Updated: Nov 6
This dish is a derivative of Taiwan Maze Soba. You can use my recipe with either udon or soba (or even ramen) noodles and it will work very well - I just think it works best with udon noodles.
Where does the name come from? Well, first of all, the Taiwan bit - Although this dish originated in Nagoya City in central Japan some time in the 1980s, the technique of flavouring and oiling the noodles before eating comes from China and in this case, specifically, Taiwan. (Some say that the chef was Taiwanese but I don't know for sure.) The word "maze" in Japanese is a verb meaning "to mix" - the idea here is that once the dish is presented to the diner, he/she mixes everything together with chopsticks before eating. So, put the words together and voila - Taiwan style mixed noodles.
Apart from your noodles - udon, soba or ramen, what is in the dish? It is usually served with minced pork although beef mince would be equally good. Along with the meat, a Taiwan Maze dish is usually topped with chopped spring onions / scallions, some chopped garlic, chopped Chinese / garlic chives and shredded nori seaweed. Optional toppings include katsuo flakes (which I use here as I think they provide an added level of umami flavour to the dish) furikake or tempura batter scraps.
In Japan a raw egg is used to crown the dish and mixed into the noodles befor eating. In my recipe I use a soft poached egg instead - most people like poached egg but a lot don't like the raw variety and there's also the health risk as well - I don't want any of you going down with an upset tummy!
So, how are the noodles and the pork flavoured?
First, the pork. I make up a sauce that combines soy sauce, mirin, a little sugar, Chinese Shaoxing wine, oyster sauce and Chinese Toban Djan chilli sauce. (You can use sherry or Japanese sake as a substitue for the Shaoxing wine. Similarly, other chilli sauces like Thai Sriracha will work in place of the Toban Djan.) The recipe involves stir frying the pork and then stirring in the sauce. The idea is to get the sauce quickly absored into the meat before removing it from the heat.
As for the noodles, once these have been cooked, I pour over a little sesame oil and soy sauce and mix it into the noodles for flavour and colour.
You might be thinking that there are quite a few parts to this recipe and you'd be correct. But you can make the dish for 2 -4 diners in under 30 minutes and I can promise you, for a rich, hearty plate of noodles, this Taiwan Maze Udon dish is really hard to beat!
If you would like to give this dish a try, you can find the Youtube tutorial by clicking Taiwan Maze Udon of by scrolling to the bottom of the page. The written recipe is just below.
Happy cooking! Kurumi XXXX.
(makes 2 servings)
30g / 1 oz Chinese or garlic chives, rinsed
2 spring onions / scallions, rinsed (if you can't find garlic chives, double the amount of spring onions / scallions instead)
1 packet (2g/0.07oz) of Katsuo flakes
1 sheet of nori
1 clove of garlic
for the sauce for the pork mince:
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp Chinese Shaoxing wine (or sherry or Japnese sake)
1 tsp Oyster sauce
1/2 Chinese Toba Djan chilli bean sauce (or an alternative chilli bean sauce such as Thai Sriracha)
1 tsp vegetable oil
150g / 5 oz minced pork
2 packets of udon noodles
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp white vinegar
first, prepare the toppings:
chop the rinsed chives into small pieces
repeat with the spring onion
rub the katsuo flakes inside the packets to break the flakes into smaller pieces
fold the sheet of nori in half, fold again, then fold two more time. use a pair of scissors to cut into shreds
mince the clove of garlic
to prepare the sauce for the minced pork:
combine the soy sauce, mirin , sugar, Chinese Shaoshing wine, oyster sauce and Toban Djan in a small bowl
heat 1 tsp of vegtable oil in a frying pan. add the minced pork and fry for about 3 mins. next, add the sauce to the pan and stir fry for another 2 minutes or until the sauce is almost absorbed into the pork
bring a large pan of water to the boil. add the udon noodles and cook according to the instructions on the packet (usually around 3 minutes)
drain the noodles and mix with 1/2 tbsp of soy sauce & 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
break 1 egg each into a small bowl. bring water to the boil in a small pan. add 1 tbsp of white vinegar and swirl the water so that it is moving around the pan. quickly add the egg into the middle of the pan. cook for 2 minutes before gently removing with a spoon or small sieve.
repeat for egg #2
now to assemble your Taiwan Maze Udon:
place 1/2 the udon noodels into each bowl. then arrange the minced pork, Chinese garlic chives, spring onion, nori, the minced garlic and katsuo flakes over the udon.
lastly place the poached egg in the centre of the bowl
serve and before eating, mix all the ingredients together using chopsticks or a fork