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How to Make Beef Udon

May 4, 2017


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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

Soup Base:
2 ½ ~ 3 cups dashi
1 ½ TBSP mirin
1 ½ TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP cooking sake

Beef Sauce:
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!

Vegetarian/Vegan Notes:

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.



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How to Make Beef Udon


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  1. I made this recipe and my husband and I were blown away by how good it is! I was unable to find kombu at any of our local Asian markets and had to use dashi powder instead but it still tasted amazing. The sweet beef, onions, and mushrooms balanced so well with the savory broth. Thank you so much Martina for sharing this recipe. It is now part of my regular meal rotation.

    3 months ago
  2. So I just made this and got the boyfriend seal of approval! He dislikes fish anything and with the kombu and katsuoboshi he liked it :3

    3 years ago
  3. Thank you so much for making this video. My husband and I had a hard time getting the stuff together but it was really worth it and really yummy!

    3 years ago
  4. Hey guys, what’s the story with your SBS Pop Asia radio archives? There is nothing on there later than Dec 2016.

    3 years ago
  5. Omg! Made it for dinner tonight and it is amazing! Too hungry and forgot to take a photo! :(

    3 years ago
  6. Martina, You’ve convinced me to cook my noodles separately, that’s so much easier to serve! How did the beef turn out? I know that you cut it really thin so maybe it didn’t matter as much and you did marinate it but I would have thought cooking it that long would toughen it up. I would have just barely browned it when the mushrooms and onions were almost done and let the broth cook it the rest of the way for about 30 seconds to a minute but your method looks a little easier so I’m curious. BTW, thanks to you I’m now binge-watching the Great British Bake Off XD
    Really great video, sound effects and soundtrack were spot on.

    3 years ago
    • The beef I bought was already shaved wafer thin beef. I just chopped it into reasonable squares so it cooked super super fast and wasn’t tough at all. Then again, using wagyu it is really hard to toughen it up. Happy you liked the editing! ╰(*´︶`*)╯♡

      3 years ago
  7. I love your cooking videos, everything looks fantastic and like something I could easily make at home! Thank you!

    3 years ago
  8. Ohh, I wish this video had come out a couple weeks ago when I had a bunch of udon at home (it’s all gone now; I make some possibly offensive kimchi, shimeji and udon creation thing that nontheless tasted amazing). I guess I’ll just have to buy more, than :)

    I’m a bit curious – what is the yellow-ish, rectangular food-stuff you add along with the naturo cakes and spring onion to the broth? You never mention it anywhere.

    3 years ago
  9. I ate a big breakfast and I’m full. But now, I’m seriously considering making this in the next five minutes. Ok, to the groceries store!! (btw, I really like the editing of the video)

    3 years ago