Udon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Udon
Kakeudon.jpg
Kake udon
Place of origin
Japan
Serving temperature
Hot
Main ingredients
Noodles (wheat flour), broth (dashi, soy sauce (shōyu), mirin), scallions
Cookbook:Udon  Udon
 
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Udon (disambiguation).
Udon
Kakeudon.jpg
Kake udon
Place of origin
Japan
Serving temperature
Hot
Main ingredients
Noodles (wheat flour), broth (dashi, soy sauce (shōyu), mirin), scallions
Cookbook:Udon  Udon
A chef rolling up the dough to make Udon

Udon (饂飩?, usually written as うどん) is a type of thick wheat flour noodle of Japanese cuisine.

Udon is often served hot as a noodle soup in its simplest form, as kake udon, in a mildly flavoured broth called kakejiru, which is made of dashi, soy sauce (shōyu), and mirin. It is usually topped with thinly chopped scallions. Other common toppings include tempura, often prawn or kakiage (a type of mixed tempura fritter), or aburaage, a type of deep-fried tofu pockets seasoned with sugar, mirin, and soy sauce. A thin slice of kamaboko, a halfmoon-shaped fish cake, is often added. Shichimi can be added to taste.

The flavor of broth and topping vary from region to region. Usually, dark brown broth, made from dark soy sauce (koikuchi shōyu), is used in eastern Japan, and light brown broth, made from light soy sauce (usukuchi shōyu), is used in western Japan. This is even noticeable in packaged instant noodles, which are often sold in two different versions for east and west.

Origin[edit]

There are many stories explaining the origin of udon.

One story says that in AD.1241, Enni, a Rinzai monk, introduced flour milling technology to Japan. Floured crops were then made into noodles such as udon, soba, and pancakes which were eaten by locals. Milling techniques were spread around the country. In the Edo period, the thicker wheat noodle was generally called udon, and served with a hot broth called nurumugi(温麦). The chilled variety was called hiyamugi(冷麦).

Another story states that in Nara period, a Japanese envoy was introduced to 14 kinds of confection whilst in Tang Dynasty China. One of them was called sakubei(索餅). Sakubei was listed as 'muginawa'(牟義縄) on Shin Senji Kyo(新撰字鏡), a dictionary which was published in Heian Era. The muginawa is believed to be an origin for many kinds of Japanese noodles. However, the muginawa listed on Shin Senji Kyo(新撰字鏡) was made with wheat and rice flour.

Another historical story for udon claims that the original name of the noodle was 'konton', which was made with wheat flour and sweet fillings.

Yet another story says that a Buddhist priest called Kukai introduced udon noodles to Shikoku during the Heian Era.[citation needed]

In China, similar thick wheat flour noodles are called cū miàn ().[citation needed] This noodle was 2 to 3 mm in diameter, a flat pancake-shaped "noodle" added to miso-based soup.[citation needed] The Sino-Japanese characters for udon (饂飩) is similar to, but different from, the modern Chinese characters for wonton, which is called hún dùn in Mandarin (馄炖), a type of dumplings.

In Chinese, udon noodles are called wūdōngmiàn ( wūdōng or ), and sometimes wūlóngmiàn (), which has the same characters as those used in "Oolong" tea (wūlóngchá, 烏龍茶), though there is no semantic relation between the two usages.

Kūkai, the Buddhist priest, traveled to China around the beginning of the 9th century to study. Sanuki Province claimed to have been the first to adopt udon noodles from Kūkai. Hakata[disambiguation needed] claimed to have produced udon noodles based on Enni's recipe.[citation needed]

Dishes[edit]

Tempura udon
Kitsune udon
Yaki udon

Like many Japanese noodles, udon noodles are served chilled in the summer and hot in the winter. Toppings are chosen to reflect the seasons. Most toppings are added without much cooking, although some are deep-fried. Many of these dishes may also be prepared with soba.

Hot[edit]

Cold[edit]

Tororo udon: cooked dried Tamba blackbean (kuromame) udon noodles with grated yamaimo

Regional varieties[edit]

There are wide variations in both thickness and shape for udon noodles.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]