My favorite moon-viewing noodle bowls were lovely glowing golden glass, beautiful as the full autumnal equinox moon.
Tsukimi udon (or soba) are hot noodles served with a raw egg on top to represent the moon. There are so many cautions about raw eggs and salmonella in the U.S. that I aim for poaching the egg in the bowl. I warm the bowls in a low oven (250°F / 120°C), serve the noodles hot, crack the room temperature eggs on top, ladle hot soup over them, cover with foil, return the bowls to the oven for a few minutes, then serve. OK, I’m one of the last few people who doesn’t have a microwave in my kitchen, but this technique has worked! The glass must be tempered by now! I served J. then as I reached for my bowl to photograph:
||Tsukimi (月見) refers to the Japanese tradition of holding parties to view the harvest moon. Moon viewing was introduced to Japan from China during the Nara (710-794) and Heian periods (794-1185). Harvest moon viewing took place on August 15th in the lunar calendar, and it was called jugoya, which means the night of the 15th. Jugoya in the present calendar changes every year and usually falls in September or October.
|On the evening of the full moon, it is traditional to gather in a place where the moon can be seen clearly, to decorate with Japanese pampas grass, and to serve white rice dumplings (known as Tsukimi dango), taro, edamame, chestnuts and other seasonal foods, plus sake as offerings to the moon for an abundant harvest. —a short summary from wikipedia and kyotoguide
Hot Udon Noodles
with Chicken and Egg
The Japanese Kitchen
•250 Recipes in a Traditional Spirit•
by Hiroko Shimbo
- 1 pound dried udon
- 4 cups kakejiru (broth for hot noodles)
- 1 boned and skinned chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 whole scallions, the white parts cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths, the green into thin rings
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten (don’t beat them for moon noodles!)
- Shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven spice powder)
In a large pot of boiling water, cook the noodles al dente, about 4 to 6 minutes. Drain in a colander, and rinse them under cold running water, rubbing them between your hands until they are cold and no longer starchy on the outside. Set them aside to drain.
In a medium pot, bring the broth to a boil over medium heat. Add the chicken and white parts of the scallions, and cook until the chicken is done, about 5 minutes.
Add the cooked noodles to the broth, and bring the broth to a boil.
Ms. Shimbo instructs the cook to add the eggs to the pot and cook partially covered for about 1 minute. Divide noodles among the bowls, top with chicken and onions, and pour the hot broth/egg mixture into each bowl.
I served the noodles and broth into bowls, added an egg to each. I covered the bowls with foil and put them in the oven for a couple of minutes to lightly cook them.
Garnish each bowl with the green onion rings and sprinkle with seven-spice powder.
Links to basic recipes needed for moon viewing noodles:
1.) dashi: katsuobushi with bonito fish flakes
2.) dashi: niboshi with dried baby sardines
1.) kakejiru: broth for hot noodle with katsoubushi (bonito fish flakes)
2.) kakejiru: broth for hot noodle with niboshi (dried baby sardines)