Udon Noodles, Pork, Spinach and Quail Eggs

IMG_4722bSometimes you just absolutely need to eat noodles with quail eggs and spinach.  It’s a health thing.  Even if you don’t have the ingredients to make it happen, where there’s a will, there’s a way.  Of course I had all the ingredients but that’s besides the point.  If I didn’t, I would get them or substitute the hell out of the correct ingredients.  That’s the kind of person I am 😀  Yesterday, besides craving noodles, I was bored.  I’m sort of in limbo; my husband is retiring in July and I’m waiting to go back to Germany to triage our things for pack out to the U.S. and France.  I am so done with packing out!  It’s stressful and disorienting.  In addition, I don’t want to go to Germany.  Whine.  Good idea!


Anyway, I was bored yesterday.  I looked out in the garage freezer and to my surprise, there was a pork belly underneath all those packages of thick sliced bacon my husband bought at the commissary!  My hat!  Not my exclamation but I heard somebody really old say that 🙂  The pork belly had started to get that dry, aged, I’ve-been-in-the-freezer-way-too-long-look.  No matter what my husband says, things do not last for years in the freezer. As I should have, I took it out to thaw and cook, hoping for the best.


This was a French cut pork belly with a small slab of ribs attached.  I know I should have rubbed the meat with an Asian-like rub but I took out the Bavarian essence anyway. Sometimes you just have to fly in the face of convention.  I do that all the time and it’s liberating.  Okay, the Bavarian essence was already made and I didn’t want to make an Asian rub 😀  I cut the ribs from the pork belly and wondered what to do with the ribs; they couldn’t go back into the freezer.


Happily, the freezer burn/aging only affected the meat’s surfaces.  It looked good inside. In celebration, I decided to make a pork stock with the ribs.  Slice 2 carrots, 2 onions and peel 5-6 garlic cloves, then put on the bottom of a roasting pan.  Slice the ribs into individual bones and put on top of the vegetables.  Roast at 425 F for about 1 hour, then boil in a whole bunch of water with a cinnamon stick and 3 whole star anise until the meat falls off the bones.  Strain the liquid and reserve for the noodle broth.  Chop the meat and reserve as a noodle topping.  Or just use canned chicken broth and poach some chicken breasts 🙂


You can cook the pork belly on the grill or in the oven.  I cooked it in the oven at 425 F for 30 minutes, then lowered the temperature to 350 F for 1 1/2 hours.  I served the finished pork belly with some diluted plum sauce.  Extraordinary!


Udon Noodles, Pork, Spinach and Quail Eggs

6-8 cups homemade pork stock or chicken stock or canned broth

3-4 tbsp tamari soy sauce

3-4 bundles of dried udon noodles

1/2 lb fresh spinach, cut into strips

2 cups cooked pork or chicken, chopped

12-18 quail eggs, hard boiled and sliced in two

Spring onions, sliced

Bring the broth to a full boil, then add the noodles and cook according to package directions. Divide the noodles between 6-8 bowls, then top with the spinach, the meat and the quail eggs.  Ladle some hot broth over all and sprinkle with the onions.

Wine suggestion:  Veuve Clicquot







About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
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24 Responses to Udon Noodles, Pork, Spinach and Quail Eggs

  1. alifemoment says:

    Delicious recipe! 🙂

  2. Mad Dog says:

    It looks good in spite of the freezer. You’d better take a case of champagne back to germany with you to keep your spirits up 😉

  3. Serena says:

    Wow! Looks fantastic, and soooo healthy to boot!

  4. Joanne says:

    Looks delicious! Hoping retirement will include some time in Sens still? I think of your beautiful Jade often and hope she is doing well.

    • Thank you Joanne. Yes we will divide our time between Pennsylvania and Sens. Jade is now in a private school in Massachusetts. We’ll take her out this summer and enroll her in a school in our town in PA.

  5. So wish I could find quail eggs! I’m with you on moving. Wish there was a magic wand to wave.

  6. Perfect and so glad you had champagne too – that always makes everything better 🙂

  7. Christina says:

    This sounds amazing!

  8. Michelle says:

    “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Delicious!

  9. firefly1275 says:

    Looks very delicious!

  10. Mary Frances says:

    Beautiful pork belly!

  11. I need to buy a pork belly pronto!

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