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Udon is a specific type of noodle that is very common in Japan and used in a variety of Japanese dishes. The udon noodles are thick and made from wheat flour. The most common way to eat these thick udon noodles is in soup broth known as Kake udon.

Udon noodle soup is hearty, warm, and filling with a savory broth made from soy sauce, mirin, and dashi. The specific flavors of the broth differ from region to region, and this is reflected in the color of the broth. The soup is filled with thick udon noodles and topped with many other delicious options. These include chicken udon soup, tempura udon soup, beef udon soup, and udon miso soup. Additionally, it is served with thinly sliced green onions and more often than not has a small fish cake or two added to the top. These fish cakes are known as kamaboko and add both flavor and texture to the brothy soup.

It is believed that udon noodles date back to the Edo period, most specifically the shape of the noodles. Like miso soup, the concept of broth made from bonito emerged at the same time.


How to Eat Udon Noodle Soup

The most common type of soup – Kake Udon – is often served in a donburi bowl. The noodles are boiled fresh and the hot broth is then poured over the noodles into the bowl. To eat the soup, it is recommended to scoop the noodles with chopsticks. Pick up the bowl, and bring it directly to your mouth in order to sip the broth from the bowl. It is not a dish to savor slowly as the noodles can get soggy if they sit in the broth for too long. They are more enjoyable when they retain their firmness and freshness.

You can also season the soup to your desired taste by adding some extra flavors. These spices are often already on the table or you can ask for them. Things such as ginger, seasons, extra scallions, or hot sauce and chili powder add a spicy kick.

Another interesting way to enjoy Udon noodles is in Bukkake, which refers to a cold udon noodle dish. The fresh noodles are delicious when they are chilled and served with sauce and other toppings similar to the hot soup. For a cool, refreshing way to sample udon, Bukkake is a good choice. It can be nice to try both the Kake Udon and the Bukkake and see which way you prefer to slurp up the fresh udon noodles.

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