(Japanese noodles in broth)
Udon noodle soup is a long-standing Japanese favorite, imported originally from China. Udon shops are found all over the country, and each one has its own specialty. The flavor of the broth and choice of garnishes vary widely from region to region. Su udon is the name in the Osaka region for plain noodles with broth. Around Tokyo, the same dish is known as kake udon.
To eat udon noodle soup, scoop noodles into your mouth using chopsticks. You can make a slurping sound if you like. It's not considered rude. Use a spoon to enjoy the broth broth, or bring the bowl right to your mouth and sip it from the edge.
Udon soup is commonly served with a variety of deep-fried tempura foods. See the variations below for some of the most popular offerings.
- Dashi stock -- 2 quarts
- Soy sauce -- 1/4 cup
- Mirin -- 1/4 cup
- Salt -- to taste
- Fresh udon noodles -- 2 pounds
- Scallions, sliced thinly -- 4 or 5
- Bring the dashi, soy sauce, mirin and salt to a low simmer in a large saucepan.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the noodles. As soon as the water returns to a boil, add 1 cup of cold water and cook for another minutes. Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water. Portion out into individual serving bowls.
- Pour the hot broth over the noodles and garnish with chopped scallions or your choice of ingredients (see below).
Udon Soup Variations
- Kitsune Udon (Fox noodles): Garnish each serving with deep-fried tofu (atsuage), chopped scallions or leek and sliced fish cake (kamaboko). Named fox noodles because foxes are said to love atsuage.
- Tanuki Udon (Raccoon noodles): Garnish each serving with the batter crumbs left over from making tempura (tenkatsu), sliced fish cake (kamaboko) and chopped scallions or leeks.
- Tempura Udon: Garnish each portion with tempura shrimp and chopped scallions.
- Tsukimi Udon (Moon viewing noodles): Garnish each serving with a poached egg, chopped scallions and fish cake (kamaboko). The egg can also be allowed to poach in the hot broth. Named after the resemblance of the poached egg to a full moon.
- Other possible garnishes: Shiitakes poached in dashi, grated daikon, shredded wakame seaweed, simmered okra.
- Sprinkle your udon with shichimi (7-flavor chile pepper) for extra flavor.
- If mirin is unavailable, substitute 1 tablespoon sugar.
- Dried udon noodles can be substituted for the fresh. Just boil until cooked through but still firm.