Udon is a traditional, thick Japanese noodle prepared using wheat flour. Udon can be prepared in many different ways and is considered a comfort dish for many locals. However, the simplest version is in a hot soup known as kake udon, along with a broth (commonly known as kakejiru). The broth is prepared using dashi, soy sauce, and mirin.
The dish is then topped with thinly chopped scallions. Other widely used toppings include prawn tempura, kakiage (mixed tempura fritter), abura-age (sweet, deep-fried tofu pouches), kamaboko (sliced fish cake) and shichimi spice.
There are also many other rare variants of this Japanese delicacy. Some of them include stir-fried yaki udon and curry udon prepared using Japanese curry. It is frequently added to “shabu shabu”, which is commonly known as Japanese hot pot. Some of the recipes also include the use of meat (generally chicken or beef), making them meat-centric.
Origin & Cultural Significance
There are many theories regarding the origin of udon. However, the most common story implies that they were most likely invented in China, and it was later, during the Tang dynasty (618–907 CE), that they were introduced to Japan.
It is also said that the original udon may have been more similar to a dumpling than a noodle, and in some areas of Japan, udon is still cut into squares instead of the long strands. Udon noodles play a significant role in Japanese culture and one can easily find them throughout the country.
Udon soup is considered to be very nutritious as it is packed with vitamins B1, B2, B3, B9, and folate. B1 is known to help fight stress and is also beneficial for the immune system.
- Water - 5 cups
- Instant dashi granules - 5 tsp
- Dark soy sauce – 2 tbsp
- Light soy sauce - 2 tbsp
- Sugar - 1 tbsp
- Mirin - 2 tbsp
- Dried udon noodles - 1 lb
- Green onions (thinly sliced) - 1/4 cup
- Seven-spice mixture (optional)
- Start by taking the udon noodles and cooking them according to the instructions given on the pack. Once done, drain and wash it under cold water and keep it aside. The removal of starch from the noodles ensures that they achieve a firm but chewy texture.
- Now take a large pot and add water to it. Bring it to a boil. Add in the dashi granules along with dark and light soy sauce, sugar and mirin. Make sure to lower the flame and let it simmer. Allow the ingredients to cook until the sugar and dashi have completely dissolved.
- Add the noodles to the prepared broth and divide into 4 bowls. Top off with green onions and seven-spice and voila! There you have it. Your udon soup is ready to be served.
- If you wish to store it, make sure you place the noodles and broth in different containers. The soup will be fit for consumption for about 2-3 days.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 133Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1599mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 5g