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Curry udon recipe – How to prepare Japanese curry soup noodles

This Japanese curry udon recipe has an incredible flavor and takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Curry is not originated in Japan. However, it has been ricocheted from India to every region of the world and assimilated into the local culinary culture wherever it settles.

There was no exception when curry arrived in Japan. It merged with the local dashi and udon, resulting in the one-of-the-kind Japanese curry udon noodles we enjoy today.

Curry udon is the perfect one-pot meal with a rich and spicy flavor, the marriage of dashi with the complex spices from the curry.

Although it sounds complicated, it is a quick and easy noodle recipe ideal for busy weeknights.

Here is my recipe for the Japanese Curry udon. Let’s enjoy!

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Best curry udon recipe. Made with Japanese curry cubes and dashi granules. Quick and easy one-pot meal within 20 minutes.

What is udon?

Udon is a thick Japanese noodle made with wheat flour. It has a chewy texture and is suitable for stir-frying or as soup noodles in a dashi-based broth.

Fresh udon noodles are round, stretchy, and plump, which only required to cook in hot water for less than a minute. On the contrary, dry udon noodles take much longer to cook, about 8 to 12 minutes. The shape of dry udon noodles is like fettuccini and turns to a plumper texture when cooked.

How to prepare Japanese curry udon

Here is my interpretation of the Japanese curry udon

1. Prepare the ingredients

A. How to cook the noodles

  1. Blanch the fresh udon noodles in boiling water for half a minute. Pour noodles through a colander to remove excess water. Drain and transfer to a serving bowl. Alternatively, place the fresh udon noodles in hot water to loosen them, then drain and transfer them to the serving boil. 
  2. If you are cooking dry udon noodles, you need to boil them in water until they turn al dente, just like cooking pasta. It will take between 8 to 12 minutes.  Please refer to the package instruction for the exact duration.

B. Vegetables and protein

The noodles can be served with any protein of your choice. Beef, chicken, and pork are equally popular in all Japanese restaurants. I prefer pork cutlets. If you like fatty pork, pork belly is your choice. Also, consider adding a few slices of Japanese chashu

If you prefer chicken, chicken thigh meat is more tender than breast meat.

  1. Cut the chicken meat into 1.5 inches lengths, then season with salt and pepper.
  2. Slice the green onions into short sections to be used as a topping.
  3. Cut an onion into thin slices and one carrot into julienne.
  4. Remove the stems of a packet of shimeiji mushrooms.

Note: The selection of ingredients is quite versatile. I want to keep the recipe simple, so I only used the abovementioned ingredients. Other ingredients you can consider are potato, shiitake mushrooms, and tomatoes.

Best curry udon recipe. Made with Japanese curry cubes and dashi granules. Quick and easy one-pot meal within 20 minutes.

B.  Make the dashi stock

  1. Kombu dashi stock is a Japanese soup with two primary ingredients, kombu and bonito flakes. Please refer to this recipe for an in-depth explanation of how to prepare the dashi stock from scratch.
  2. A quick and easy method is to use instant dashi granules to constitute the dashi broth.
  3. The last method is to use store-bought tsuyu soup stock. It is usually sold in concentrated form, which consists of dashi and soy sauce.

I used instant dashi powder to make the dashi broth in this recipe. Therefore, all I need is to constitute four packets of the dashi powder with one liter of water. 

C. Add the curry to the stock

Traditionally, Japanese curry udon is prepared with leftover curry. However, you can make it from scratch without leftover curry. There are two methods to make Japanese curry broth.

  1. Method 1. Add the Japanese curry powder to the dashi stock and thicken it with potato starch. Cornstarch is the substitute if potato starch is unavailable.
  2. Method 2. Use the Japanese curry roux cubes. These store-bought curry roux cubes are so convenient for making Japanese curry. All I need is to add two curry cubes into the 1 liter of dashi broth!

Note: S&B is the most popular brand of  Japanese curry powder and roux. The flavor will not be authentic if you use curry powder from other countries.

