Japanese Udon noodles in a tasty clear broth flavoured with miso paste and soy sauce is the perfect light meal which can be ready within 30mins. The noodles have a chewy texture with a real bite; and is great for slurping. This hearty, delicious udon noodle soup is loaded with vegetables and coriander, packs a punch, and is great for a quick lunch or dinner.
What Are Udon Noodles?
Is it gluten free? This is one of the most asked questions about these particular noodles on google search. To answer the question, we have to answer another question – what are udon noodles made of?
They are thick noodles made from wheat flour; so, not gluten free. It is made by kneading flour, salt and water together. It has a characteristic chewy texture which is due to the kneading of the dough for gluten to develop. Tapioca flour is added to some recipes which makes for smoother noodles.
Udon noodles are sold either dry or fresh; and have a neutral flavour, which makes it great for absorbing flavours. It could be served cold with a noodle dipping sauce or hot in a broth, where the smooth and silky texture makes it perfect for slurping in udon noodle soups. It also works well in stir-fries.
Difference Between Udon And Soba Noodles
Udon and soba are both Japanese noodles, but this is where the similarities end. Udon noodles is made from wheat flour, thick and mostly white.
Soba noodles are thin noodles made from buckwheat flour, which usually have a light brown colour. Some soba noodles are made from a combination of buckwheat and wheat. Soba noodles made from buckwheat only is gluten free, so it is perfect for coeliacs. It has a distinctive nutty flavour with a denser texture than udon.
The two noodles are used in pretty much the same way and could be served either hot or cold.
Udon Noodle Soup Recipe
This quick and easy udon noodle soup recipe is quite adaptable; you can use any vegetable of your choice; and could even add a protein like eggs, tofu, chicken etc. At my house it is one of those “Friday night” meals, where we raid the fridge for left over vegetables and protein that didn’t get used up in the week.
You will find the noodles in the “Asian section” of most big supermarkets. I buy mine from my local Tesco.
On last thing, make sure you peel the ginger before grating. The first time I made a clear broth similar to Udon noodle soup, I didn’t peel the ginger and had ginger skin floating on the broth, which didn’t look nice.
Udon Noodle Soup
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- 2 cloves Garlic chopped
- 1 teaspoon Peeled and grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon Soy sauce
- 2 cups Vegetable stock
- 150 g Udon Noodles
- 1 handful Sugar snaps
- 1 Chilli pepper sliced thinly
- 1 handful Shiitake mushrooms
- 2 handfuls Spinach
- 3 stalks Spring onions chopped
- 1 tablespoon Miso paste
- 1 handful Coriander
- Heat the oil in a sauce pan.
- Cook garlic and ginger in the oil with regular stirring for about 1 min.
- Add the soy sauce and stir again, then pour in the stock and allow to simmer for about 5 mins.
- Add the udon noodles into the pot and cover.
- Allow to cook for around 3 mins.
- Add the sugar snaps, chilli pepper and shiitake mushrooms; allow to cook for 2 mins
- Add the spinach and spring onions, allow to cook for 1 more minute, then remove from heat
- Mix the miso paste with 1 tablespoon water; add into the pot and stir to mix
- Serve in a bowl and top with coriander.