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Stir-Fried Buttered Kimchi Udon – Kimchi Bokkeum Udong

This recipe is our go-to on busy weeknights where only a bowl of noodles will do. The substantial udon noodles are stir fried with butter kimchi and finished with a soft egg. Delicious!


There are quite a few noodle recipes in Pocha that use kimchi as a main flavour building bock because kimchi is such a versatile ingredient that can really add impact to a dish with hardly any effort. Besides, Korean homes are never without kimchi in various stages of fermentation. Over-ripe, sour-tasting kimchi is best suited to this dish; when softened in butter, its sharp, pungent edge mellows and as the cabbage cooks down, its floppy texture becomes more livened with a pleasant bite. The flavours of kimchi carried by lip-glossing fat are rich and luscious, kissing the bouncy noodles beautifully. Sprinkled greedily here are flakes of crunchy, salty-sweet seaweed that disappear into the depths of the tangy kimchi; the softness of the seaweed crumbs remain in the back palate, humming with notes of the gentle ocean. It is a deliciously self-caring lunch for one, which can easily be multiplied for a larger crowd.

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1 serving of frozen udon noodles
20g ( ¾ oz) unsalted butter
1 spring onion (scallion), sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
100g (3.oz) ripe cabbage kimchi, roughly chopped
½ tsp golden granulated sugar
¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp mirin
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp perilla oil
sea salt flakes, to taste
To serve:
1 soft-boiled egg, halved
2 tbsp gim jaban (crumbled toasted seasoned seaweed)
½ tsp toasted white sesame seeds, lightly crushed
A pinch of chilli powder (optional)


Soak the frozen udon noodles in just-boiled water for 1 minute to loosen. Drain and rinse in cold water before draining fully. Set aside. Now is a good time to boil the egg, too. Melt the butter in a wok or sauté pan over a medium heat. Add the spring onion and garlic. Once the pan starts to sizzle and smells very fragrant, stir in the kimchi, sugar and black pepper. Lower the heat a touch and sauté for 5 minutes to soften the kimchi, stirring occasionally. Add the mirin and continue cooking for a further 1 minute until the kimchi is softened.

Increase the heat to high and swiftly stir in the udon noodles. Pour the soy sauce along the edge of the pan. Add the perilla oil and stir-fry for 2 minutes until everything is well combined and the noodles are cooked. Check for seasoning and adjust it with a pinch of salt, if necessary.

Remove from the heat and transfer to your favourite bowl. Top with the soft boiled egg and gim jaban. Scatter with the crushed sesame seeds and a pinch of chilli powder, if using.

Pocha by Su Scott (Quadrille, £27), Photography by Toby Scott.

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