Sesame-Brown Butter Udon Noodles

4 servings


15 minutes

total time



14 to 16 ounces udon, preferably thick fresh, frozen or shelf-stable noodles

1 pound baby spinach or coarsely chopped or torn mature spinach

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, plus more for serving

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, plus more as needed

Pinch of granulated sugar

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, plus more for serving


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook according to package directions until just tender. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then add the spinach and press to submerge. (It will continue cooking later.) Drain the noodles and spinach, shaking to get rid of any excess water.

Set the pot over medium heat. Add 5 tablespoons butter and cook, stirring occasionally, until the foam subsides, the milk solids turn golden-brown and it smells nutty and toasty, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the black pepper and stir until fragrant. Add 1/4 cup pasta water, plus the noodles and spinach, soy sauce and sugar, and toss until the sauce is thickened and silky. Add pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the sauce clings to the noodles.

Remove from heat, add the sesame seeds and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter until melted. Season to taste with more soy sauce and black pepper (if mild) and sugar (if too salty). Serve with more sesame seeds on top.


Serving Size




Total Fat

25 g

Saturated Fat

13 g

Unsaturated Fat

10 g

Trans Fat

1 g




581 mg

Total Carbohydrate

82 g

Dietary Fiber

7 g

Total Sugars

3 g


20 g

4 servings


15 minutes

total time
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