Inspired by a pasta dish we enjoyed at a Japanese restaurant long ago, this Japanese carbonara has angel hair pasta, bacon, cream, salted egg powder, bonito flakes and furikake.
Salted egg powder? Why not raw eggs like traditional Italian carbonara? To start with, it appears that carbonara was originally made with powdered eggs from the ration of American soldiers in Rome during World War II.
History notwithstanding, there’s the risk of salmonella in undercooked egg. Eggs have to reach a temperature of 160F (71C) or hotter to make sure that you can’t catch salmonella. The temperature is hard to measure when tossing raw eggs with hot pasta.
So, to take the guesswork out of the equation, why not just cream and salted egg powder? The texture of the sauce is similar and you get all the egg-y goodness too. Not possible if you use cream with no salted egg powder.
- Roughly chop the bacon and fry in an oil-free pan over medium heat until browned and crisp.
- Scoop out and set aside.
- Cook the pasta in boiling water with a teaspoonful of salt.
- Stir the cream and salted egg powder until smooth.
- Drain the pasta, dump into the pan with the bacon fat and pour in the cream mixture.
- Add pepper and toss.
- Add the bacon and toss again.
- Divide the pasta among three bowls.
- Sprinkle with bonito flakes and furikake.
- Serve your Japanese carbonara immediately.