The best soup udon I’ve ever had was in Fukushima, Japan. It must’ve been 8 or 9 years ago. I really wish I could remember the name of the restaurant though. All I vaguely remember was seeing a chef making fresh udon on the spot in the kitchen. The kitchen was built with one side of a big see-through glass, which had a resemblance of a fish tank. And the view at my table was very much like one of those Japanese landscape paintings with a few cranes strolling along the river stream looking for food.
Honestly, I don’t have a good memory and you know how memory tends to fade as you age. These images inside my head could be half imagined or half mistaken for another restaurant in Japan. But what I could remember a little more precisely was the taste of the clean broth and the chewy texture of those fresh udon. It’s almost like I was eating gummy bear except those were noodles. Plus that udon complemented so well by a bowl of such simple broth. It was something like a minimalist art form that spoke very loudly.
I’m sorry if my words aren't convincing enough but that’s the thing with food; you are better off to taste it instead of to chew on it. ;)
This simple soup udon recipe I have here for joining Culinary Travel Week is nowhere close to be considered as a replicate of that bowl of udon from Fukushima. However, it certainly is a comforting bowl to have in the winter.
Servings: 1 person
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
1/2 small fennel, thinly sliced
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 thumb sized ginger, thinly sliced
400 ml vegetable soup stock or dashi stock
1 small bunch dried wakame (seaweed)
1 tbsp genmai miso
100g cooked udon
1 tbsp chopped spring onion
1-2 tbsp sesame oil/extra-virgin olive oil
1. Drizzle 1-2 tbsp sesame or olive oil to a small pot on medium heat, cook onion and ginger 1-2 minutes. On the other stove, bring a pot of water to boil and cook the udon noodles according to its packaging label.
2. Add fennel and soup stock; bring the pot to boil. Reduce heat to low and add the dried wakame; let the pot simmer with a lid on for 5-8 minutes. Turn off the heat.
3. Whisk a tablespoon of the genmai miso in a ladle to the soup with chopsticks.
4. Transfer the cooked udon to a bowl and add the miso soup after. Garnish with some freshly chopped spring onions. Serve immediately. Enjoy! :D