Are you familiar with the Japanese word “kitsune”? It means “fox,” but is also used to describe a popular udon noodle dish! Inari age (a deep fried tofu pouch flavored with soy sauce, sugar, and mirin) is thought to be a favorite food of the Shinto god “messenger fox,” which is one possible theory about how this dish’s name came to be.
Kitsune Udon is a simple meal to prepare that really showcases the individual flavors and textures that each ingredient brings to the table. It is composed of pleasantly chewy udon noodles (soft, thick noodles made from wheat flour), dashi soup stock flavored with a mix of soy sauce and mirin, and inari age. You can also top your Kitsune Udon with thinly sliced scallion greens, dried scallion and seaweed flakes, and slices of narutomaki (a type of kamaboko, or cured fish). To achieve super thinly sliced scallion pieces, I recommend using a Scallion Vegetable Shredder and soaking the scallions in ice water to give them a nice curl before plating them on the udon.
Dashi is Japanese soup stock and serves as a base for a variety of dishes. It can be made in a variety of ways. Tokusen Udon with Soup comes with its own broth, but you can also try your hand at making your own dashi. The dashi in this recipe uses katsuobushi (dried bonito fish flakes), making it a simpler recipe than those that also call for ingredients like shiitake or kombu (kelp). It’s good to always have some katsuobushi on hand in your kitchen!
Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 1 bowl
2 tablespoons Mirin Cooking Wine from Bokksu Market
2 tablespoons Kikkoman Soy Sauce from Bokksu Market
2 teaspoons white vinegar 1 large pinch salt 1-2 pieces refrigerated inari age (deep-fried tofu pouches, found at Japanese grocery stores) 1 cup Katsuobushi Bonito Flakes from Bokksu Market, plus 2 tablespoons to garnish
1 package Tokusen Udon with Soup from Bokksu Market
2 scallion greens, thinly sliced 1 large pinch Tono Negi Nori Dried Scallion & Seaweed Flakes from Bokksu Market
Optional: 2 slices narutomaki (fish cake roll, found at Japanese grocery stores)
- Decide if you will make dashi broth from scratch or if you will use the soup base from the udon packet. If you are using the soup packet, prepare according to package instructions. If you are making your own dashi, bring 2 cups of water to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Add 1 cup packed katsuobushi flakes to the water (around 3 5g packets). Stir to make sure all of the flakes have been submerged in water.
- Lower the heat to low and let the katsuobushi flakes steep for 10 minutes.
- Strain the broth into a medium bowl with a fine mesh sieve. Then, pour the broth back into your pan.
- Add mirin, soy sauce, vinegar, and salt to the dashi and bring to a simmer once more over medium heat.
- Add the udon noodles to the dashi and cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes.
- When serving, garnish with a piece of inari age, a large pinch of scallion greens, a large pinch of dried scallion and seaweed flakes, and the remaining katsuobushi flakes. You can also add two slices of narutomaki, about ⅛” thick, if desired
By Hadley Sui