Niku Udon (肉うどん) is a classic Japanese dish and comfort food, combining traditional Japanese flavors into one soothing bowl of noodles! Complete with chewy udon noodles, tender sweet beef, and savory soup, this dish is sure to become one of your favorites.
Niku Udon consists of three central components:
Udon- Udon is a thick, glutinous noodle made from wheat flour. We recommend using 5-grain beauty udon noodles, but any variety of frozen or fresh udon will also work! Simply prepare according to the instructions on the packaging.
Beef - Niku Udon is made with thinly-sliced beef. If you have an Asian grocery store nearby, look for “shabu shabu cut” or “hot pot cut.” However, if you can’t find it, you can instead slice a block of beef by hand. The best cuts for this recipe are rib eye, sirloin, or topside steak.
Soup - The bulk of the soup’s flavor comes from dashi powder, so it is important to choose a good one. We recommend soda bushi dashi powder, which is made from 100% frigate tuna and bursting with umami flavor. The deep savoriness of the broth complements the caramelized sweetness of the stir-fried beef.
Traditional udon noodle soup toppings include soft-boiled egg, narutomaki (fish cake), sliced green onion, grated ginger, and shichimi togarashi (Japanese chili flakes). For a less traditional approach, you can also add hearty vegetables such as cabbage, spinach, and carrots into this dish. Just toss them in the boiling soup and cook until tender.
- 1/2 negi (green onion)
- 200g thin slices of beef
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- ½ tsp sugar
- 2 servings of udon noodles
- Shichimi Togarashi and/or Yuzu Kosho to taste
For the soup:
- In a pot, add 500ml of water and dissolve the dashi powder together with the soy sauce and mirin. Bring to a boil then turn off the heat.
- Cut the negi diagonally and the meat into bite size pieces.
- In a frying pan, heat the oil. Stir fry the meat until it is well cooked. Lower the heat and add soy sauce and sugar to caramelize the meat. (Keep an eye on the soy sauce because it can burn easily)
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the udon according to the instructions on the packaging. Strain and place in a large bowl.
- Add the soup to the bowl of noodles and top with the caramelized meat and negi.
- For a touch of spice, add a dash of shichimi togarashi and/or a dollop of yuzu kosho.
Recipes courtesy of Eleonora Badellino. You can find her at @everydayobento
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.