Unlike ramen noodles, which are made in thin strips, many prefer udon. They are considered comfort food for Japanese people. But do you know how to cook udon noodles?
How to cook udon noodles? To prepare your favorite udon noodles, place them in a pan of water brought to a boil. Stir them, then refill the saucepan with cold water and bring it back to a boil. Lower the heat and cook them until they soften. Finally, you should drain and rinse them under cold running water.
To boil your udon properly, stir them in boiling water for 8 to 9 minutes (if you’re using semi-dried udon). If you are using dry udon, keep in mind that 10 to 12 minutes is required. To check whether they are done, take a noodle from the pot, put it in cold water for a moment, and take a bite. The noodle strip should have a firmer center (but not crunchy) and a slick but not excessively soft outside surface. While Italians prefer their pasta al dente, the Japanese love noodles in the state of Koshi, or “substance.” Cook for a minute or two if necessary, then check again and rinse once they are done.
Udon are thick noodles (thicker than ramen noodles) made out of wheat flour, so they are not rice noodles. They are a common ingredient in many Japanese dishes. Usually, udon are prepared with a mild type of broth named kakejiru, made from dashi – a broth made of kombu and bonito flakes, mirin, and soy sauce. If you love to try something more uncommon, there are plenty of options, too. From the stir-fried delicious Yaki udon to the udon with Japanese curry, it’s a really loved type of noodle. It’s even used as an ingredient in shabu-shabu, the Japanese hot pot dish.
The table below shows the nutritional information of one serving of udon noodles.
(Calories from fat)
|0.03 oz – 1%|
(0.007 oz – 1%)
|Cholesterol||0 oz – 0%|
|Sodium||0.0004 oz – 1%|
|Potassium||0.004 oz – 4%|
|1.5 oz – 14%|
(0.06 oz – 7%)
|Vitamins/minerals||Vitamin A – 0%|
Vitamin C – 0%
Calcium – 2%
Iron – 10%
One of the Best Recipes Will Show You How to Make Stir-Fried Yaki Udon
Before you start preparing your yaki udon, make sure you prepare the special, 5-ingredient yaki udon sauce. To prepare it, you will need some dark soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, and oyster sauce. If you want a little more kick to it, add some crushed red pepper or Gochugaru to the mix. Other ingredients include:
- Sanuki-style or other udon noodles you like. Keep in mind that once you buy them, you can easily store them in the freezer. Frozen udon will get a lovely chewy texture and will unlikely get overcooked and mushy during the cooking process.
- Chicken or shrimp, while you can swap it for tofu, mushrooms, bok choy, and any other vegetable for the vegetarian option. Your choice of protein may also be thinly sliced beef, bacon, pork, or a type of seafood.
- Garlic and onion. These two vegetables are often used in dishes as the favorite aromatics duo.
- Green onions, mushrooms, cabbage, and carrot. You will use them to add to the stir-fry, but any other leftover vegetables could do the trick.
- The 5 ingredients yaki udon sauce that we’ve mentioned above – you can make it spicier or less spicy, all to your liking.
- Bonito flakes, toasted sesame seeds, kewpie mayo, and green onions are all optional for garnish but make a delightful combo.
Keep in mind that any type of stir-fry meal is best prepared in a wok – the essential cookware for many Asian dishes.
Season the shrimp or protein of your choice with pepper and salt while you mix all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Cook, drain, and set aside your udon. In a wok, heat the oil over medium heat and add the shrimp. Simmer for about 2 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened, and then remove from the flame. In the same wok, heat the oil, then add the onion and garlic and sauté until fragrant. Cook for another 2-3 minutes after adding the cabbage, carrot, and mushrooms. Toss together the fried shrimp, udon noodles, and sauce until the noodles are equally coated. Toss in the veggies and stir to blend. Wrap everything up with a garnish.
Udon noodles are always cooked the same way, and depending on whether they are semi-dried or dry, you will cook them in boiling water from 8 to 12 minutes. However, as for the different dishes they can be used with, the Japanese serve them hot and cold – hot in the winter and cold in the summer. Going back to the Edo period in Japan, they were usually served with a hot broth called nurumugi, while the chilled version was called hiyamugi. That is an all-around favorite type of noodle even today, and they can be equally enjoyed in salads and soups.