Bukkake Udon (Japanese Cold Noodles With Broth) Recipe

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Photograph: Vicky Wasik

Why It Works

  • A mixture of soy, mirin, and sugar is blended with dashi to create a deeply flavorful broth in no time.
  • Having your choice of toppings and condiments means the bowl can be exactly as you want it.

Japanese chilled udon noodles, served with a cold soy-based broth and topped with your choice of condiments, like grated fresh ginger, a soft-cooked egg, and scallions, are all you need to keep cool and fed in the summertime.

Recipe Facts

Active: 15 mins
Total: 15 mins
Makes: 2 bowls

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) mirin
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) homemade or instant dashi, chilled (see note)
  • 2 (7-ounce; 200g) servings store-bought udon noodles
  • Assorted garnishes and toppings of your choice, such as bonito flakes, nori sheets, thinly sliced scallions, toasted sesame seeds, soft-cooked onsen eggs, grated fresh ginger, grated daikon radish, and pickled sliced ginger

Directions

  1. Combine mirin, sugar, and soy sauce in a small saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and set in the refrigerator to chill. (You can also rapidly cool by pouring mixture into a stainless steel mixing bowl and nesting that bowl in a slightly larger mixing bowl filled with ice water.)

  2. Combine 1/4 cup of the soy/mirin mixture (kaeshi) with dashi and stir. Taste mixture and add remaining kaeshi if desired. Keep chilled.

  3. In a medium pot of boiling water, cook udon until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes (or follow cooking time on package if it differs). Transfer to an ice bath to chill. Drain noodles well.

  4. Transfer noodles to 2 soup bowls. Top with garnishes and condiments of your choice, then pour dashi broth into each bowl and serve.

Notes

For the broth, you can use an equal quantity of instant dashi in place of the from-scratch dashi here, with excellent results. Feel free to play with the ratio of soy-mirin concentrate to dashi, using more dashi for a lighter, less salty broth or less dashi for a more intense flavor.

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