Swirling, slurping, and sliding into noodle-fueled ecstasy on a family pilgrimage to Tokyo.

Advertisement
udon noodles
Credit: Hetty McKinnon

Any visit to Tokyo necessitates a huge appetite and an openness to eating noodles at every hour of the day. From the rise of the sun, you will find locals standing shoulder to shoulder slurping noodles, often soba, served either hot or cold, sometimes topped with tempura, grilled fish cakes, or onsen tamago (soft-cooked egg). Noodles are ubiquitous in Tokyo; the variations are staggering, with an infinite ability to satisfy cravings.

On a hurriedly planned family vacation long before COVID-19 paralyzed international travel, my family and I arrived with only very basic knowledge of this iconic city, but with a firm recommendation from a friend to visit Udon Shin. Upon arriving by train to Shinjuku Station, one of the world's busiest railway hubs, a blur of dizzying lights and arcades—a formidable mix of modern and traditional—took over. We tripped down Memory Lane (Omoide Yokocho), a narrow alleyway dotted with tiny storefronts and restaurants that have barely changed since the late 1940s. My kids cheekily slipped into an arcade to spend a few minutes gaming. Wandering on, we turned onto a quieter street, where people were gathered outside a compact, dimly lit storefront: Udon Shin.

As we waited, we pressed our faces against the steamy windows, a portal into a quintessential micro-scale Tokyo kitchen. Through the partial veil of billowing steam, we were entranced by the rhythm of the udon-making process—the noodle master rolls the dough, kneading and cutting with measured hustle and utmost precision. As orders roll in, noodles are dropped into a huge vat of boiling water and then quickly cooled in an ice bath to halt cooking. Here, every bowl of noodles is made to order. Our enchantment was broken by the server, who handed us the menu—orders were taken outside, presumably so the food could be prepared while we waited. This was the efficiency and generous hospitality that we would come to love about Japan.

The menu featured several zaru udon—cold noodles served with a dipping sauce—but I opted for the hot soy sauce udon with butter, pepper, and a soft-boiled egg, and I encouraged my meat-eating son to order the signature carbonara-inspired dish with pepper, Parmesan cheese, and a slab of bacon tempura. Many of the dishes at Udon Shin are not traditional but perfectly encapsulate the skillful and inventive way the Japanese reinterpret flavors from other cultures through their own delicious lens.

Inside, the atmosphere was intimate. There were five or six seats by the counter, where my daughter and I were seated, while my husband and boys were squished around a small table against the wall behind us. When the bowl of noodles was placed before me, the thick strands cradled a jiggly soft-boiled egg and were purposefully twisted into a bath of hot soy sauce. A bundle of finely sliced scallions brought color to the plate, and everything was topped with a heavy layer of black pepper.

The wheat-based noodles were chewy and toothsome, their freshness simply bewildering. The wobbly egg melted into the noodles and coalesced joyfully with the hot soy, butter, and piquant pepper, clinging lovingly to every strand of udon. Inside, I was all aflutter, bubbling with excitement, astonishment, and sheer joy at the bowl of food before me. From the first mouthful, I recognized this to be a seminal food moment. This experience would be forever embedded into my culinary consciousness.

I grew up devouring noodles, cooked lovingly at home by my mother, so this bowl of udon felt familiar yet intoxicatingly new. The wonder of travel and roaming is finding that sense of belonging wherever one is in the world, and in this diminutive restaurant in Shinjuku, I found home in a bowl of noodles. Now, whenever I am yearning to relive the magical, life-changing experience of Tokyo, I know what to do: prepare a bowl of soy-laced, peppery udon topped with a barely set egg, which instantly transports me there from the comfort of my own kitchen.

Get the Recipe: Life-Changing Udon with Soft-Boiled Egg, Hot Soy, and Black Pepper
中文天堂最新版在线www-bt天堂网www天堂-电影天堂 长津湖免费观看完整版
意大利错失直接晋级世界杯资格 罗永浩吐槽苹果文案没文化 印度首都准备封城 速度与激情9 五个扑水的少年 星际穿越 夜色暗涌时 国足战澳大利亚大名单:4归化在列 中美元首会谈重点内容 苏宁易购回应破产传闻 国足战澳大利亚大名单:4归化在列 红色通缉令 甄嬛传 国足战澳大利亚大名单:4归化在列 中国共产党第三个历史决议全文发布 十九届六中全会公报发布 林丹世界排名被正式移除 逆局 周冠宇成为中国首位F1车手 大连一密接者擅自点外卖聚餐被调查 浦发银行回应近3亿存款莫名被质押 斗破苍穹 灵媒 外交部回应拜登重申不支持台独 24岁救人牺牲消防员获批为烈士 胡锡进谈中美元首会晤 两个女人 中国共产党第三个历史决议全文发布 24岁救人牺牲消防员获批为烈士 红色通缉令 意大利错失直接晋级世界杯资格 十九届六中全会公报发布 男子写80页PPT拯救爱情却离婚 浦发银行回应近3亿存款莫名被质押 大连现超级传播者26人在同一传播链 浦发银行回应近3亿存款莫名被质押 中国医生 寻梦环游记 房价上涨城市创七年新低 拐点来了? 花木兰 国足战澳大利亚大名单:4归化在列 失控玩家 苏宁易购回应破产传闻 我要我们在一起 长津湖 扫黑风暴 我和我的祖国 花木兰 千与千寻 24岁救人牺牲消防员获批为烈士 #耿直真香哥黑化卖惨# 扫黑风暴 得知母亲出事男子在地铁痛哭 罗永浩吐槽苹果文案没文化 国足最新出线概率0.08% 得知母亲出事男子在地铁痛哭 我和我的祖国 长津湖 我要我们在一起 大连现超级传播者26人在同一传播链 中国共产党第三个历史决议全文发布 苏宁易购回应破产传闻 国足最新出线概率0.08% 嘉南传 蜘蛛侠:英雄归来 北京冬奥火炬宣传片获金花环奖 胡锡进谈中美元首会晤 男子体检血中抽出2升油浆 国足战澳大利亚大名单:4归化在列 房价上涨城市创七年新低 拐点来了? 男子体检血中抽出2升油浆
泰顺县| 芜湖县| 温宿县| 泽州县| 丹寨县| 弥勒县| 长沙市| 新巴尔虎右旗| 桃园市| 光山县| 甘孜县| 泽州县| 海晏县| 乌海市| 色达县| 吉隆县| 沅江市| 镇雄县| 荃湾区| 准格尔旗| 布拖县| 铁岭县| 吉首市| 遂昌县|