What to Serve With Udon Soup?

What to Serve With Udon Soup
Image credit: Just One Cookbook

Udon soup is one of the most popular dishes in Japan. And it’s no wonder why: the thick, chewy wheat noodles are delicious. 

And it’s impossible to resist the soft-boiled egg topping that oozes down into the hot broth. That is when you break it open with your spoon. 

However, if you’re not careful about what to serve with udon soup, your udon experience can be less than ideal.

Here are six suggestions to make your udon more enjoyable than ever before!

1. Gomoku Soba

This recipe is one of my favorites because it’s not just good for udon soup. But for any type of noodle dish. Take some panko bread crumbs and fry them in a little sesame oil. 

In addition to that, add chicken cut into strips or cubes, tofu cut into small pieces, and bean sprouts. Fry until everything is golden brown and crispy. Then pour over your noodles before serving them (make sure they’re drained well).

2. Shrimp Tempura

Tempura is a Japanese dish consisting of battered and fried seafood or vegetables. It’s commonly served with dipping sauces and also what to serve with udon soup. But you can also dip udon noodles in tempura sauce for an extra layer of umami. 

However, if you’re pairing your soup with shrimp tempura, simply dipping it in soy sauce works just fine. If you want something lighter, mix lemon juice or dashi stock into your tempura dipping sauce.

That is, for a tangy flavor that complements udon’s subtle taste. And if you have time for dessert, try some red bean ice cream. It also goes great with Japanese food!

3. Yaki-Onigiri

Traditional onigiri is rice wrapped in nori (seaweed). These little grilled sandwiches feature a nori wrap over a filling of fresh vegetables, umeboshi plums, or whatever you’d like.

The name translates as grilled rice ball, and they are one of my favorite ways to eat onigiri. Moreso, to make yaki-onigiri, line a bamboo sushi mat with foil and place it atop your grill.

Arrange some lettuce leaves and your fillings on a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper. Place another piece atop them and roll them tightly into a log shape.

4. Chicken katsu

This recipe pairs a creamy, light udon soup with chicken katsu. Which is also part of what to serve with udon soup. The dish’s slight kick and deliciously simple sauce make it a stand-out dinner option.

Therefore, you’ll start by making a quick marinade for your chicken cutlets, combining soy sauce with honey and garlic powder. And sriracha hot sauce for flavor. 

Moreso, when it comes time to fry your cutlets, be sure you’re using plenty of oil. That is, to help crisp your breading. Otherwise, you may end up with soggy katsu instead of crispy fried chicken!

5. Aemono

Japanese for dressed, aemono is cold, flavorful toppings that add color and texture to udon soup. Some of our favorites include beni shoga (pickled ginger) and rakkyo (perilla leaves). To prepare either topping, lightly soak it in water. 

Moreso, for beni shoga, slices it into thin strips and add it directly to your bowl of soup. For rakkyo, lightly smash and then add, which is part of what to serve with udon soup. 

Therefore, this technique should be done with anything pickled or preserved, like Japanese ginger or peppers. But it is particularly effective with these two garnishes because they are particularly tender when raw.

6. Miso-glazed Salmon

Miso is a thick Japanese soup made from fermented soybeans. And it is part of what to serve with udon soup. Miso adds a unique, salty flavor that’s well-loved in many Asian dishes. 

Moreso, by grilling salmon and pairing it with miso glazed salmon, you not only add a unique flavor. But also get some of your daily protein in. Have it with udon or any noodle of your choice, and you’ve got yourself a full meal!

7. Fermented Soybeans

Fermented soybean condiments are a great way to jazz up your udon soup and add extra flavor. One of our favorites is Goma-dofu, which is simply soybeans fermented in a salty brine.

The beans can be broken apart into thick chunks for coarsely mashed and stirred into your soup as needed. 

Or, if you aren’t fans of spicy food, you can offer them a bowl without any fermented condiment at all! Just get them used to eating noodles in the broth first; chances are they’ll love it after that.

8. Scattered Sushi

One of my favorite meals is fresh sushi which is part of what to serve with udon soup. I often serve it with udon soup for a traditional Japanese meal.

But sometimes, I have trouble ensuring that our meal fits all our other eating needs. Fortunately, there are lots of dishes that pair perfectly with a bowl of steaming udon noodle soup. Here are some delicious options

9. Pickled Radish Hand Rolls

A firm and crunchy udon noodle soup is a great pairing with pickled radish. So, why not serve them together in hand rolls? Combine pickled radish with 3 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar and sugar. 

Also, let sit overnight before serving on top of udon noodles. Served chilled or at room temperature, these rolls are light yet satisfying and only require 15 minutes to prepare. 

Therefore, if you can’t find pickled radish, use a small red cabbage instead. Cut into thin strips and marinate for 1 hour in rice wine vinegar before using in your rolls.

10. Nukazuke

These fermented pickles are easy and flavorful to boost your udon soup. Fermentation adds health benefits like probiotics, which can help balance your gut flora and improve digestion. Nukazuke is quick and easy to make with just a few ingredients from your pantry. 

Plus, cabbage and cucumbers from your fridge. Depending on how long you ferment it. Then, you’ll get everything from zesty lime flavor in 24 hours. 

That is, all the way up to tangy red wine flavor in a week or more! Just add nukazuke to serve with udon soup as you desire. If it’s too sour for your taste, try adding a pinch of sugar or a drizzle of soy sauce.

Red shiso leaves and green laver seaweed are added for decoration and flavor. The final product is brightly colored, sour and delicious, just like our favorite Japanese comfort food!

Conclusion

Udon soup is a Japanese noodle dish that’s usually served with seafood or vegetables. As well as many different kinds of condiments and sauces. 

Although udon soup can be served alone, it’s also nice to simultaneously have some complementary dishes on the table. If you’re trying to decide what to serve with udon soup, consider one of these 10 suggestions.

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