Popular udon dishes in Japan

Craving noodles in Japan? Udon's your go-to! These thick, chewy wheat noodles pack a flavorful punch, perfect for satisfying your hunger cravings. Unlike soba, udon noodles are wider and chewier, offering a unique texture that's hard to resist.

Whether you prefer your noodles hot or cold, udon dishes are a staple in Japanese cuisine. From hearty soups to refreshing salads, there's a udon dish to suit every palate. So, when you're traveling in Japan, don't miss the chance to slurp up some delicious udon noodles for an authentic taste of Japanese comfort food!

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Here are some of the most popular udon dishes in Japan:

Zaru Udon (cold) Zaru Udon

Zaru Udon are chilled udon noodles that are served on a bamboo mat, perfect for cooling down on a hot day. Simply dip the noodles into the accompanying sauce before slurping them up窶琶t's a deliciously simple way to beat the heat and savor the flavors of Japanese cuisine.

Zaru Udon bears a striking resemblance to Zaru Soba, with the main difference lying in the type of noodles used. But whether you're a fan of soba or udon, one thing's for sure窶濃aru Udon is a must-try for any traveler exploring the culinary delights of Japan. So, if you're looking for a refreshing and satisfying dish during your travels, don't miss out on the chance to indulge in some Zaru Udon!

Kake Udon (hot) Kake Udon

Kake Udon is a classic udon dish that is all about simplicity, featuring thick noodles submerged in a hot, flavorful broth with a sprinkle of green onions on top. It's the ultimate comfort food that hits the spot without any fancy toppings.

In the Osaka region, you might hear Kake Udon referred to as Su Udon, but no matter what it's called, the essence remains the same: a delicious bowl of udon noodles swimming in savory broth. So, whether you're exploring bustling cities or quaint countryside towns during your travels in Japan, don't pass up the chance to slurp up some Kake Udon for a taste of authentic Japanese comfort cuisine!

Kamaage Udon (hot) Kamaage Udon

Kamaage Udon is a flavorful dish that features udon noodles served in piping hot water, along with an array of seasonings and a dipping sauce on the side. Whether you're indulging in an individual portion served in a small wooden bowl or sharing a family-sized serving from a large wooden noodle tub, Kamaage Udon promises a satisfying culinary adventure.

As you embark on your travels through Japan, don't miss the chance to try Kamaage Udon for a taste of traditional Japanese comfort food. With its customizable flavors and communal dining options, Kamaage Udon offers a delightful experience that's perfect for sharing with friends and family. So, be sure to add this iconic dish to your foodie bucket list and treat yourself to a bowl of steaming hot udon goodness during your adventures in Japan!

Tanuki Udon (hot/cold) Tanuki Udon

Tanuki Udon is a tasty dish that features a steaming bowl of udon noodles bathed in a flavorful broth, topped with crispy bits of leftover tempura batter known as tenkasu. It's a satisfying blend of chewy noodles, savory broth, and crunchy tempura goodness that's sure to leave your taste buds tingling.

While Tanuki Udon may not be as common in Osaka, where tenkasu is often offered for free at udon joints, it's still a beloved dish found in many other parts of Japan. So, if you're on a culinary adventure during your travels, don't miss out on the chance to savor the unique flavors of Tanuki Udon for a taste of authentic Japanese comfort food that'll keep you coming back for more!

Kitsune Udon (hot/cold) Kitsune Udon

Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with Kitsune Udon! This mouthwatering dish features a steaming bowl of udon noodles swimming in a deliciously flavorful broth, topped with aburaage, crispy sheets of fried tofu. The combination of the savory broth and the chewy udon noodles, complemented by the rich texture of the aburaage, creates a culinary experience that's both satisfying and comforting.

As you embark on your travels in Japan, don't miss the chance to indulge in Kitsune Udon for a taste of authentic Japanese cuisine. Whether you're seeking a quick and tasty meal or a hearty bowl to warm you up on a chilly day, Kitsune Udon is sure to hit the spot. So, be sure to add this iconic dish to your foodie itinerary and treat yourself to a bowl of udon goodness during your adventures in Japan!

Tsukimi Udon (hot) Tsukimi Udon

Tsukimi Udon is also known as "Moon Viewing Udon." This delightful dish features a raw egg delicately placed atop a bowl of udon noodles, creating a visual treat reminiscent of the moon shining down on a starry night.

Just like its soba counterpart, Tsukimi Udon captures the essence of Japanese tradition with its simple yet symbolic presentation. As you indulge in this savory meal, take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the egg "moon" glistening atop the noodles, making it a must-try for any traveler eager to explore the diverse flavors of Japan. So, if you're craving a taste of culinary artistry during your travels, don't miss out on Tsukimi Udon for a truly authentic Japanese dining experience!

