Panko crumbs make these prawns deliciously crunchy. Dried or long-life udon noodles are great to keep in the pantry, so you can turn out something as light and comforting as these soupy noodles on the spot.
20g instant dashi powder
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, wiped and sliced
250g dried or 400g long-life udon noodles
8 medium green prawns, shelled (tail left on)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup panko or fresh breadcrumbs
2 spring onions, cut into 5cm lengths
200g silken tofu, cubed
100g baby spinach leaves
For the broth, bring 800 millilitres of water to the boil, then add the dashi powder, mirin and soy sauce and simmer for two minutes. Add the mushrooms and simmer gently for five minutes.
If using dried noodles, cook them in simmering water for nine to 10 minutes until tender, then drain and rinse.
If using long-life, cover with boiling water for 30 seconds, gently separate with chopsticks, then drain and rinse.
Cut each prawn along the back and remove any intestinal tract. Open it out and run a rolling pin gently over it to flatten the meat and trim neatly.
Beat the egg until light and frothy.
Heat the oil in a small frying pan.
Dip each prawn in the egg, then the crumbs, and fry the prawns for one to two minutes each side until crisp and golden.
Add the noodles, spring onions and tofu to the soup and heat through for two minutes. Add the spinach for just a few seconds, then use tongs to divide the noodles between warm, shallow pasta bowls.
Ladle the soup on top, add the prawns and serve.