Hippari Udon which means, pulled udon, is a regional specialty from Yamagata prefecture in Tohoku Japan. Nobody knows where the name actually came from, but some people think it came from the way they eat this dish which is by pulling the noodles from a pot in the center of a dining table for sharing.
The cooked noodles are pulled from a pot, and dipped into a individual dipping sauce with varieties of condiments which makes this dish unique. The example of condiments are chopped scallions, natto (Japanese fermented soybeans), a can of sardine and a raw egg which are all staples in their pantry at home. This is a dish created for the winter time in Yamagata to be able to make any time without going to a store. Also another important fact is that this dish was created for people to get connected and social with neighbors. Gathering and pulling noodles from one pot together is a good way to social with neighbors in a cold snowy days in winter where people could get isolated.
This dish became popular as a B-kyu (second level) gourmet which means a hidden gourmet dish (please see a separate post for the explanation about B-kyu gourmet) recently. When I saw this, I was so excited about it mainly because these ingredients could be so easily obtained in the US. I think tt is a fun way to eat, and it also keep you warm in the winter time. Since we had so much snow this winter, this dish because very popular in my house this winter.
How to eat Hippari Udon
1 lb Dried udon noodle or other kind of noodle
A few package of Natto (see the separated post for how to prepare natto)
A can of sardine in water
1 bunch chopped scallions
a raw egg per person
Cook the noodle according to the package. When it is ready, bring the whole pot to the table without draining.
While noodles are cooking, prepare a dipping sauce. In a individual bowl, add a spoonful of natto, and a spoonful of sardine, small handful of chopped scallions and a raw egg, and add soy sauce. lightly mix it.
When you are ready to eat, pull the noodles into your bowl, mix into the sauce and eat. Feel free to add additional condiments and soy sauce as you eat.