the yolk will cook from the residual heat of the noodles when tossed through. However, if you prefer, a fried egg is also delicious.
50g thick-cut smoked streaky bacon, cut into 1cm pieces
1 tbsp salted butter
250g kimchi (and kimchi juice)
1 tbsp gochujang
4 tbsp chicken stock or water
60g frozen peas
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
190g fresh or frozen udon noodles
1 tbsp neutral oil (optional)
1 toasted nori sheet, finely sliced
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
2 spring onions, finely sliced
Set a large frying pan over a medium–high heat and add bacon pieces. Cook and watch the fat render before adding the butter, kimchi, gochujang and stock, broth or water. Bring to a gentle simmer before adding the peas. Season with black pepper.
Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet, drain and rinse with plenty of cold water to stop them sticking together. Add to the kimchi sauce and toss to combine. Remove from heat.
If you’re serving with a fried egg, fry these now in the neutral oil. Alternatively, separate the yolks from the whites of the eggs and set aside. Freeze the whites for another recipe. Serve the noodles topped with nori, sesame seeds, spring onions, and egg yolk nestled into the centre, or a fried egg on top.
Bowls & Broths by Pippa Middlehurst (Quadrille, £16.99) Photography by India Hobson & Magnus Edmondsen