I've been getting a little more creative with my soupy noodles lately. I haven't reached the point of making my own mother broth but I do make my own stock which I use as the base of my noodles. The udon comes prepacked and just a quick boil in salted water does the trick. I like to rinse them off with cold water to get rid of some of the starch but that's personal. I don't believe ramen shops do that.
For this udon meal, I went all out with the topping. Below you can see the seared duck breast, chopped scallions, sauteed spinach with garlic, shitake mushrooms, and sauteed bean sprouts with sesame oil. In the middle is a perfectly cooked soft boiled egg. How beautiful does that look?
The duck breast was very easy to cook. I don't know why it's taken me this long to actually try cooking duck. First, I scored the skin crosswise making sure not to cut into the meat. Then I placed it in a very hot cast iron pan skin side down. Careful, there may be smoke. Once the skin gets a nice crust, I lower the heat just a smidge so that the fat rendered out of the skin without burning it. About 7 minutes in, I flip it over and sear the other side for 3 minutes. Then into the oven at 350oF for about 5-10 minutes. As you can see, it's a beautiful pink/red medium rare. Leave the duck in the oven for longer if you prefer it more done.