Hetty McKinnon’s Cacio e Pepe Udon Noodles

published Sep 23, 2021
Hetty McKinnon's Cacio e Pepe Udon Noodles Recipe

This hybrid dish from Hetty McKinnon's cookbook, To Asia, With Love, plays on an Italian classic, Cacio e pepe, with the addition of udon noodles and a hint of miso.

Serves4

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Credit: Hetty McKinnon

The idea for this dish came to me while I was in Japan, where hybrid cooking is executed with unparalleled flair and precision. At Shin Udon, a sliver of a restaurant in Tokyo’s Shibuya, they serve not only the best udon dish I’ve ever eaten, but they also offer a carbonara-inspired noodle dish that comes topped with butter, pepper, Parmesan, and bacon tempura. My son ordered this dish and it was as decadent as it sounds. Inspired by this melting pot of flavors, this recipe pairs another Italian classic, pecorino and black pepper, with burly udon noodles. The little hint of miso adds an extra layer of deliciousness. This dish is destined to become a family staple.

Hetty McKinnon’s To Asia with Love is Kitchn’s September pick for our Cookbook Club. See how you can participate here.

Credit: Sarah Crowley

Hetty McKinnon's Cacio e Pepe Udon Noodles Recipe

This hybrid dish from Hetty McKinnon's cookbook, To Asia, With Love, plays on an Italian classic, Cacio e pepe, with the addition of udon noodles and a hint of miso.

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 28 ounces

    shelf-stable, vacuum sealed fresh udon noodles

  • 6 tablespoons

    salted butter, cubed

  • 1 tablespoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus extra to serve

  • 2 tablespoons

    white (shiro) miso

  • 6 ounces

    Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated

  • Sea salt

Instructions

  1. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the noodles and blanch them for about 30 seconds, stirring with chopsticks to separate the strands. Drain immediately, reserving about 1 cup (250 ml) of the cooking water.

  2. Melt 4 tablespoons (60 g) of the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the black pepper and stir for 20–30 seconds, until fragrant and toasted. Pour in about half the reserved cooking water, then add the noodles, miso and remaining butter. Turn off the heat, then add half the pecorino and season with a little sea salt. Toss the noodles until the cheese melts and the noodles are well coated (if the noodles seem dry, add some more of the reserved cooking water).

  3. Transfer to serving plates and top with the remaining pecorino and, if you like, more pepper.

Recipe Notes

Substitutions: Rice noodles or ramen noodles can be used in place of udon. Parmesan can be used in place of Pecorino. To make this dish vegan, use vegan butter and nutritional yeast instead of pecorino.

Recipe reprinted by permission from To Asia, With Love, by Hetty McKinnon, published by Prestel.