Udon
A bowl of plain noodles on a countertop.
Kake udon; udon noodles in hot broth
TypeNoodles
Place of originJapan
Serving temperatureHot or cold
Main ingredientsWheat flour

Udon (うどん or 饂飩) is a thick noodle made from wheat flour, used in Japanese cuisine. It is a comfort food for many Japanese people. There are a variety of ways it is prepared and served. Its simplest form is in a hot soup as kake udon with a mild broth called kakejiru made from dashi, soy sauce, and mirin. It is usually topped with thinly chopped scallions. Other common toppings include prawn tempura, kakiage (mixed tempura fritter), abura-age (sweet, deep-fried tofu pouches), kamaboko (sliced fish cake), and shichimi spice added to taste.

Standard broth differs by region. Dark (koikuchi) soy sauce is added in eastern Japan, while light (usukuchi) soy sauce is added in the west. Instant noodles are often sold in two (or more) versions accordingly.[1]

More unusual variants include stir-fried yaki udon and curry udon made with Japanese curry. It is often used in "shabu shabu" or Japanese hot pot.

Origin

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Chef rolling up dough to make udon
Chef rolling up dough to make udon

There are many stories explaining the origin of udon.

One story says that in AD 1241, Enni, a Rinzai monk, introduced flour milling technology from Song China to Japan. Floured crops were then made into noodles such as udon, soba, and pancakes in Japan which were eaten by locals. Milling techniques were spread around the country.

Another story states that during the Nara period, a Japanese envoy to Tang Dynasty China was introduced to 14 different kinds of food. One of them was called sakubei (索餅), which was listed as muginawa (牟義縄) in Shinsen Jikyō (新撰字鏡), a dictionary which was published in the Heian Era. The muginawa is believed to be an origin for many kinds of Japanese noodles. However, the muginawa in Shinsen Jikyō was made with wheat and rice flour.

Another story for udon claims that the original name of the noodle was konton, which was made with wheat flour and sweet fillings.[2] Yet another story says that a Buddhist priest called Kūkai introduced udon noodles to Shikoku during the Heian Era.[citation needed] Kūkai, the Buddhist priest, traveled to Tang Dynasty China around the beginning of the 9th century to study. Sanuki Province claimed to have been the first to adopt udon noodles from Kūkai. Hakata province claimed to have produced udon noodles based on Enni's recipe.[citation needed]

Dishes

Udon noodles are boiled in a pot of hot water. Depending on the type of udon, the way it is served is different as well. Udon noodles are usually served chilled in the summer and hot in the winter. In the Edo period, the thicker wheat noodle was generally called udon, and served with a hot broth called nurumugi (温麦). The chilled variety was called hiyamugi (冷麦).

Cold udon, or udon salad, is usually[citation needed] mixed with egg omelette slices, shredded chicken and fresh vegetables, such as cucumber and radish. Toppings of udon soup are chosen to reflect the seasons.[citation needed] Most toppings are added without much cooking, although deep-fried tempura is sometimes added. Many of these dishes may also be prepared with soba.

Hot

Tempura udon
Tempura udon
Kitsune udon
Kitsune udon
Curry udon
Curry udon

Cold

Mori udon
Mori udon

Regional varieties

Japan

There are wide variations in both thickness and shape for udon noodles.

Kishimen, a variety from Nagoya
Kishimen, a variety from Nagoya

Korea

Udong, Korean-style udon noodle soup with crowndaisy greens and eomuk (fish cakes)
Udong, Korean-style udon noodle soup with crowndaisy greens and eomuk (fish cakes)

In Korea, authentic Japanese udon dishes are served in numerous Japanese restaurants, while the Korean-style udon noodle soups are served in bunsikjip (snack bars) and pojangmacha (street stalls). Both types are called udong (우동), which is the transliteration of the Japanese word udon (うどん).[7] In Korea, the word udong refers to noodle dishes (typically noodle soup), while the noodles themselves are called udong-myeon (우동면; "udong noodles") and considered a type of garak-guksu (가락국수; "thick noodles").[7] Common ingredients for udong noodle soup include crowndaisy greens and eomuk (fish cakes), neither of which are very common in Japanese udon dishes.

Palau

There is a dish called udong in Palau, originated from the former Japanese administration.[8] The broth is soy sauce–based like Japanese udon. However, as there were many immigrants from Okinawa, it uses less broth like Okinawa soba.[citation needed] Most notably, the noodle is that of spaghetti,[9] as it is easier to acquire there.

Languages of the neighboring Federated States of Micronesia also have similar loanwords from Japanese udon; Chuukese: wutong,[10]: 74  Pohnpeian: udong,[10]: 77  Kosraean: utong,[10]: 87  and Yapese: qudoong.[11]

Philippines

Main article: Odong

Odong noodles with sardines, Visayan style, Philippines.
Odong noodles with sardines, Visayan style, Philippines.

