Curry rice is Japan’s national dish, but have you tried curry udon? The next time you have leftover Japanese curry sauce on hand, repurpose it into this comforting curry udon that’s quick, versatile, and filling.
To make curry udon, start by cooking your chicken in a frying pan over medium heat. You can also substitute chicken for your favorite protein such as pork or thinly-sliced beef, or vegan-ize this recipe by using tofu and vegan curry roux.
Next, spoon your leftover curry sauce into the pan and heat until warm. From there, transform the curry sauce into a curry broth by adding konbu dashi, soy sauce, and salt. We recommend this konbu dashi, which is produced in Osaka prefecture and made from native, not farm-raised, kelp. Adding dashi stock thins out the curry sauce and provides additional layers of umami and savory flavor.
Once the broth is simmering, add in your cooked udon noodles and stir to combine, then remove from the heat. Feel free to use fresh, dry, or frozen udon - simply prepare the noodles according to the package instructions. Finally, re-thicken the broth using a slurry of potato starch and water until the broth is silky smooth and slightly viscous. You want the broth to be thick enough to luxuriously coat each strand of udon. To finish, garnish your bowl of noodles with negi (green onions) and serve steaming hot.
Highly aromatic, more sweet than spicy, and perfect for a weeknight, it’s no wonder that curry udon remains a classic family favorite in Japanese households.
- 80-100g chicken (cut into bite sized pieces)
- Oil for cooking
- 150g Japanese curry sauce (about 2 ladlefuls)
- 5cm negi (green onion) (cut into thin slices)
- 300-350ml konbu dashi
- ½ tbsp soy sauce
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 serving udon noodles
- Pinch of katsuobushi
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp potato starch
- Choppednegi (green onion) (garnish)
- Cook the chicken in a pan on medium heat with oil then add the leftover curry sauce.
- Add the konbu dashi, soy sauce and salt. Bring to a boil and add the negi.
- Add the udon noodles (if adding dried noodles, simmer for 1-2 mins) and katsuobushi. Stir briefly and simmer for 3-4 mins. Add more soy sauce to taste if desired. Remove from heat.
- Combine the water and potato starch in a small bowl. Add to the curry a little bit at a time to thicken. Return to heat.
- When hot, serve in a bowl topped with chopped negi to garnish.
Introduction courtesy of Britney Budiman
Britney Budiman (@booritney) is a writer, minimalist, aspiring effective altruist, and runner-in-progress with a penchant for saying “yes.” Previously, she has worked in Cambodia at a traditional arts NGO, in Brazil as a social sciences researcher, and in San Francisco at a housing start-up. She currently lives in the countryside of Kagoshima, Japan, where she teaches English. Her favorite thing in the world is good conversation.