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Natto + okra + yamaimo at Ittyo

I may not get too many takers on this, but those of you who are slimy food fans like me, Ittyo in Porter Exchange offers a dish called Neba Neba Udon that is topped with that trifecta of sliminess. A bonus is that their udon has more body and chewiness (and is thinner) than the usual example. My only complaint was that the yamaimo was diced rather than grated, which cut down on the slipperiness coefficient. They also have an udon entree that is topped with mentaiko (spicy pollack roe), which I'll try next time.

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  1. oooh, yum! I'll take the last 2 options but i'll leave all the natto for you :) And I've been wanting to try mentaiko for a long time. They sell it at Reliable and it's expensive.

    1. Thanks for the tip. I will be there ASAP because like you I am a huge fan of things like natto, okra and yamaimo. It really is too bad that they don't grate the yamaimo though. I used to go to a izakaya in Tokyo that had a salad that was just natto and okra finely chopped and mixed with a bit of ponzu. I'm also a big fan of mentaiko. The best I have ever had was in Seoul.

      1. After reading the post by Edoko I had to drive in to try it. I had my mind set on the Neba Neba Udon but I ended up trying the Mentai Udon. I have to say that it was very, very good. As Edoko said the udon is a bit thinner than the type used in soups and it has more chewiness which is a good thing. The Mentaiko had been mixed with a bit of butter and then they put a nice dollop of it on top along with some shredded nori. The Udon comes with a side of rice which for $9.50 makes a very filling lunch and a carb overload. It reminded me of a dish that is served in Tokyo at a Japanese style spaghetti restaurant called Hiyashi Spaghetti. I now can't wait to go back and try the Neba Neba Udon.

        4 Replies
        1. re: RoyRon

          Ah, must try next time. You can actually buy packets of pre-mixed mentaiko or tarako (cod roe) sauce formulated specifically for mixing with cooked spaghetti at Ebisuya in Medford. They are surprisingly good. Smaller packets of shredded nori included.

          1. re: Edokko

            Where are those packet located at Ebisuya? Refrigerated section (which one)?

            1. re: gimlis1mum

              They're not refrigerated. They are in flat, approx. 5" x 7", colorful, sealed packs. I'm not absolutely sure, but I think they are in the same aisle as furikake. The one I have at home says in English "SPAGHETTI SAUCE / SPICY COD ROE." You can always ask a store worker where the "wafuu (Japanese style) spaghetti sauces" are.

              1. re: Edokko

                Found it - right next to the furikake, as you said. Had some for lunch today and oh YUM. Briny, buttery, and a little bit spicy; perfect comfort food after shoveling all that snow. Thanks!

        2. It is something of a standard dish, a chilled noodle dish mostly eaten in summer. "Hiyashi" style. I have had it with a quail egg for even more slime. You can make a basic Hiyashi with chilled spaghetti, julienned cukes, cheap ham, scallions and nori topped with cold broth for soba or udon. When I was a kid and Japanese ingredients were sparse that is what we did. Not bad on the beach!

          3 Replies
          1. re: tatsu

            The Mentaiko and Neba Neba Udon are sort of like Hiyashi Chuka which is one of my favorite summer dishes but in these two dishes the udon is served hot. I have never seen a place serving Hiyashi Chuka here in Boston but I make it at home frequently. As you said, it has pretty basic ingredients and you can put in almost anything you like.

            1. re: RoyRon

              Inaka in Allston has Hiyashi Chuka.

              1. re: RoyRon

                I love hiyashi chuka. And it's my son's favorite dish. Sapporo in Porter Exchange serves it (or used to, anyway). But I recall that I wasn't thrilled with it. I prefer buying the frozen Chuka Zanmai packet and adding toppings at home.