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Wide udon in broth

This authentic Japanese dish is satisfying and quick to prepare. Noodles served in a clear broth like this recipe is a pretty standard lunch in Japan, with bars all over every city offering this dish. Try topping the noodles with a mix of steamed, simmered, or deep-fried vegetables and tofu for a complete dinner. Udon, brown rice udon, or soba are particularly recommended for this dish.

Serves 2



  1. Cook the noodles as described below. Add the tamari or shoyu plus mirin to the dashi, and simmer for 1 minute. Take the broth off the heat and add the ginger juice.
  2. To serve, divide the noodles into two deep individual serving bowls. Ladle the hot broth over the noodles to almost cover them, and sprinkle with the chopped spring onion.


if you do not have the time to squeeze the juice out of the grated ginger, just add the grated ginger directly and pass the broth through the sieve when pouring the broth over the noodles.

Cooking Japanese Noodles

Since most Japanese noodles are made with salt, you don’t need to add salt to the cooking water. You need about 2.5 litres boiling water to every 250 grams of noodles. Add the noodles a few at a time so the water doesn’t stop boiling. Stir gently until the water is boiling rapidly again to prevent the noodles from sticking to the bottom of the pan. If too many noodles are added at once, the water won’t return to the boil quickly enough, and the noodles will overcook on the outside and undercook on the inside. Also, using too little water will result in sticky, unevenly cooked noodles.

Some Japanese cooks boil them as described above, but add a cup of cold water once the water comes to the boil. When the water returns to a boil again, another cup of cold water is added. This is repeated three or four times until the noodles are cooked.

Either way, you need to test the noodles frequently to make sure they don’t overcook. A properly cooked noodle is slightly chewy and the same colour throughout. Once cooked, immediately drain and rinse the noodles in two or three cold-water baths or under cold running water. This stops them cooking and keeps the noodles from sticking together.  If necessary, reheat by putting them in a colander and submerging in a pot of boiling water until just heated. Drain well and serve.