Cebuano: odong or udong of Davao Region and Visayas is inspired by the Japanese udon,[12][13] although they share no resemblance in modern times. Odong are wheat based yellow thick Chinese noodles (pancit),[14] similar to Okinawa soba.[15] A typical odong bowl is prepared with canned sardine and tomato sauce.[16] Other dishes such as layering with greens are also popular.[13] During the early 1900s, there was a large community of Japanese laborers in Davao,[17] half of them Okinawans.[18] In this period, the Japanese manufactured odong.[17]

Tourism

Model bowl of udon and menu at baggage counter in Takamatsu Airport.
Model bowl of udon and menu at baggage counter in Takamatsu Airport.

Kagawa prefecture is well known throughout Japan for its sanuki udon (讃岐うどん). It is promoted to other regions of Japan through themed mascots, souvenirs and movies.[19]

Gallery

See also

References

  1. ^ 14 types of instant udon (in Japanese)
  2. ^ Davidson, Alan (2014-08-21). The Oxford Companion to Food. OUP Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-104072-6.
  3. ^ Itoh, Makiko (2015-05-15). "Nanban dishes are fit for a barbarian". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2019-01-16.
  4. ^ a b c Itoh, Makiko (2018-11-17). "A comforting udon noodle recipe for the winter season". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2021-01-27.
  5. ^ Gritzer, Daniel. "Make a splash with bukkake udon (Japanese cold noodles with broth)". Serious Eats. Retrieved 2017-01-27.
  6. ^ "豪雪うどん | うどん ミュージアム 【うどん 博物館】". Udon Museum (in Japanese). 7 July 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  7. ^ a b "udong" 우동. Standard Korean Language Dictionary. National Institute of Korean Language. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  8. ^ Imamura, Keisuke (2017). "The Changes in the Use of Japanese Loanwords in Palauan". Journal of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Tokyo Medical and Dental University (in Japanese). Japan. 47: 17, 22. doi:10.11480/kyoyobukiyo.47.0_17. (rough translation) Chapter 5.6 Foods: ... うどん udong ... is used by almost all informants.
  9. ^ "Kaigai ikunara kōdenēto – Parao" 海外行くならこーでねーと! – パラオ [(TV show) What sightseeing organizers recommend – Palau (aired on November 24th, 2012)]. TV Tokyo (in Japanese). 2012-11-24. 裏スポット【第4位】ロックアイランドカフェ(おもしろ日本食)(Interesting places ranking number 4 – strange Japanese foods). Archived from the original on 2017-08-25. Retrieved 2021-07-12. (rough translation) Palau udon actually uses spaghetti instead of udon
  10. ^ a b c Sanada, Shinji (1998-03-25). "Characteristics of Japanese Loanword Vocabulary in Micronesian Languages (The Remnants of Japanese in Micronesia)". Memoirs of the Faculty of Letters Osaka University. 38. hdl:11094/5777. ISSN 0472-1373.
  11. ^ Jensen, John T. (2017-01-07) [1977]. "qudoong". Yapese Dictionary. Archived from the original on 2019-04-22. Retrieved 2021-07-12.
  12. ^ Figueroa, Antonio V. (2016-09-11). "US, Japan linguistic legacies". Issuu. Edge Davao. p. 9. Retrieved 2021-07-12.
  13. ^ a b "Manila craves for Davao cuisine". PIA Press Release. Philippine Information Agency. 2006-04-11. Archived from the original on 2021-07-12. Retrieved 2021-07-12.
  14. ^ Tayag, Claude. "26 top Filipino iconic dishes". The Philippine Star. 4.Pansit. Archived from the original on 2013-07-24. the most popular noodle dishes loved by the locals:...Udóng in Davao (This website enforces periodical auto-refresh with a few-minutes interval, even when archived.)
  15. ^ "Honba okinawa soba no teigi" 本場沖縄そばの定義 [Definition of authentic Okinawa soba]. Okinawa Noodle Manufacturing Co-op (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2021-06-10. Retrieved 2021-07-12. (Unlike udon, Okinawa soba contains kansui agent.)
  16. ^ Ong, Kenneth Irvin (2018-10-18). "For the love of Ligo sardines". Edge Davao. Archived from the original on 2018-10-22. Retrieved 2021-07-12.
  17. ^ a b Goodman, Grant K. (1967). "Japanese Percentage of Participation in Davao Province Industries". Davao: A Case Study in Japanese-Philippine Relations. University of Kansas, Center for East Asian Studies. p. 31. hdl:1808/1195. 60% of Odong manufacturing
  18. ^ Ohno, Shun (2006-03-01). "Rethinking Okinawan Diasporas in 'Davaokuo' with Special Reference to Their Relations with Mainland Japanese and Filipino Residents of Davao, the Philippines" 「ダバオ国」の沖縄人社会再考 -本土日本人、フィリピン人との関係を中心に-. Immigration Studies (移民研究). Okinawa: Center for migration studies, University of the Ryukyus (琉球大学移民研究センター). 2. abstract (pp21–22). hdl:20.500.12000/6447. ISSN 1881-0829.
  19. ^ "UDON - 作品 - Yahoo!映画". yahoo.co.jp.