Best curry udon recipe. Made with Japanese curry cubes and dashi granules. Quick and easy one-pot meal within 20 minutes.

2. Putting all together

  1. Saute the onion with some oil until slightly caramelized. Caramelized onions give the curry a sweet and umami-rich taste.
  2. Next, add the chicken pieces to the pan and continue stir-frying with the caramelized onions until the chicken pieces turn slightly golden on both sides.
  3. Add the carrots and shimeji mushrooms over medium heat until aromatic. 
  4. Pour the dashi broth into the pan and wait until it returns to a boil. The broth will help to deglaze the pan. Then transfer the ingredients to a stockpot.
  5. Put the curry cubes with some hot dashi stock in a ladle, then mash them until they disintegrate before adding them back to the pot.
  6. Return the chicken meat to the curry broth.
  7. Season with soy sauce, sake, and mirin.
  8. Drizzle some sesame oil and remove from heat.
  9. Transfer the noodles to serving bowls.
  10. Pour the broth and the ingredients onto the noodles.
  11. Sprinkle some sliced spring onion on top to serve.

Note: 

  • Try to get Sanuki Udon if it is available. These types of udon are thick, firm, and bouncy, perfect for the curry udon recipe.
  • Fresh udon is usually kept in the refrigerated section of the Asian supermarket. If it is unavailable, you can use the dry udon. Please read the package instructions on how to prepare the dry udon.
  • You can substitute the shimeiji with shiitake mushrooms if you like. Other ingredients, such as bok choy and Japanese fish cakes, are also suitable.
  • You can also consider adding a poached egg to the noodle to serve.
  • Some recipes prefer to include a small amount of tomato paste to boost the flavor. Another alternative is to add a tablespoon of sour cream to thicken the soup. I’ll prefer to omit both ingredients to keep this recipe simple.

Other related recipes to curry udon

If you like the curry udon recipe,  you may want to try other noodle soups or curries on this blog:

  • Try this Japanese Curry recipe if you like Japanese food. The preparation method is similar to the soup base for the udon noodle, except it is thicker. The curry sauce is best to go with steamed rice.
  • Try this Malaysian-style chicken curry if you like curry dishes.
Yield: 2

Japanese Curry Udon

Curry udon recipe square

Best curry odeon recipe. Made with Japanese curry cubes and dashi granules. Quick and easy one-pot meal within 25 minutes.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

Preparation

  1. Blanch the fresh udon noodles in boiling water for half a minute. Pour noodles through a colander to remove excess water. Drain and transfer to a serving bowl. B. Vegetables and protein
  2. Cut the chicken meat into 1.5 inches lengths, then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Slice the green onions into short sections to be used as a topping.
  4. Cut an onion into thin slices and one carrot into julienne.
  5. Remove the stems of a packet of shimeiji mushrooms.
  6. Constitute four packets of the dashi powder with one liter of water. 

Cooking

  1. Saute the onion with some oil until slightly caramelized.
  2. Next, add the chicken pieces to the pan and continue stir-frying until slightly golden.
  3. Add the carrots and shimeji mushrooms over medium heat.
  4. Pour the dashi broth into the pan and wait until it returns to a boil. Then transfer the ingredients to a stockpot.
  5. Mash the curry roux cubes in a ladle with some stock until they disintegrate before adding them back to the pot.
  6. Return the chicken meat to the curry broth.
  7. Season with soy sauce, sake, and mirin.
  8. Drizzle some sesame oil and remove from heat.
  9. Transfer the noodles to serving bowls.
  10. Pour the broth and the ingredients onto the noodles.
  11. Sprinkle some sliced spring onion on top to serve.

Notes

The dashi stock is prepared by mixing four packets of dashi granules with four cups of water.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 2004Total Fat: 90gSaturated Fat: 26gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 61gCholesterol: 1262mgSodium: 2888mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 272g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 22/11/2022

KP Kwan

Tuesday 22nd of November 2022

Hi, this is KP Kwan. I am happy to see you in this comment area, as you have read through my recipe. I am glad to reply to any questions and comments as soon as possible.

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