What Are Udon Noodles? A Guide to Delicious Japanese Food

Learn about Japanese comfort food – Udon Noodles! These chewy noodles are sure to please your taste buds. Explore what they are and their delicious recipes!

curry udon noodles with text overlay.

Udon noodles have been a staple of Japanese cuisine for centuries. Their unique chewy texture is part of what makes them so special!

Dig in and discover all about these comforting noodles! You’ll learn the varieties, how to use them, and the delicious dishes you can make!

What is Udon?

frozen udon noodles.

Udon noodles, the classic Japanese noodle made with wheat flour, are a staple of Japanese cuisine. These thick and white noodles have a chewy texture and can be enjoyed both hot and cold.

There are plenty of delicious udon dishes, from classic Kake udon to tasty yaki udon. Udon noodles have a neutral flavor and pair well with any soup and sauce.

They are a popular quick lunch menu for the on-the-go. You can easily find the noodle stands that serve udon noodle soups (as well as soba noodles) at train stations across the country.

Are Udon Noodles Gluten-Free?

No, they are not. While udon noodles are generally made from wheat flour, you can find gluten-free versions made from rice flour. With a chewy, smooth texture, they can be used in any dish, just like regular udon.

How To Make Udon Noodles

Ingredients for udon noodles.

Udon noodles are made of wheat flour, potato starch, and salt. Rather than using bread or cake flour, all-purpose flour is selected to give udon its signature bouncy bite.

To make udon noodles from scratch, mix the ingredients and gradually add water to form a dough. Knead the udon dough until smooth, roll it out into a thin sheet using a rolling pin, and slice it into thick, long noodles.

How To Cook Udon Noodles

Instructions for how to cook udon noodles

How to cook udon noodles are super easy! Just follow the instructions below and use the cooked noodles in a variety of dishes, such as stir-fried udon noodles or hot udon noodle soup.

  1. Add udon noodles to boiling water: To cook udon noodles, bring a large pot of water to a boil on medium-high heat. Add the noodles and cook according to package directions.
  2. Drain and rinse: Drain the noodles and rinse them with cold water. Rinsing helps to cool them down quickly, making them easier to handle and preventing them from becoming mushy.

Udon Noodle Varieties

udon noodle section at a grocery store.
varieties of udon noodles.

Udon noodles come in various shapes and sizes, from round to flat or extra-thick. Also, you can find dried, frozen, or fresh udon noodles at a store. Let’s go through the type of noodles you can buy at a store.

  • Frozen udon noodles – are super easy to use as you can thaw in the microwave or quickly boil them before using them. The chewy texture is the best for any udon dish. Plus, the shelf life is long.
  • Pre-cooked udon noodles– are also a quick and easy option. They are already boiled, so you can add them to a pan and cook. You can find them in a refrigerated array.
  • Dry udon noodles – take six minutes to boil (according to the package instructions) and are generally thinner than others.

I hope you can find udon noodles easily at your local Asian market or Japanese supermarket. Frozen is my go-to as they are thick, chewy, and quick to cook.

Mentsuyu (Udon Soup)

mentsuyu soup in a jar.

Mentsuyu is a noodle soup stock and the essential flavor for various udon noodle dishes. You can use it as noodle soup for hot dishes and a dipping sauce for cold dishes, and tweak the taste to either strong flavor or mild, depending on your liking.

How to make it is simple, like making kombu dashi (kelp), adding katsuobushi (bonito flakes), soy sauce, and mirin. You can buy store-bought mentsuyu and dilute it with water according to the bottle directions when using.

Easy Japanese Udon Recipes

4 udon recipes with text overlay.

Satisfy those udon cravings! You will love these flavorful Japanese Udon Noodle Recipes. From hot soups to refreshing cold dishes, there are many ways to enjoy these chewy noodles!

FAQ

Are udon noodles gluten-free?

No. While udon noodles are generally made from wheat flour, you can find gluten-free versions made from rice flour. With a chewy, smooth texture, they can be used in any dish, just like regular udon.

What are udon noodles made of?

Udon noodles are made of wheat flour, potato starch, and salt. Rather than using bread or cake flour, all-purpose is selected to give udon its signature bouncy bite.

What does udon taste like?

Udon noodles have a smooth and chewy texture, and the flavor is neutral, which pairs well with any soup and sauce.

Are ramen noodles the same as udon?

They are different noodles. Ramen noodles are made from wheat flour, salt, and baking soda and are thin, curly, and yellow. The big difference is rich and fatty soup. Ramen soup is made of chicken carcass, uses oil, and adds flavor with ginger and garlic.

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kake udon (udon noodle soup) in a bowl with chopsticks.

More Japanese Noodle Recipes You Will Love

Leave a Rating!

I hope you enjoy these Udon Recipes! If you try it, don’t forget to leave a rating to share your thoughts—I love hearing from you!

4 udon noodle dishes.

13 Must-Try Udon Recipes For a Quick Meal

5 from 3 votes
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Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Juri Austin
Satisfy those udon cravings! You will love these flavorful Japanese udon noodle recipes. From hot soups to refreshing cold dishes, there are many ways to enjoy these chewy noodles!

Ingredients

  • Udon noodles

Video

Notes

 
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: udon noodles
Did You Make this recipe?Please Leave a star rating!

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