Udon noodles: A delicious Japanese favorite


If there is one thing Japanese cuisine is known for, it is its many noodle dishes. From ramen to soba, there are plenty of different types of noodles to enjoy. But there is one type of noodle in particular that has captured the hearts of many Japanese, and that is udon noodles.

History of udon noodles

Udon noodles have a long history dating back to the Edo period in Japan (1603-1868). At that time, udon noodles were made with buckwheat flour, but with the introduction of wheat flour to Japan, people started making noodles with wheat. This led to the modern udon noodles we know today: udon noodles made from wheat flour, salt and water.

Udon noodles in Japanese culture

Udon noodles are not only a delicious meal, but also have an important meaning in Japanese culture. They are often eaten on New Year's Day as a symbol of longevity and prosperity. Additionally, there are several traditional ways to serve and eat udon noodles, such as with a dipping sauce or in a hot soup. Udon noodles are also a popular dish in Japanese anime and manga culture, where they are often featured as a favorite meal of characters.

udon noodles recipe

Types of udon noodles

There are different types of udon noodles that vary in thickness, texture and ingredients. The most common types are, for example, the Sanuki-udon, which is known for its smooth texture and medium thickness, and the Inaniwa-udon, which is very thin and delicate. Depending on the type of udon noodles you choose, you can prepare different dishes. For example, thick udon noodles are perfect for soups and stews, while thin noodles work well in salads and stir-fries.

What is the difference between ramen and udon?

The biggest difference between ramen and udon noodles is the texture. Udon noodles are thicker and softer than ramen noodles. They are made from wheat flour, salt and water and have a smooth, chewy texture. Ramen noodles, on the other hand, are thinner and have a more springy texture. They are made from wheat flour, water and alkaline salt and often have a light yellow color. Ramen and udon noodles also have different regional and historical backgrounds. Ramen originated in northern Japan and has Chinese influences, while udon originates from western Japan and has a long history as a traditional Japanese dish.

udon noodles

Health benefits of udon noodles

Udon noodles are not only tasty, but also nutritious. They are rich in carbohydrates and also contain protein, fiber and some important vitamins and minerals. Udon noodles contain less fat and calories than some other types of noodles, such as ramen and some pastas. In addition, they are gluten-free if they are made from buckwheat flour. This makes udon noodles a good choice for people looking for healthy and nutritious meal options. When it comes to preparation, the way udon is cooked and served can affect the overall healthiness of the dish. For example, if udon is served in a broth with vegetables and lean protein such as chicken or tofu, it can be a nutritious meal.

Preparing udon noodles

Cooking udon noodles is relatively simple, but there are a few things to keep in mind. For example, it is important not to cook the noodles for too long, otherwise they will become too soft. A cooking time of about 10 minutes is usually sufficient. You can also add seasonings such as dashi (Japanese stock), soy sauce and mirin to the cooking water to give the noodles extra flavor. After cooking, it is important to rinse the noodles well with cold water to stop the cooking process.

How many udon noodles per person?

As a guideline, 50 to 75 grams of dry udon noodles per person is generally considered sufficient for a meal. However, this can vary depending on the person's appetite and whether the udon noodles are the main component of the meal or just a side dish. It is always better to prepare a little more than too little, so that everyone has enough to eat.

preparing udon noodles

How many calories are in udon noodles?

The amount of calories in udon noodles depends on several factors, such as portion size and cooking method. In general, a 100-gram serving of uncooked udon noodles contains about 350 to 400 calories. When the noodles are cooked, the calorie content may change slightly depending on the cooking method and any additives such as oil or sauce. In general, a 100-gram serving of cooked udon noodles contains approximately 140 to 200 calories. However, it is important to note that the number of calories in udon noodles can vary depending on the brand and ingredients used. It is therefore advisable to check the nutritional information on the packaging for accurate information.

Recipe for a classic udon noodle soup

One of the most popular dishes that udon noodles are used for is the classic udon noodle soup. Here is a simple recipe for a delicious bowl of udon noodle soup:


  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 30 grams of udon noodles
  • 1 chicken fillet, thinly sliced
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Optional: cooked vegetables such as spinach or broccoli, and cooked shrimp


  • Heat the chicken stock, water, soy sauce, mirin, garlic and ginger in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Bring the mixture to the boil and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the udon noodles and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until cooked through.
  • Add the chicken breast and cooked vegetables (if desired) and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Divide the noodles, chicken and vegetables among the bowls and pour the hot stock over them.
  • Garnish with spring onions and black pepper to taste. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Frequently asked Questions

What are udon noodles?

Udon noodles are thick, soft and white noodles used in Japanese cuisine. They are made from wheat flour, water and salt and have a chewy texture.

How are udon noodles prepared?

Udon noodles are made by kneading wheat flour and water into a dough and then rolling out and cutting the dough into long, thick strands. The noodles are then cooked in boiling water until soft.

What is the nutritional value of udon noodles?

Udon noodles are rich in carbohydrates and contain a moderate amount of protein. They also contain some essential nutrients such as iron and B vitamins. We recommend checking the packaging for the exact nutritional values ​​of the noodles.

How can I serve udon noodles?

Udon noodles can be served in a warm broth, stir-fried with vegetables and meat, or cold as part of a salad. They can also be served with sauces such as soy sauce, mirin and dashi.

Where can I buy udon noodles?

Udon noodles are available at most Asian supermarkets and online stores that sell Japanese products. But udon noodles are also often available in major supermarket chains.

Are udon noodles gluten free?

No, udon noodles are made from wheat flour and are therefore not gluten-free. People with celiac disease or gluten intolerance should avoid udon noodles and look for a gluten-free alternative.

How long can I store udon noodles?

Cooked udon noodles can be stored in the refrigerator for several days to a week if they are in an airtight container. They can also be frozen for long-term storage. It is recommended to consume the noodles within three months after being frozen.

Udon noodles are a versatile and tasty ingredient, originating from Japan. You can use the noodles in various dishes, from soups to stir-fries and salads. With their rich history and cultural significance in Japan, as well as their healthy nutritional profile, udon noodles are a great option to include in your diet. Try one of the many delicious udon noodle dishes and discover for yourself why this is one of Japan's favorite types of noodles. We are fans!

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