Whenever a conversation is steered towards Japanese food, there will always be a direction that leads to the famous Japanese Udon noodles. This is a fact that transcends generations of local people, immigrants, and younger generations who appreciate Japanese gastronomy. 

Top Products for Udon

Lorem Ipsum Lorem Ipsum
table__image Myojo Udon Noodles
  • Quick-cooking
  • Offers various flavors
  • Conveniently packed
Check Price on Amazon.com
table__image Hime Dried Udon Noodles
  • Highest recommendations from Japanese food review blogs
  • Made from a premium combination of buckwheat and wheat
  • Product of Japan
Check Price on Amazon.com
table__image Hakubaku Organic Udon
  • Originally manufactured in Australia
  • Observes the traditional production process
  • Only needs 4 minutes of cooking
Check Price on Amazon.com
table__image Kitsune Midori Tanuki
  • Quickest fix in the bunch
  • Made from a combination of buckwheat and Udon noodles
  • Proudly made in Japan
Check Price on Amazon.com
table__image Higashimaru Udon Soup Stock
  • Easy-to-prepare soup stock
  • Contains premium-quality Dashi and Bonito flakes
  • Simply boil water and pour in the stock
Check Price on Amazon.com

Udon noodles make up one of the most important dishes in Japan, and the charm of this dish has taken the international food scene by storm for quite some time now. Known for its unique consistency, as well as its shiny and smooth texture, Japanese Udon noodles are known for their versatility, nutritional value, and ease of preparation without sacrificing taste and overall eating experience.

Udon Noodles At A Glance

Without a doubt, Japanese Udon noodles are among the most popular main dishes in Japan. We’ve been raving about the versatility of this dish, and that’s because Udon noodles can be served hot or cold depending on the season and on your personal preference. This is what makes it one of the most special Japanese dishes out there, similar to its sibling (or rival)—the Soba. 

Made from high-quality wheat flour, Japanese Udon noodles can be served as a very simple dish. When we say simple, we mean two- to three-ingredient simple, and you’re good to go. The way Udon noodles are prepared manages to seal in a distinct flavor that only requires minimal seasoning, depending on the taste you want to achieve. Don’t be surprised if you’ll encounter very simple Udon noodles that only have broth and chopped scallions, yet the flavor is very rich and hearty. However, simplicity can be expanded into more complex dishes that can be served with eggs or meat slices for that added flavor explosion.

Japanese food Udon noodles can be mixed and matched with a wide array of ingredients and seasoning. We have mentioned chopped scallions, but you can also step up the dynamic flavor choices with such ingredients as soy sauce, dashi, and mirin, or be a little extra with kakiage (mixed tempura fritter) or just the good old prawn tempura. These choices accentuate the broth that serves as the base of the flavor of the Japanese Udon noodles.

Cold Udon Noodles

What sets some popular Japanese noodles from other Asian noodles is that they are flexible enough to be served hot or cold. Cold Japanese Udon noodles were created to provide good nourishing meals during hot and humid days without compromising its feature as a main dish. Udon and soba share this feature, and this is what makes them shine compared to ramen, which can only be served hot. Cold Udon noodles are tasty—and surprisingly refreshing. It’s like eating a hearty dish and quenching your thirst at the same time. This is a pretty amazing feature for a humble dish, if you’d ask us.

These are some of the most popular cold Udon noodles that are worth sinking your teeth into:

Hadaka udon (or naked Udon) is the simplest Udon you can get because the dish is served as it is, without any garnish or flavoring. It is just a serving of chilled Udon.

Bukkake Udon is a cold Udon served with a thick broth made with dashi.  

Zaru Udon is a serving of chilled Udon with nori (shredded). Zaru Udon is often served with cold dipping sauce to intensify the flavor, along with a siding of grated ginger or wasabi. 

