May 4, 2017
You’d think I would have posted this recipe up when it was the winter time, but no, I decided to wait for warm weather to share this comfort meal. Despite the weather getting warmer, I still enjoy a nice flavourful soup, especially one that is very quick to put together. The key with this soup is getting to know what flavours you like.
I’ve made this before with too much soy sauce and it was super salty. Another time I added too much sugar and not enough mushrooms and onions so the beef was overwhelmingly gross sweet. Finding your balance means starting with the basic recipe I provide you, and adding to it as you want. I highly recommend tasting your creation as you go since even something like soy sauce can taste drastically different depending on the brand you use. My soy sauce might be sweeter than yours or my white onions might add more sweetness than yours do, so tasting and adjusting is a huge must!!!
The toughest part of this meal is just making sure you have your dashi (Japanese soup stock) all ready to go, and if you don’t want to make it from scratch, you can buy instant packs. Just be aware that the instant packs are often flavoured with fake msg stuff rather than the natural msg you get from soaking seaweed. Check out my recipe on how to make dashi here.
Other than that, you just chop up everything and cook it. SHABLAAAAMMOOO!!Onto the recipe!
Beef Udon (Niku Udon) 肉うどん
2 ½ ~ 3 cups dashi
1 ½ TBSP mirin
1 ½ TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP cooking sake
1 ½ TBSP soy sauce
1 ½ TBSP mirin
1 TBSP brown sugar
1/4 cup dashi
Toppings for Beef:
200g thinly sliced beef (or Tempeh/Seitan rehydrated and ready to cook)
1/4 white onion thinly sliced
1/2 cup sturdy mushrooms sliced (I used shimeji)
Toppings for Soup:
1/4 cup spring onion chopped
1/2 cup enoki mushrooms
optional naruto fish cakes
1. Pour all the soup base ingredients into a saucepan.
2. Prepare the soup toppings by thinly slicing springs onions, pulling apart enoki mushrooms into small bunches, and slicing the fish cake. Set them aside.
3. Thinly slice the beef, white onions, and sturdy mushrooms of choice. Put them all into a frying pan on medium heat. If you’re not using meat, add a little bit of olive oil first. While the beef cooks, warm up the soup broth and also a pot of water for boiling the udon noodles. Multitasking time!
4. Once the onions and mushrooms have shrunk down and released some of their water (about 1-2 min) pour on all the ingredients for the beef sauce except for the dashi. Cook for about 1 min to make sure the sugar has melted and isn’t grainy. Add the dashi. Simmer for about 5 minutes on medium-low allowing the sauce to reduce. Once the beef is cooked, try a bit and see if you need more soy sauce or sugar.
Remember that it will be added to the salty broth and the flavours will be mixed together so don’t over salt it! If you’re cooking it for the first time, I recommend taking a spoonful of broth and some beef and trying it to see if you need to adjust anything.
5. While the beef is reducing, bring the water to a boil and cook the udon according to the packages instructions. For fresh udon, it is usually 2 minutes. Drain the udon and separate it into bowls for serving.
6. Bring the soup base to a boil and add the spring onions, enoki mushrooms, and naruto fishcake. Kill the heat so you don’t overcook the toppings and add too much water to the broth. The naruto is pre-cooked so at this point you’re just warming it up.
7. Pour the hot soup base over the udon noodles and top with the cooked beef. Sprinkle on some shichimi (Japanese 7 Spice Mix) and dig in!
To make your dashi fish free, replace the bonito flakes for mushrooms. Soak 2-3 dried shiitake mushrooms with 1 cup cold water (they should be fully submerged) and leave it to soak overnight. Squeeze out the remaining juices from the mushrooms and use the mushroom soaked water and a blend with your seaweed water.
You can discard the woody stems from the mushrooms but thinly slice the mushroom heads for eating. If you’re in a rush, pour hot (not boiling) water over them and place something heavy to make sure they stay underwater for 15 minutes.