I love Japanese food; and given that I’m a vegetarian, the choices can be so limited but that doesn’t mean all of them are off limits to me. Anyway, when Natalie of In Spring it is the Dawn came up with a fun mini challenge about Japanese cooking, I just couldn’t pass this up.

Here is one of my favourite dishes which I love to prepare whenever I’m in the mood for Japanese food. It may look and sound simple, but I love the taste and I don’t think I’d ever get tired of eating it, hehe.

Inaniwa Udon

I love udon! There are so many varieties of udon out there in the market, and it can be pretty confusing (at least to me) since there are types of udon for different cooking methods: dried cold udon, stir fried udon or udon with miso soup. Among these dishes, my favourite has to be cold Inaniwa udon. I will usually order this from a favourite Japanese restaurant located near to my office, but after the relocation I rarely go there anymore (due to the distance but I will visit for special occasions).

Anyway I learnt from Google that Inaniwa udon (稲庭うどん) is made in Akita Prefecture in Northern Japan and is considered as one of the highest quality udon made in the country. I couldn’t find any in the Japanese supermarkets that matched the one which I eat at the restaurant, but I do find one brand that match closely in terms of the udon texture. Another thing I liked is their udon are already sorted in 4 bunches so that means you that means you don’t have to estimate the proportion.

(Above pic shows my favourite noodle brand and konbu dashi)

Once you have decided on the quantity, cook them in boiling water for about 6 minutes (or until their texture have turned soft). Scoop them up and put them into cold ice water. Aside from making it a cold dish, this also helps for a smooth texture so they won’t stick together and thus, affect the taste. Scoop them onto a dish (you may wish to spread some shredded seaweeds on top and/or add in a few ice cubes) and served with a small bowl of cold konbu dashi (kelp stock). I don’t know about you, but it makes me drool whenever I think of this dish. I hope you will try it if you are interested!

Finally, thanks to Natalie for hosting this fun challenge!

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11 Responses
  1. Ana S. Says:

    I know nothing about Japanese cuisine, so I'm even more confused than you :P I wonder if the ingredients could be found here. There's actually a Japanese restaurant near my house, so I might start there to figure out what I like.

  2. Violet Says:

    My knowledge of Japanese cooking doesn't go beyond Sushi. I will definitely try this next time we go to Japanese place. Thanks for the recipe, it's simple and quick.

  3. Melody Says:

    Dan - You've a point there. I totally agree with you about saving money and eating healthy.

    Ana & Violet - I hope you both will enjoy this dish. :)

  4. Yum!! I have to admit to being pretty intimidated by Asian inspired cooking. We do have lots of Asian markets around town, but I always feel so silly going into them--like an impostor! Isn't that silly?

    But, I do love Japanese cuisine--I'll have to check to see if my grocery has Udon noodles. Bet it does!

    Happy Valentines, Melody. ;)

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Erm.. as a fellow veggie I would want to try this at your place first..? It doesn't sound very appealing to be honest! Cold 'pasta' with kelp... hm :\ You've made me curious though!

    Hello Japan! Bento.

  6. Melody Says:

    Trish - That's great that you've some Asian markets around town! I only found two Japanese supermarts and they are so far away from my home! I hope you enjoy preparing and eating this Udon dish! :D

    Gnoegnoe - lol. I suppose this might not suit everyone's taste, but it'd be good if you'd give it a try. Oh, I didn't mention that the kelp stock has a salty taste so it wouldn't taste so bland.

  7. The Bookworm Says:

    I've never had Japanese cuisine. The udon noodles sound yummy.

  8. Alice Says:

    This sounds so good, Melody!

    Whenever I have cravings for Japanese food, I go to Azuma, my favorite Japanese restaurant in Penang. :)

  9. Ceri Says:

    Ooh, I'm a vegetarian too and love Japanese food so will have to give this one a go. Looks so yummy. :D

  10. Anonymous Says:

    I'm shocked! Cold food? Ice cold? This is a very novel idea to me, but then I don't know much about Japanese food.

    Such a pity you can't visit your favorite restaurant so often now! Making it yourself is a good solution.

  11. tanabata Says:

    Yum! We just had udon the other day, although with hot soup since it's still winter and rather cool out. But I love cold udon in the summer!

    @leeswammes - Ice cold noodles are very refreshing when it's miserably hot and humid in the summer months.

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