We are officially on the home stretch! Only a few short weeks away from long-awaited spring. But, for these last few icy nights ahead, my udon noodle soup with oysters is sure to fill your belly and keep you warm and fuzzy until the cold breaks.
Udon noodles are great in this particular soup, and if you learn how to make them yourself, you can incorporate them into many dishes that call for noodles.
Sure, you can use store-bought noodles, but why not sign up for one of my udon-making workshops and learn the secret method? I learned this technique from master noodle chef Yoshi Shibazaki of Shimbashi—the best soba and udon restaurant in Sydney. My hands-on workshops are a great way to learn a versatile skill that will last a lifetime. Click here for more information or sign up today.
For a sneak peak of my udon-making workshop, check out the video. I hope to hear from you soon, but in the meantime, let's get cooking!
Miso-based Broth with Udon Noodles みそ煮込みうどん
- 600g fresh udon noodles (alternatively, frozen or dried noodles can be used)
- 600g fresh oysters
- 3 shallots
- chilli powder
For miso broth:
- 2 litres ichi-ban dashi (stock made from dried kelp and bonito flakes)
- 100g-120g miso paste (or to taste)
- 2 tablespoons sugar or mirin
- 50ml sake
- Boil freshly made udon noodles in a large pot with 4 litres of boiling water for about 15-20 minutes. Cooking time for noodles varies according to the size of the noodle and how they are made. If using frozen noodles or dried noodles, follow instructions on package. When the noodles are cooked just right, or udon-dente, scoop them out of the pot and plunge them into a cold water basin. Stir well with your hands to rinse off excess starch with cold running water. Drain the noodles well.
- Rinse fresh oysters in cold water and drain well.
- Cut shallots into 3cm long slices.
- In a large clay pot called donabe, put 2 litres ichi-ban dashi stock. Bring to a near boil on high heat, reduce the heat to low and dissolve 100g miso paste and add mirin or sugar and sake. Taste the soup, add more miso paste if needed.
- Add half the udon noodles.
- Bring to a boil again and add half the oysters* and shallots. Cook covered until the soup comes to a boil. Stir the bottom of the pot occasionally to prevent noodles from sticking.
- When the first batch of udon noodles and oysters are cooked, scoop them out and place in serving bowls. Add ichimi chili powder if you like, and enjoy!
- For the second batch, add the rest of the noodles, oysters, and shallots to the remaining miso broth. Cook covered on high heat.**
*Try not overcook oysters, as they shrink.
**Adding udon noodles, oysters and shallots twice allows diners to enjoy a hotpot-cooked meal in an intimate, cozy atmosphere with family and friends. Enjoy with nice warm sake, especially on a freezing winter evening. Don't just eat this meal and run back to work like you may on a weekday lunchbreak. Nabe-ryori or hotpot cooking takes time and is cooked slowly, fostering interpersonal relationships among your loved ones or guests.
Hand Made Udon Noodle 自家製手打ちうどん
- 1 kg wheat flour (churikiko or medium-strength milled flour for udon noodle)
- 500ml salt water mixture that includes one egg, 100ml vinegar, 10％ salt water
- uchiko as needed (buck wheat starch, alternatively corn flour)
Sign up for an udon-making workshop and learn the secret method for yourself. This is a versatile skill that you can use to impress your dinner guests without breaking the bank. You can incorporate udon noodles into any Asian-inspired soup recipe, or add them to your favourite stir-fry. If you’re not planning a trip to Japan anytime soon, you can tune in to Chef Shuji’s youtube channel and learn to make udon noodles from home.
For more miso cooking videos check out Autumn Cooking in Japan, shot and edited by my New York friends Sean and Noriko Sakamoto. I use authentic Gujo miso paste made in Gujo-Hachiman, Gifu prefecture in the heart of Japan. I also show you how to make dashi stock from sun-dried kelp or konbu and bonito flakes.
Next time, we will be cooking nikujaga, Japanese comfort food that is derived from classic English beef stew. Keep warm and stay healthy!
Copyright © Ozeki Cooking School 2009