Udon: Japanese Rice Noodle with Soup

Item legend:

  • [cooking time]

  • "Brand" recommended for ingredient

  • name of item in Japanese


The following prepares one serving of udon and soup, roughly equivalent to 4 cups of water. Feel free to change portions proportionally according to appetite or numbers served. From my local Japanese grocery store, I find that most of the ingredients I buy, including the soup base and seaweed, can last me several cookings. Your mileage may vary. You may also vary the tempura and fish cake.

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 pack/serving udon ("Shirakiku" sanukiya udon, comes in a 5-serving pack)

  • 1 tsp bonito fish soup stock ("Hon-dashi", comes in pellets)

  • 1 tbsp (roughly) dried seaweed (wakame)

  • 4 1/8"-1/4" slices steamed fish cake, red ("Kibun" kamaboko aka)

  • 3 tempura balls
  • 1 fish cake, comes in hollow cylinder form (nama chikuwa)

  • 1 tsp soy sauce ("Kikoman" light salt)

  • 1 tsp oil (extra virgin olive oil works well)
  • couple leaves of napa cabbage, cut roughly into 1x2-in rectangles
  • 50g Enoki mushrooms (~half of a 3.5oz/100g package)
  • dash of dried shaved bonito (katsuobushi)

  • dash of pepper

Optional garnish:

  • 1 sheet of nori (roasted seaweed sheets, sushihane)

  • 1/2 stick of green onion, chopped into small (~1/8") segments
    (alternatively, if making 2 servings, cut the white part in 1-in segments and chop the green parts)

  • dash of Japanese soup condiment ("S&B" nanami togarashi)


Although it is OK to cook the noodle and the soup together, the taste is improved (a less adulterated, purer and "lighter" taste) by separating their cooking.

  1. Cook the noodle [boiling time + ~1 minute]
    Bring a pot of water to boil, then add the pack of frozen udon and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. (Or follow instructions of the udon you purchased)

  2. Prep the bowl of udon
    Prepare a bowl large enough for about 3 cups of content. Drain and rinse the udon briefly in cold water, then strain and pour the udon into the bowl. Add atop the udon shaved bonito, pepper, and (optionally) green onions. If adding nori, bake the nori sheet over fire for about 20 seconds (5 seconds flip), then crumple the sheet over the udon.

  3. Cook the soup [boiling time + ~5 minutes]
    Bring 3 cups of water to boil, then reduce heat to medium. Add bonito fish soup stock, soy sauce, and wakame, and allow 1 minute to dissolve and mix. Then add teaspoon of oil, kamabuku, tempura balls, and fish cake, and cook for 2~3 minutes. Finally, add cabbage and mushrooms (and the optional 1-in segments of green onion), and cook for a minute.

  4. Combine and eat
    Pour the soup content into the bowl of udon, and you're ready to eat!