It is often served hot as a noodle soup in its simplest form, as kake udon, in a mildly flavoured broth called kakejiru, which is made of dashi, soy sauce, and mirin. It is usually topped with thinly chopped scallions. Other common toppings include tempura, often prawn or kakiage (a type of mixed tempura fritter), or aburaage, a type of deep-fried tofu pockets seasoned with sugar, mirin, and soy sauce. A thin slice of kamaboko, a halfmoon-shaped fish cake, is often added. Shichimi can be added to taste.
The flavour of broth and topping vary from region to region. Usually, dark brown broth, made from dark soy sauce (koikuchi shoyu), is used in eastern Japan, and light brown broth, made from light soy sauce (usukuchi shoyu), is used in western Japan. This is noticeable in packaged instant noodles, which are often sold in two different versions for east and west. Currynanban is another popular variation, served in curry broth.
Udon noodles are boiled in a pot of hot water. Depending on the type of udon, the way it is served is different as well. Udon noodles are usually served chilled in the summer and hot in the winter. In the Edo period, the thicker wheat noodle was generally called udon, and served with a hot broth called nurumugi. The chilled variety was called hiyamugi.
Cold udon, or udon salad, is usually mixed with egg omelette slices, shredded chicken and fresh vegetables, such as cucumber and radish. Toppings of Udon soup are chosen to reflect the seasons. Most toppings are added without much cooking, although there are also deep-fried tempura. Many of these dishes may also be prepared with soba.
- What is kakejiru made of?
- What is aburaage?
- Which is a halfmoon-shaped fish cake?
- How are Udon noodles cooked?
- Which is a chilled variety of Udon noodles ?