Breakfast in Japan is an all-out, multi-course savory affair, and like in all of the best Asian countries, noodle soups are a major contingent of the morning menu. Wander into any random restaurant in Tokyo in the early hours and you’ll find yourself confronted with a dizzying variety of soup, rice and egg combinations. This bowl is about as standard as it gets: thick, chewy udon noodles are bathed in dashi (a stock made with smoked dried tuna flakes and seaweed, the lynchpin of Japanese cuisine) and topped with more seaweed, a quavering, barely-poached egg and a disk of (momentarily) crispy vegetable tempura. The tempura + soup move might seem counterintuitive (why go through the trouble of making something crispy only to drown it in broth?), but there is something deeply moving about those soft bits of vegetable batter and the way they contrast with the shards that have yet to give up their crunch.
In any case, one thing is absolutely certain: Hangovers tremble in fear at the sight of breakfast udon. Crack the yolk, shake on some sesame seeds and let the malaise melt away.