CUISINES/ JAPANESE/ MAINS/ Series/ Sunday Supper

Niku Udon (Japanese Beef Noodle Soup)

Hello and welcome to Sunday Supper on Djalali Cooks! I am so excited to share this recipe with you today. Niku Udon is a Japanese Beef Noodle Soup, it’s super easy to make and has all the comforting goodness you want in a soup. The base is a savory and slightly sweet dashi broth. The soup is fortified with an umami-rich beef and onion mixture braised in sake, soy sauce and mirin. With thick and chewy udon noodles, this soup is addictive, warm and comforting on a cold wintry day. Let’s jump right in!

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The ingredients for this Niku Udon are simple: I have a thin cut of flank steak that we will cut into small strips; cooking with the steak, we have an onion and the white and light green parts of a bunch of scallions; sake, mirin, soy sauce and sugar. The dark green parts of the scallions are sliced thinly and will be used as a topping for the finished soup.

To prep the flank steak, slice it with the grain into 3-inch pieces. Then slice each 3-inch piece against the grain, into very thin strips, about 1/8-inch thick. Set the prepped beef aside and we can move on to the dashi.

Dashi

Let’s start with the dashi. I am going to make enough for two servings. It’s very easy to scale this up, or to make more dashi if you want extra broth. With this ratio, each serving will get 1.5 cups of broth. In a saucepan, heat 4 cups of water over medium heat. Add three dashi packets to the saucepan with the water. Let the water come to a vigorous simmer and reduce the heat to keep it lightly simmering and cover the pan. After 5 minutes, discard the the dashi packets and cut the heat. Transfer out 1 cup of the dashi for the beef and onions. Keep the heat on the lowest setting and keep the saucepan covered.

Beef and Onions

Now for the beef and onions. In a skillet over high heat, combine the beef, sliced onion, scallions, soy sauce, mirin, sugar and one cup of the dashi broth. The beef onion ratio is enough for four conservative servings, or two generous servings.

Bring to a vigorous simmer and stir frequently. Keep the mixture simmering, while frequently stirring until most of the liquid is reduced, the onions are soft and beef is cooked and tender. About 15-20 minutes.

We want the beef and onion mixture moist but not soupy.

Udon Noodles

The udon noodles I have only need reheating and they come in individual servings. They are not dry noodles. If you have dry noodles, prepare them according to the package directions. For mine, I will heat them in the microwave for 90 seconds.

Transfer individual servings of udon noodles to bowls. Cut the heat on everything and we are ready to serve the Niku Udon.

Add mirin and soy sauce to the remaining dashi, stir and ladle dashi broth over the noodles. If your noodles (like mine) came in a packet, use chopsticks to loosen the noodles in the hot dashi.

Then divide the beef and onion mixture between the bowls.

Top the Niku Udon with the sliced scallion greens and togarashi, if desired.

Niku Udon

Sunday Supper, Japanese Recipe, Noodles, Noodle Soup, Quick Noodle Soup, Dashi Packet, Umami, Beef Soup, Beef and Onion Soup, Niku, Udon, weeknight meal, weeknight soup,

It’s kinda hard to find the words to describe how amazingly delicious this Niku Udon is. I think the best part though is how dead simple it is to prepare. It’s reassuring that I can recreate the warm, comforting flavors and feeling of Niku Udon so easily – and in about 30 minutes. Definitely try this soup. I think it will change your life! For another super simple Japanese-style dinner, try One Pan Miso Chicken with Green Beans. Have a great day, take care and be well. xo Kelly

Sunday Supper, Japanese Recipe, Noodles, Noodle Soup, Quick Noodle Soup, Dashi Packet, Umami, Beef Soup, Beef and Onion Soup, Niku, Udon, weeknight meal, weeknight soup,

Key Ingredients

Niku Udon (Japanese Beef Noodle Soup)

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Dinner, Main Course Japanese
By Adapted from J. Kenji LΓ³pez-Alt Serves: 2
Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cooking Time: 30 Minutes Total Time: ~40 Minutes

Niku Udon is savory and slightly sweet, with thick and chewy udon noodles, this soup is addictive; warm and comforting on a cold wintry day.

Ingredients

  • Dashi
  • 4 cups Water
  • 3 Instant Dashi Packets
  • 2 tbsp. Mirin (added to dashi just before serving)
  • 2 tbsp. Soy Sauce (added to dashi just before serving)
  • Beef and Onions
  • 1 lb. Flank Steak
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Bunch Scallions, white and light green parts cut into 2-inch segments, dark green parts thinly sliced at an angle (dark green parts for topping)
  • 1 tbsp. Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Sake
  • 2 tbsp. Soy Sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Mirin

Instructions

1

To prep the flank steak, slice it with the grain into 3-inch pieces. Then slice each 3-inch piece against the grain, into very thin strips, about 1/8-inch thick. Set the prepped beef aside and we can move on to the dashi.

Dashi

2

In a saucepan, heat 4 cups of water over medium heat. Add three dashi packets to the saucepan with the water. Let the water come to a vigorous simmer and reduce the heat to keep it lightly simmering and cover the pan. After 5 minutes, discard the the dashi packets and cut the heat. Transfer out 1 cup of the dashi for the beef and onions. Keep the heat on the lowest setting and keep the saucepan covered.

Beef and Onions

3

In a skillet over high heat, combine the beef, sliced onion, scallions, soy sauce, mirin, sugar and one cup of the dashi broth.

4

Bring to a vigorous simmer and stir frequently. Keep the mixture simmering, while frequently stirring until most of the liquid is reduced, the onions are soft and beef is cooked and tender. About 15-20 minutes.

5

We want the beef and onion mixture moist but not soupy.

6

Prepare your Udon Noodles according to the package directions.

To Serve

7

Transfer individual servings of udon noodles to bowls. Cut the heat on everything.

8

Add mirin and soy sauce to the remaining dashi, stir and ladle dashi broth over the noodles. If your noodles (like mine) came in a packet, use chopsticks to loosen the heated noodles in the hot dashi.

9

Then divide the beef and onion mixture between the bowls.

10

Top the Niku Udon with the sliced scallion greens and togarashi, if desired.

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  • Mari
    February 5, 2023 at 7:34 am

    You had me at simple and delicious. This looks very comforting, and the perfect antidote to cold, windy weather. Yesterday it was twenty degrees, but it felt much warmer than Friday when it was forty degrees. Wind makes a huge difference when it’s already cold. The wind is t too terrible today, so I should be able to make it to the store without turning into a popsicle! The Keurig has been getting a workout, mainly chai and apple cider, with the occasional hot chocolate. Thank you for another lovely Sunday supper. It looks like the perfect antidote to February, and a good reason not to leave the house other than to scamper off to the store. Y motto for today is keep warm and eat soup!

    • Kelly Djalali
      February 6, 2023 at 7:26 am

      Hi Mari, this soup is the perfect antidote to February, and cold days! I am sure you will enjoy it. I am so glad you stayed warm and got through that arctic blast! xo Kelly

  • Terry
    February 5, 2023 at 10:57 am

    Yummm, I love udon soup I usually make it with pork. I have to give the beef a shot. I have flank steak in the freezer maybe next week. I will keep you posted πŸ€—β€οΈ mom

    • Kelly Djalali
      February 6, 2023 at 7:26 am

      Hi Mom, this beef version is really amazing. I am sure you will love it! Let me know how it goes…xo Kelly