Udon noodles are one of the most popular types of Japanese noodles and they can be used to create many delicious Japanese dishes! Udon noodles are thick, tubular noodles made from wheat flour and they have a springier, less heavy texture than semolina flour pastas. Udon can be served hot or cold and you can find delicious fresh udon noodle dishes at restaurants or quick instant udon noodle packets at Japanese grocery stores. There are so many possibilities for how to cook with udon noodles!
If you’ve never tried udon noodles before, a great place to start is with instant udon noodles. This can be a great easy meal to keep in your cabinet and it’s a great way to switch things up if you’ve been getting bored with your usual instant ramen! Although instant ramen has made its way onto the shelves of grocery stores around the world, instant udon can be a bit harder to find, which is why Bokksu Market carries a selection of instant udon noodles! Everything you’d expect from an asian grocery store but entirely online, Bokksu Market saves you the trip to the store and allows you to order groceries online, from instant foods like udon noodles, to all the ingredients to make your own udon dishes from scratch!
A great instant udon dish to start out with is this Nissin Donbei: Beef Udon. This is a classic hot udon dish featuring udon noodles, savory beef, and a slightly sweet broth. Another great instant udon dish is Nissin Donbei: Kitsune Udon, a variation that features thin fried tofu, or aburaage, rather than meat. This is one of the most popular udon dishes in Japan, and the savory broth and fluffy tofu are the perfect pairing with udon noodles! If you really want to stock up on instant udon, consider this Sanuki Udon Set that comes with eight servings. The thick udon noodles come with a rich sardine-based broth, and the maker Kubota Mengyo suggests pairing it with tempura, wakame seaweed, and green onions.
If you’re feeling a little fancy but still don’t want to cook, there are lot of great ways to spice up any instant udon noodles! Adding some fresh vegetables or herbs is always a nice way to add some greens to your noodles, and if you want to spice up your udon noodles literally, you can always add a bit of hot sauce like classic sriracha, sriracha mayo, or some wasabi sauce. These are great ways to change up your instant udon noodles in only seconds! If you want to go above and beyond, you can also add your own protein to some plain instant udon. Fried tofu and beef are of course great options to pair with udon, but chicken, pork, or fish would also be delicious!
If a home cooked meal is more your style, there are a lot of fun udon dishes to try making! Starting out with some fresh or dried udon noodles, you can create a delicious dinner that isn’t too time-consuming. Dried udon noodles are usually easier to find, and they have a much longer shelf life, so consider using them if it’s your first time making an udon dish. Cooking dried udon is pretty similar to making other pasta, but there are a few extra steps to follow. Drop your noodles into a pot of boiling water and allow them to cook for about 10 minutes, or until the noodles are just tender. Once they’re cooked, drain them and rinse them under cold water to remove the starch and halt the cooking process. If you’re making a hot udon dish, reserve the cooking water in the pot so you can reheat the noodles later.
Once you’ve learned how to cook your noodles, you can make any udon dish! Some of the most popular udon dishes in Japan include yaki udon and nabeyaki udon. Yaki udon is a type of Japanese stir-fry that features udon noodles, meat, vegetables, and a delicious soy-sauce based sauce. This dish is very easy to customize, and once you’ve prepared your ingredients, it all comes together very quickly over a high heat. Nabeyaki udon is a hot soup that’s traditionally served in a clay pot, but whatever you have at home is just fine! It features udon of course, as well as chicken, fish cakes, and vegetables.
If you’ve never tried udon noodles before, there are a lot of great ways to enjoy them! Instant udon noodles are the perfect Japanese dish to add to your pantry and fresh udon dishes are a great addition to your cookbook! Next time you order groceries online with Bokksu Market, consider picking up some instant udon or ingredients to make your own udon!
By Courtney Thompson