Quick & Easy Pork Belly Udon

This is a simple pork belly udon noodle soup that you can make at home, comprised of a sensational broth, crave-worthy vegetables and a soft cooked egg.

Pork Belly Udon Noodle Soup with a soft boiled egg, bok choi and fried mushroomsAlthough it bears no cultural relevance to me personally, udon noodle soup represents a significant touchstone of my childhood.

In my younger days, my parents would often take us to Happi House, a small Teriyaki chain in the Bay Area that served quick, affordable Japanese fare. Fast food, if you will, but a heck of a lot better for you than McDonald’s.

a bowl of Pork Belly Udon Noodle Soup topped with a boiled egg and mushrooms, served with chopsticks on the sideMom and dad would usually order the chicken teriyaki, but my sister and I ALWAYS opted for the same thing. Every time, without fail: udon noodle soup, por favor.

Back then I called it shoelace soup (remember I was like, seven).

a bowl of fresh udon noodles surrounded by halved bok choiWe would sit there slurping our udon noodle soups with such contentment, and it’s one of my earliest recollections of food’s ability to transcend.

I was always utterly mesmerized by those thick, dense, slippery noodles. And they still get me every time.

ingredients for udon noodle soup arranged on a rustic blue tabletopNow that my adult palate has been exposed to more worldly establishments beyond the likes of Asian chain restaurants of the San Francisco Bay (no offense mom and dad!), I’ve discovered the exceptionality of truly authentic udon soup.

My absolute favorite of them all is pork belly udon noodle soup.

Pork Belly Udon Noodle Soup with bok choi, a hard boiled egg and mushrooms

Why you need to try this Pork Belly Udon Noodle Soup: 

This is the quick, simple version that I now enjoy making at home- it’s comprised of a sensational broth that comes together in a flash along with all my favorite accompaniments:

  • Sumptuous pork belly (Trader Joe’s makes a fully cooked version that makes this recipe a breeze. Just sear and slice!)
  • A rich, silky soft-boiled egg
  • Earthy shiitake mushrooms
  • Crisp baby bok choy (make sure to toss in towards the end to maintain optimal crispness)
  • Fresh scallion- the perfect garnish

a bowl of Pork Belly Udon Noodle Soup topped with a halved boiled egg and mushrooms, with chopsticks on the sideAll of these ingredients contribute their own layer of depth that combines to form the ultimate pork udon soup.

It’s certainly a more elevated version than the one I would have at Happi House, but it still takes minimal time to prepare, which is what I love about it the most (I mean, you know, besides those fat, glorious noodles).

Cook’s Tips for making Udon Noodle Soup: 

  • When searing the pork belly, make sure your pan is piping hot before you add the oil to it.
  • Ideally, you want fresh (not frozen) udon noodles for this recipe. Dried udon noodles are not recommended for this recipe (or any other recipe, really).
  • Fresh shiitake mushrooms offer a great texture, but you can also use dried sliced ones. They are actually much more flavorful. Remember to soak them in warm water for at least 20 minutes.

Variations on this recipe: 

  • If you want to go full-on Japanese, use dashi stock made from kombu and bonito flakes instead of chicken broth.
  • Enoki mushrooms are another great addition to this Udon Noodle Soup. They can be added within the last two minutes of cooking.
  • Use ramen or soba noodles if you can’t find udon noodles.

a bowl of Pork Belly Udon Noodle Soup topped with Asian mushrooms and a soft boiled egg

Can I use Soba or Ramen Noodles instead of Udon Noodles in this recipe?

Yes, you can use a different type of noodle for this pork belly udon noodle soup. Let me summarize the differences for you:

While Udon noodles are thick, quite pale and rather neutral tasting, Ramen are thinner noodles, also made from wheat, but with a slight golden color.

Both are mild in flavor and therefore often served in a hot flavor-intense broth.  You can easily swap one noodle for the other, adjusting the cooking time accordingly. Fresh ramen should cook within a minute, dried ramen slightly longer.

Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour and have strong, nutty flavor. Many brands of buckwheat noodles have a small amount of wheat flour in them, which means they’re not gluten-free. However, pure gluten-free buckwheat soba can be found at Asian grocery stores.

Boil soba noodles for 5-7 minutes. Drain noodles and set aside, then add them to the soup along with the veggies.

If you try making this pork belly udon at home snap a pic and share it with me on Instagram with the hashtag #LePetitEats!

Pork Belly Udon
5 from 1 vote
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Quick & Easy Pork Belly Udon

This is a simple pork belly udon noodle soup that you can make at home, comprised of a sensational broth, crave-worthy vegetables and a soft cooked egg.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Keyword Asian, broth, comfort food, dinner, easy, noodle soup, noodles, pork belly, soup, warming
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Author Denisse

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 6 ounces cooked pork belly I buy mine at Trader Joe's
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce or sambal oelek
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 8 ounces fresh udon noodles
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms sliced
  • 2 cups baby bok choy chopped
  • 1/2 cup scallions thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Place eggs in a medium-sized pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, then turn off heat, cover pot and let eggs sit for about 4 minutes. Remove eggs from heat and transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Set aside.
  2. While eggs cook, add vegetable oil to a hot skillet and sear pork belly on all sides until a golden crust forms. Remove from skillet and slice thinly. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add sesame oil, garlic, ginger and chili garlic sauce and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add broth to pot along with soy sauce and rice vinegar. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Add noodles, mushrooms and the stalks of bok choy, reserving the leafy greens. Simmer gently for about 5 minutes. Taste and add more soy sauce if necessary.
  5. Divide soup evenly among four bowls. Carefully peel and halve the soft boiled eggs and place one egg each in a bowl. Add pork belly, bok choy leaves and scallions.

Pork Belly Udon - a quick and easy healthy Asian udon noodle soup recipe perfect for cold days #udonnoodles, #porkbelly
Pork Belly Udon - a quick and simple healthy Asian noodle soup recipe made from scratch with udon noodles, and tender and crisp vegetables! The perfect warming homemade soup for cold days #healthydinner, #asianrecipes

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Comments

  1. Yum Girl

    Thanks so much for submitting to Yum Goggle! The Pork Belly dish looks incredibly delicious! I may have to make this myself………please continue submitting your lovely dishes. Following on all our social media and have yummed, tweeted, google+’ed, and pinned!

    Reply
    1. Denisse Post author

      Yes, I think it would just have a more subtle flavor than the vinegar but it should work just fine!

      Reply
  2. Renee Bevis

    Excellent recipe! Found your site while searching for ways to use leftover pork belly – we love udon soups/shiitake/bokchoy etc. (husband is of Japanese heritage), so this sounded, & was, perfect. Came together quickly & is more filling than expected – no need for additional salad or side dishes. Quicker & sImpler than many Japanese-style dishes, but with full-on umami flavors. Used frozen udon & dried shiitake since that’s what was on hand & both worked out fine. Thanks – this will go into our regular rotation.

    Reply

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