Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Udon Carbonara

Hello blogosphere! Just wanted to let you all know that despite being MIA for the past 3(?) months, I am still alive and I have not forgotten about you guys or this blog. I admit I haven't cooked as much lately, which is why the posts have sort of stopped. But nonetheless, I did manage to try some pretty interesting recipes in these last few months, which I am going to post in the next few days. AND I am totally committed to trying more recipes this summer, so there will definitely be more posts from me. Big thank you to Eleanore for keeping this blog up and running and continuing to post delicious recipes! :o)

So the recipe I am going to post today is Udon Carbonara. Some of you may ask, what is udon carbonara?

For those of you who don't know:

Carbonara: Pasta alla carbonara (usually spaghetti, but also fettuccine, rigatoni or bucatini), is an Italian pasta dish based on eggs, cheese (Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano), bacon (guanciale or pancetta), and black pepper.

Udon: a type of thick wheat-flour noodle of Japanese cuisine.

Initially, I got this idea from seeing it on the menu at this asian fusion restaurant. Except they totally tried to "Asian-ize" it, using pork belly instead of bacon or pancetta, adding edamame in it, just adding a poached egg on top instead of making the sauce with it, and some other stuff. It wasn't that great. The noodles were all soggy; it was pretty tasteless because the taste from carbonara comes from the saltiness of pancetta or bacon, which they didn't use; and it wasn't creamy since they clearly didn't use egg and cream for the sauce...I didn't know what they used. In fact, here is what their version looks like (If you don't know which restaurant I'm referring to yet, I'm talking about IZAKAYA ON ELGIN STREET).

Coincidentally, I was taught how to make Carbonara by an actual Italian right before I saw this. So hence, that's how I knew quite a bit about carbonara, how to make it, the theory behind it, etc.
With my version, I bascially used the Carbonara recipe (all the same ingredients and methods), subsituting Udon noodles instead of pasta. It actually tasted great!

What you need:
- bunches of pancetta or bacon (amount to your own liking); i used pancetta so I will write the recipe with pancetta
- an egg
- equal parts of cream (about the same amount as the egg, slightly more)
- ground black pepper
- a pack of udon noodles
- parmesan cheese

Prepare your sauce mixture. Mix the egg, cream, and ground pepper in a bowl and set it aside to use later on.
Cut up the pancetta into bite sized pieces. Heat up some oil on the frying pan and cook the pancetta until the juices come out.
At the same time, boil a pot of water to cook your udon noodles, once the water is boiled, cook for about 2 minutes or whatever it says on the package. You should start cooking your udon when the pancetta is almost about ready.

Once the udon is ready, strain it so that there is no excess water. Dump the udon noodles into the pan with the pancetta and pancetta juices, and mix together. This needs to be done quick. The udon-pancetta mixture need to be still hot so that the egg and cream can cook. Then, slowly add the sauce mixture into your noodles, stirring so that the sauce is uniform. You don't want the egg to cook in a clump, so you need to be careful with this. Transfer to plate, and sprinkle parmasen cheese on top. And it's done! I added a bit of seaweed seasoning on top of it for looks and to make it a bit more Asian looking. Here it is!

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