Mentaiko Kimchi Udon Recipe

mentaiko kimchi udon

What do you do when you have excessive amounts of homemade kimchi in the fridge? Make mentaiko kimchi udon, of course!

udon, kimchi, mentaiko, butter, nori, green onions

Mentaiko kimchi udon is one of my favourite noodle dishes ever.
I know I’ve said before that I don’t really love kimchi, so it’s kind of strange that one of my favourite noodle dishes contains it, but before I learned to love that strange, spicy, pickled flavour, I would just pick the kimchi out and eat the udon. Oh, and what an udon it is! I first had this dish at Zakkushi, a Japanese charcoal grill restaurant. One bite of those springy, chewy, wheat-flour noodles tossed with spicy roe and kimchi and I was hooked. I can eat plates and plates of this stuff. So with an abundance of happy fermented kimchi in the fridge, I decided to do just that: eat plates and plates of the stuff.

mmm...mentaiko covered udon

I love all kinds of noodles, but udon holds a special place in my heart. I’ve always enjoyed thicker noodles, mostly for the chewy bite they have. There’s a world of difference within the varieties of packaged udon you buy at the supermarket, so I say, find the kind you like and stick with it. For me, that brand is frozen Maruchan Kame Age Udon. I find frozen udon much more superior than the udon you buy refrigerated or vacuum packed. The noodles taste fresher, are more slick and chewy and have a slight rectangular quality. They taste great just in a plain broth, or even better as mentaiko kimchi udon.


Mentaiko is known as Japanese spicy cod roe, but really it’s pollock roe. It’s marinated in salt and red pepper and has a rich, creamy flavour and a reddish hue. Originally Mentaiko was Korean, which explains why it pairs so well with kimchi.

mise-en-place for mentaiko kimchi udon

Mentaiko kimchi udon is so ridiculously easy to make that I wish I had mentaiko all the time.  You can purchase it at most Japanese grocery stores or maybe even Korean ones. I found mine at Fujiya, a popular Japanese centric grocery store here in Vancouver.

mentaiko released from its sac

Mentaiko Kimchi Udon Recipe


1 sac of mentaiko
2 tablespoons of kimchi
2 bricks of frozen udon
2 tablespoons of butter
sliced green onions and nori for garnish


1. Melt the butter over low heat. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
2. Remove the roe from the sac. Cut the sac open with a knife and use a spoon to scrape the eggs out.
3. Put a pot of water big enough for your two bricks of udon to boil on high heat.
4. Cook the udon according to the cooking directions on the package.
5. Mix the mentaiko and butter together.
6. Drain your udon and while it is hot, toss it with the mentaiko butter combination. Once the udon is coated, add the kimchi and toss well.
7. Sprinkle with sliced green onions and nori.
8. Enjoy!

Mentaiko kimchi udon is spicy, creamy and delicious. You’ll dream about this udon. I know I do.

close up of mentaiko kimchi udon

green onion and nori topped mentaiko kimchi udon

Mentaiko Kimchi Udon on Foodista

24 Comments add yours

  1. I just have to tell you, I am loving your blog. I live in NYC and am a frequent visitor and huge fan of momofuku, and your blog and photos are simply wonderful. With your pictures, you’ve really captured the momofuku aesthetic and all of your food looks delicious.

  2. eek – hit return to soon, and wanted to thank you for this new recipe – I’m excited to try it.

    Hi Anne,
    Thanks for the kind words. I love Momofuku too! Trust me, If I lived in NYC I’d be there weekly. Let me know how the Mentaiko Kimchi Udon recipe goes for you!

    steph on January 26th, 2010 at 5:00 pm
  3. Great post! I love the can of pbr- it pairs well with a wide variety of dishes.

    Hi Lauren,
    Thanks for your comment! My husband thinks PBR goes with everything too!

    steph on January 27th, 2010 at 2:54 pm
  4. I love the way this looks and I believe I will have to make this at home this weekend! I’ve never been to Zakkushi, but I’ve had a similar dish at Kingyo and Guu. In any case, I am sure it is delicious!

    Hi Jessica,
    So excited that you’re going to try making Mentaiko kimchi udon at home! Let me know how it goes!

    steph on January 28th, 2010 at 12:18 pm
  5. Hello Stephanie,
    I’m a huge fan of your blog! We were fortunate to attend a book press event with David Chang to listen to him discuss his cookbook- what a passionate person! I’m thrilled you are cooking your way through the book!!! You can be sure that I will be following along with you in your cooking adventures!

    Hi Melissa,
    I’m thrilled to be cooking my way through the book! It’s definitely pushing my boundaries as a home cook. Thanks so much for dropping by!

    steph on January 28th, 2010 at 1:44 pm
  6. I made this twice in a row. My husband went kookoo for this recipe. Thank you so much for posting it!!

    Have you tried melting the butter in the microwave? It saves you from washing an extra saucepan. ;)

    Here’s my post about your dish, along with a similarly simple Italian pasta.

    Hmm…less dishes to wash?!? I think I’ll have to look into this microwaving butter thing! I’m so glad the udon worked out…I want to eat some right now!

    steph on February 3rd, 2010 at 3:21 pm
  7. this looks just absolutely delicious. looks like a trip to medi-ya is in order:) thank you for sharing:)

    Thanks! Mentaiko kimchi udon is better than just delicious, it’s fast too!

    steph on February 6th, 2010 at 11:49 am
  8. Hi Steph,

    I just found your blog and have been going through the posts drooling at all the gorgeous looking food! I saw this recipe and just had to make it. It is indeed delicious! Thank you so much for posting it!

    Thanks! I’m so happy you thought the udon was delicious!

    steph on March 12th, 2010 at 12:02 pm
  9. Totally awesome! My Japanese friends loved it! ほんとにおいしかった!

    I took a few pics of it too:

    Yum! Your pics look so good. I love your green bowl and the nori flakes on top look so good!

    steph on April 2nd, 2010 at 11:25 am
  10. Thank you so much for posting this recipe. We went to Zakkushi on Main St. last night for the first time and had their Mentaiko kimchi udon. It was so good, that I decided to search for a recipe today in hope of being able to recreate it. Low and behold, my first click took me to your blog. I too love Momofuko and look forward to returning to it on our next NYC trip. Thanks so much for posting this recipe. I look forward to reading through your blog too.

    I love it when people like the same dishes I do! Zakkushi’s mentaiko kimchi udon is my absolute favourite thing to order when I’m there even though I can make it at home too.

    steph on May 25th, 2010 at 9:15 am
  11. HI there, i am going to cook this for my friend and i. will one sac of mentaiko be good enough if i use three udon bricks??what will i need less or more of if i want to have some leftover or make sure i make enough for two ppl.. and still taste good?

  12. I’m so glad I found this recipe, I just had this for the first time at a local Japanese/Korean fusion place and fell in love with it. Will be trying it out for sure, thanks for sharing!

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