Hot Udon Noodles

Your traditional, Instagram-worthy hot Udon noodles are very filling and tasty at the same time. They share the same simplicity as the Udon noodles referred to in our previous discussion about Japanese food Udon noodles being served cold, but this time, they’ll be piping hot.

There is nothing more perfect than having a serving of freshly cooked and hot Japanese food Udon noodles in a cold morning or late afternoon. The warmth of the food just fills you up like a warm hug. The reason why Japanese Udon noodles are such a hit and can easily contend with other popular rice meals is because they are easier to digest, and even easier to prepare.

Now, here are some distinct hot Udon noodles that are available in authentic Japanese restaurants and, of course, in various regions in Japan.

Kitsune Udon or “fox Udon” is a hot Udon dish served with beautiful pockets of deep-fried and sweetened tofu. Originally from Osaka, Japan, it is like a warm main dish with a smooth transition to dessert.

Tempura Udon is your standard issue Udon with hearty broth topped with deep-fried prawn or, in some cases, mixed fritter.  

Yaki Udon is one of the most popular interpretations of Udon in the hot category. The Japanese yaki Udon noodles are stir-fried in a sauce, which is usually soy-based, and prepared in high heat similar to yaki soba.

Instant Or Ceady-To-Cook Udon Recommendations

Now that you’ve got your groove on with the Udon dance, here are some easy-to-prepare Udon noodles in the market that have been recommended by a lot of consumers based on their price and of how delicious they are.

Myojo Udon Noodles (Chicken)

Myojo Udon Noodles is a quick-cooking Udon that is conveniently packed and holds a lot of flavor. Myojo offers various flavors, such as chicken as well as hot and spicy.

Myojo Udon Japanese Style Noodles

Pack of 15, 7.22 ounce each (total of 108.3 ounces)


Hime Dried Udon Noodles

Hime dried Udon noodles holds one of the highest recommendations from online shops and Japanese food review blogs. Hime dried Udon noodles is made from a premium combination of buckwheat and wheat. 

Hime Dried Udon Noodles

28.2 ounce Bag


Hakubaku Organic Udon

While this product is originally manufactured in Australia, it observes the traditional and authentic process of making Udon noodles. Hakubaku Organic Udon is a quick-cooking Udon that only needs 4 minutes of cooking in rapid boiling water.

Hakubaku Organic Udon

8-9.5 oz packages


Kitsune Midori Tanuki

Perhaps one of the quickest fixes in the bunch. The Kitsune Midori Tanuki is made from a combination of buckwheat and Udon noodles and is proudly Japan made. 

12 pack Akai kitsune Udon

Pack of 12, 6 pieces of Midori Tanuki and 6 pieces of Akai kitsune


Higashimaru Udon Soup Stock

Alright, hear us out because this is definitely not an Udon noodle product, but rather, an easy-to-prepare soup stock. The Higashimaru contains premium-quality Dashi and Bonito flakes for a phenomenal burst of flavor. Simply boil water and pour in the stock, and you’re good to go!

Higashimaru Udon Soup Stock

This is a delicious and simple soup stock with premium-quality Dashi and Bonito flakes.


Japanese Yaki Udon Noodles

We have mentioned earlier that yaki Udon is one of the most popular hot Udon dishes in the world. This is because of the dense flavor, ease of preparation, and the texture, which is just amazing to the palate. There are two very important ingredients behind every successful Japanese yaki Udon noodles dish – and these are the Udon noodles and the soy-based sauce. A lot of people think that it will be the meat or vegetables, but the truth is, they are just accessories to the orchestra of flavor. They play a role in adding flavor, but what we are trying to say is that the direction of the overall taste will depend on your base ingredient (the Japanese Udon noodles) and the sauce.

How To Prepare Your Yaki Udon Noodles

If this is your first foray into the wonderful world of Japanese cuisine, we completely understand if there is this overwhelming feeling because of how intricate some of their dishes are. It takes a great deal of skill to achieve the taste and look of each dish. The good thing about yaki Udon noodles is that they taste way better than they look. Hence, you really have to focus on the preparation and how you can traverse and survive preparation to go into the serving process. In general, yaki Udon noodles take about 30 minutes to prepare from start to finish. Not too bad, right? 

