Whether you feel under the weather or just really cold from the weather, I can’t recommend enough cooking this bowl of hot Kitsune Udon (Noodle Soup) (きつねうどん).
The rich broth, the chewy noodles, the fried tofu – everything just comes together so nicely in the bowl that you just want to hold your face above it and let the aroma envelop you. It’s the ultimate Japanese comfort dish. And it’s quick to make, so there is no excuse not to try it!
Kitsune literary means ‘fox’ in Japanese. When Angela told me this, I am why doesn’t it call fox udon instead?
Anyway, Kitsune udon consists of chewy thick udon noodles, clear dashi broth, and aburaage seasoned well with soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. Kitsune udon is served as a hot noodle soup, but in the steamy summer months, it is also served chilled with a little bit of dashi-based sauce poured over the top.
To make the perfect bowl of kitsune udon, you need high-quality ingredients, starting with these three – dashi, udon, and aburaage.
I can’t stress enough about having a good quality dashi. The dashi broth gives the dish that rich, umami flavor that will have you sipping up the last drops. Spend the extra 20 minutes to make a super tasty broth – trust me, it’s worth your time, and it’s easy to make!
We head to our local Japanese market which carries frozen udon noodles or packaged udon noodles that say “Sanuki”, try one of those options. They are chewier, and won’t easily break into pieces, unlike refrigerated udon noodles that fall apart and just don’t have the right texture.
Living abroad (outside of Japan), it’s interesting to realize that raw ingredients can be harder to find than prepackaged foods. In this case, I’m talking about the aburaage (deep fried tofu pouch) and prepackaged inariage (seasoned aburaage shown below). You can easily find inariage – packaged or canned – because we use inariage to make Inari Sushi/Inarizushi.
- 2 pkg Udon noodles
- 2 ½ cups water
- 1 Tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp of usukuchi Soy Sauce (light color) (or regular soy sauce)
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- 4 Inariage (seasoned fried tofu pouch) (See Notes for homemade recipe)
- Narutomaki (fish cakes)
- 1 green onion/scallion
In the saucepan that already has dashi, add 1 Tbsp mirin, 1 tsp sugar, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, and ½ tsp kosher salt and bring to boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat and set aside.
Squeeze excess liquid from the inariage (or you can keep it as it is). Cut the green onion into thin slices. Slice the Narutomaki fish cake into 1/8 inch (3 mm).
Bring a large pot of water to boil for udon noodles. When everything is ready, start cooking udon noodles. Frozen udon noodles (my favorite kind) takes only 1 minute from putting into boiling water. If you use dry noodles, follow the package instructions. Heat up the noodle soup.
Serve udon noodles and soup in serving bowls and top with inariage, narutomaki, green onion and sprinkles of shichimi togarashi.