Udon are typical Japanese noodles, discover these delicious noodles:
- Udon, the thickest Japanese pasta
- Udon in Japanese cuisine
- Udon in Japan
- Kagawa, the origin of udon
- Restaurant chains specializing in udon
- How to eat udon?
Udon, the thickest Japanese noodles
Udon うどん are typically Japanese noodles unlike the ramen which were imported from China. These noodles are very thick (3 to 6 mm) and round. They are made with wheat flour, which gives them a whitish color. They are very elastic and soft. These noodles are the most consumed in Japan because they are found in many Japanese dishes and they are delicious! You will often find in Japanese restaurants for the same type of dishes a side dish of soba (buckwheat paste) or udon.
In Japan, udon are cheap and very hearty hence their popularity. They are offered in soba-ya
(restaurants specialized in buckwheat noodles), in udon-ya (restaurants specialized in udon), in restaurant chains or in supermarkets (dried, vacuum-packed, or already precooked).
Udon in Japanese cuisine
Udon can be eaten cold or hot, stir-fried or eaten in a hot broth. There are manyudon dishes, we will introduce here the most popular ones:
Zaru udon The udon is eaten cold and presented on a bamboo mat. A sauce is served with this dish. There is the same dish with soba.
Tanuki Udon Served in a broth, udon are accompanied by tempura breadcrumbs often served as much as you like in restaurants.
Kake udon Kake udon is a classic dish, there is simply a hot broth and udon sprinkled with negi (Japanese spring onion).
Udon tempura Udon in broth with top of tempura (fried fritters). You can find these 2 items in separate bowls.
Kitsune Udon The udon soak in a broth accompanied by fried tofu called aburaage.
Tsukimi Udon The udon are served in a broth with an egg yolk in the center.
Kare udon Udon in a Japanese curry broth. This dish is very popular especially in winter.
Nabeyaki udon A Japanese fondue nabe with vegetables, meat and udon. All cooked in a big pot in the center of the table.
As you can see there is a wide selection. Among the classics to try first are zaru udon, kake udon and tanuki udon. You can also try yakiudon, stir-fried udon similar to yakisoba
Udon in Japan
Kagawa, origin of udon
The prefecture where these thick noodles originated is Kagawa. You will find there many udon restaurants whose specialty is sanuki udon. This is udon dipped in a soup with tuna and kelp (seaweed). You will find of course udon made in a traditional way.
Restaurant chains specialized in udon
Some restaurant chains are specialized in udon, here are some of them:
Nakau You will find this chain everywhere in Japan, but especially in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. It is a chain that is present in other Asian countries.
Hanamaru Udon This restaurant chain offers English-language menus and is beginning to expand into other Asian countries.
The advantage of these chain restaurants is that you have a wide choice of udon, and some offer English menus. Moreover, the chains are generally cheap and of good quality. It is a good way to discover udon in Japan!
How to eat udon?
The way to eatudon differs depending on theudon dish. When udon is served with a sauce, take some noodles and dip them in the sauce before eating them with Japanese chopsticks. When they are served with soup or sauce, just eat them with your Japanese chopsticks by sucking them with noise. This helps to cool the hot noodles and to experience more flavor. If there is a broth, you can drink it directly from the bowl.
It is not at all rude in Japan to make noise while eating, on the contrary! Also if you leave some broth in your bowl at the end of the meal, it is not considered rude either.