Tempura Udon (hot/cold) Tempura Udon

Tempura Udon is a classic dish that features udon noodles swimming in a piping hot broth, topped with crispy tempura pieces that add a delicious crunch to every bite. Whether the tempura is delicately placed on the noodles or served alongside, it's always a delightful addition to this comforting meal.

When you indulge in Tempura Udon, you'll find that the tempura ingredients can vary depending on the season and the restaurant. From shrimp and vegetables to fish and more, each bite offers a burst of flavor that's uniquely Japanese. So, if you're planning your next travel adventure to Japan, don't miss out on the opportunity to savor the deliciousness of Tempura Udon for an authentic culinary experience that'll leave your taste buds craving more!

Curry Udon (hot) Curry Udon

Curry Udon is a tasty dish that combines udon noodles with Japanese curry, creating a comforting and flavorful meal that's perfect for chilly winter days. But be warned, eating Curry Udon can get a bit messy, so some restaurants provide disposable bibs to help keep your clothes clean. If they don't offer bibs, just be cautious as those udon noodles have a knack for splashing curry onto your attire.

As you dig into your Curry Udon, enjoy the rich flavors and the satisfying heat of the curry-infused broth. It's a must-try dish for any traveler exploring the culinary scene of Japan. So, whether you're seeking a cozy meal to warm you up or simply craving some delicious comfort food, Curry Udon is sure to hit the spot during your travels!

Chikara Udon (hot) Chikara Udon

Chikara Udon is a flavorful meal features udon noodles swimming in a hot broth, with an added boost of strength from a rice cake (mochi). The name "chikara," meaning strength in Japanese, perfectly captures the belief that munching on this dish gives you a little extra oomph.

As you slurp up your Chikara Udon, savor the rich flavors and the comforting warmth of the broth. With each bite of mochi, you'll feel the energy coursing through you, making it a satisfying choice for any traveler exploring the culinary delights of Japan. So, if you're craving a dish that packs a punch, don't miss out on Chikara Udon for a taste of traditional Japanese comfort food during your travels!

Nabeyaki Udon (hot) Nabeyaki Udon

Nabeyaki Udon is a hearty meal that is cooked and served in a hot pot (nabe), giving it a cozy feel perfect for chilly days. The udon noodles are simmered right in the pot alongside flavorful broth and an array of vegetables, creating a wholesome and satisfying dish.

While tempura is a popular addition to Nabeyaki Udon, you'll often find it loaded with other delicious ingredients like mushrooms, egg, kamaboko (a traditional steamed fish cake), and a variety of veggies. Keep in mind that many eateries only offer this dish during the colder months, making it a seasonal treat worth trying during your travels in Japan. So, if you're seeking a taste of comfort and warmth, don't miss out on Nabeyaki Udon for a truly authentic Japanese culinary experience!

Where to eat udon in Japan

In Japan, udon noodles are a ubiquitous delight, available in a variety of dining spots from specialty udon and soba restaurants to casual eateries near tourist attractions. You can easily find these chewy wheat noodles at family restaurants, izakaya, and even at popular low-cost udon chains scattered across major cities and national routes. Wondering what to expect at a sit-down restaurant? The dining out section will guide you through the experience.

When it comes to pricing, a regular udon dish at an average restaurant typically ranges from 500 to 1000 yen, while budget-friendly udon chains offer meals for under 500 yen. If you're looking for a more upscale experience or indulging in elaborate udon dishes, be prepared to spend between 1000 to 1500 yen per person. At busy train stations, standing udon restaurants provide a quick meal option, where ordering is as simple as selecting your meal ticket from a vending machine, handing it to the staff, and enjoying your noodles while standing at the counter. And for a cafeteria-style experience, some low-cost udon chains allow customers to choose their dish from a counter, add optional side dishes, and then proceed to the cashier for payment.

How to eat udon in Japan

When served with dipping sauce, simply grab a few noodles with your chopsticks and dip away before indulging in the savory goodness. And when slurping up udon in soup or sauce, make sure to create that classic slurping sound窶琶t's not just fun but also helps cool down those piping hot noodles as they slide into your mouth.

As you savor your udon, don't hesitate to drink up the flavorful broth straight from the bowl. And don't worry about leaving some soup behind窶琶t's totally fine in Japanese dining etiquette. So, get ready to enjoy every last slurp of your udon experience, whether you're dipping or slurping your way through this tasty Japanese delight!