Here is a recipe from one of our favorite sites for Japanese cooking: Chopstick Chronicles

  • Two (2) packs of Frozen Udon Noodles (approximately 440g)
  • Pork Fillet – 200 grams (sliced thin)
  • Sake – 1 teaspoon 
  • Soy Sauce – 1 teaspoon 
  • Ginger – 1 teaspoon (grated)
  • Fresh Cabbage – 150 grams
  • Onion – About 60 grams
  • Green Bell Pepper – About 80 grams
  • Sesame Oil – 1 tablespoon 
  • Soy Sauce – 1 tablespoon
  • Sugar – 1 tablespoon
  • Oyster Sauce – 1 tablespoon
  • Sake – 1 tablespoon
  • Garlic – 1 clove (finely chopped)
  • Ginger – about 5 grams (finely chopped)
  • Sesame Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Red Pickled Ginger and Bonito Flakes (as garnish)

Special Notes: The sauce, as we have emphasized to be one of the major keycards to succeed in this recipe, can be switched around, especially if you don’t drink sake. You can also mix and match other condiments, such as chili oil and sesame oil mix. 

Instructions

  • Slice the pork fillet thinly. Place in a mixing bowl.
  • Add sake, ginger, and soy sauce into the mixing bowl to marinate the pork. Continue the marinating process for approximately 10 minutes.
  • Cut all the vegetables into bite-size portions. Set aside.
  • Mix all the sauce ingredients (sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, water, sake, mashed garlic, and grated ginger) in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Cook the Udon noodles in boiling water for a couple of minutes and drain the cooking water well.
  • On high heat, place the sesame oil in a large frying pan. 
  • Add finely chopped ginger and garlic until the aroma intensifies.
  • Add the pork fillet to the mix.
  • Continue cooking until the meat changes into a gray color. Japanese yaki udon noodles call for well-cooked meat, so don’t treat it like you would Korean barbecue or steak. All meat ingredients must be properly and thoroughly cooked. 
  • Add the vegetables and continue the stir fry process for a few minutes.
  • Add the Japanese food Udon noodles and mix them altogether.
  • Lastly, pour the sauce mixture over the noodles, and mix thoroughly.
  • Once completely cooked, serve the yaki Udon on a plate.
  • Garnish with red pickled ginger and bonito flakes. 

Conclusion

Japanese food Udon noodles make up a journey in a dish. It brings you into another world of oriental cuisine, straight to the Land of the Rising Sun, all in a humble dish that can be consumed alone or with family and friends. It is such a great thing that, because of today’s trade practices and the availability of ingredients for an authentic dish, we can now enjoy our very own Japanese Udon noodles at the comfort of our own home. There is really something heartwarming about homemade meals because of the effort and devotion poured into the process, from shopping to preparation and cooking, until the dish is served to be enjoyed. 

Itadakimasu! We do hope you enjoyed our article about Japanese Udon noodles, as well as the quick guide for preparing Japanese yaki Udon noodles! Until our next article!

John Hashimoto
Born in Chiba, Japan, but raised in Austin, Texas, John is a very active promoter of Asian culture in the United States, particularly the rich Japanese culture, which he is very passionate about. He is here to guide you about the best products in the market and provide honest-to-goodness reviews and information about commercially available products in the market today. John is a Computer Science graduate from the University of Texas in Austin, but his passion for Japanese culture, particularly its food and unique culture that has taken over the international scene, is one of the things that excites him the most.

John will help you to assess Japanese products, especially when it comes to commercial Japanese food and how to find the authentic ones. His father once told him that he seems to have been born out of ramen, and as an adult, it really shows because John knows this dish like the back of his hand.