This easy udon recipe takes 20 minutes (or quicker!) to make and is the definition of ‘comfort in a bowl’! Udon soup is the perfect dish if you want a quick lunch or meal idea. The thick & chewy udon noodles are cooked in an umami & sweet broth with fish cakes and topped with green onions. What I love about this meal is that it uses ingredients that you may already have in the freezer (udon and fish cakes) and in your pantry.
Keep in mind that this udon is not a traditional Japanese recipe. I came up with this recipe when I wanted something flavorful, delicious and quick. This dish is inspired by Kake Udon (かけうどん) hot udon noodle soup in a dashi based broth. Since the weather is getting cooler, this hot tasty dashi broth is perfect for those cool fall days.
How to Make the Udon Broth
To make this recipe, dashi instant stock is very important.
Please note that this is not authentic dashi broth. Authentic dashi broth is boiled with variations of dried shrimp, dried fish, kelp and shiitake mushrooms.
If you have more time, you can soak your kombu (Japanese kelp) for more than 10 minutes in cold water. To make the recipe quicker, I add the kombu in the cold water in the pot while waiting for it to boil. Once the water boils, I take out the kombu. Don’t boil for more than 5 minutes or the broth will start tasting bitter. The fish cakes bring sweetness to the dish and as well as some umami flavor. This broth will vary slightly depending on the type of fish cakes you use and how long you soaked your kombu for.
Don’t throw away the kombu! Cut it up in smaller pieces and use it in miso soup for another easy and delicious meal.
Udon toppings can vary with how much time you have and what ingredients you have in your fridge or pantry. Occasionally, I like to keep frozen tempura shrimp in the fridge. If I’m craving noodles or sushi, I pop them in the oven or the air fryer and I can make crispy tempura shrimp in less than 10 minutes without the prep and mess.
Here are some udon topping ideas:
- tempura shrimp on top
- tempura flakes
- togorashi – Japanese 7 spice seasoning
- egg (boiled or soft boiled)
- bonito flakes
- wakame seaweed
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED FOR EASY UDON SOUP:
Most of these ingredients are great pantry and freezer staples. It is always a good ideas to keep them in your kitchen in case you want a quick and easy meal.
- kombu (Japanese seaweed) – Keep in mind that this is different than nori (seaweed used for sushi). This is thicker and harder and not edible out of the package. You can find them in the dried seaweed section at asian supermarkets.
- fish cake – grounded fish cakes are sold at the frozen aisle of asian stores. They are soft and are made in all different types of shapes. Any type of fish cake can work for this dish. I used Korean flat fish cakes, but fish balls of any kind are welcome!
- soy sauce
- dashi powder – instant dashi powder helps create a flavorful broth in seconds. I highly recommend getting this when you’re making Japanese recipes.
- 2.5 cups water
- udon – I use frozen udon noodles to make things very quick! See below for the udon noodles I use.
- tempura shrimp
- sliced green onions
STEPS TO MAKE THE EASY UDON SOUP:
- Step 1. Add 2.5 cups of water to a pot. Add a piece of kombu in the water. Place pot on medium heat. When the water starts boiling, take out kombu.
- Step 2. Slice your fish cakes and add them in the boiling water. Add your udon noodles and cook according to package directions (takes 5 minutes for me!).
- Step 3. When the noodles are done cooking, add ½ tablespoon soy sauce and ½ teaspoon dashi powder. Stir and serve the noodles in a bowl.
- Step 4. Add toppings of choice. I like to heat up frozen tempura shrimp in the air fryer and add sliced green onions to the top. Hope you enjoy this easy udon soup!
Check out more of my favorite soup and noodles dishes:
Easy Udon Soup
- 1 kombu (Japanese seaweed)
- few pieces of fish cakes
- ½ tablespoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon instant dashi powder
- 2½ cups water
- 1 pack udon
- tempura shrimp
- sliced green onions
- Add 2.5 cups of water to a pot. Add a piece of kombu in the water. Place pot on medium heat. When the water starts boiling, take out kombu.1 kombu, 2½ cups water
- Slice your fish cakes and add them in the boiling water. Add your udon noodles and cook according to package directions (takes 5 minutes for me!).few pieces of fish cakes, 1 pack udon
- When the noodles are done cooking, add ½ tablespoon soy sauce and ½ teaspoon dashi powder. Stir and serve the noodles in a bowl.½ tablespoon soy sauce, ½ teaspoon instant dashi powder
- Add toppings of choice. I like to heat up frozen tempura shrimp in the air fryer and add sliced green onions to the top. Hope you enjoy this easy udon soup!tempura shrimp, sliced green onions