Tempura udon is one of Japan’s yummiest delicacies that you should try at least once! Full of flavour and comfort, it is the perfect dish to satisfy your cravings for some hot noodles.
It only takes 20 minutes to prepare this dish for 2 people at home. Read on to learn all you need to know about how to prepare this Japanese hearty noodle soup recipe.
What is tempura udon?
Tempura udon is a prevalent Japanese noodle dish, and it is simply one of Japan’s best food inventions. Undeniably, there are many noodle dishes, so one might question what makes it unique? Well, it is a combination of Japan’s two favourites; udon and tempura.
Slightly thicker than ramen, udon is a Japanese noodle made of wheat flour, water, and salt. If you’ve ever tried our Yaki Udon recipe, you’ll know just how good these thick and chewy noodles are. On the other hand, tempura is seafood, chicken, or battered and deep-fried vegetables.
You can serve this comfort dish with any tempura type, although many people top it with fried shrimps. However, some prefer the fried pieces to be served on a separate plate instead to preserve the crunchiness. Either way, the combination makes up a wholesome dish with its flavourful soup, soft noodles, and crispy fried pieces.
Believe it or not, it doesn’t take much to prepare this fantastic noodle dish on your own. The key tempura udon ingredients in making this Japanese comfort dish are as follows.
If you prefer it fresh, perhaps making them from scratch could be the perfect way to spend your weekend in the kitchen. But of course, you purchase them from any Asian supermarket, be it in frozen, dry, or pre-cooked form.
Again, you can make from scratch (dishes always taste better with extra love and effort, anyway) or use frozen ones. Frozen shrimp tempuras are readily available at any Asian grocery store, and you can even get them online. These frozen pieces are already battered. So, all you have to do is refry or reheat them in the oven before serving with your bowl of tempura udon!
Similarly, you can either opt for instant soup stock or make the soup from scratch. Since the soup plays a significant role in this dish, preparing it from scratch might sound like a hassle. However, it is not a tedious process and only requires Dashi stock, soy sauce, and mirin. You can even replace soy sauce with coconut aminos and mirin with sugar.
This particular ingredient is a must-have for every udon soup recipe and is the secret ingredient to achieving the perfect taste. It is a Japanese chilli powder consisting of seven spices, which will add more flavour to the dish. Just a little sprinkle of shichimi tōgarashi over the soup goes a long way.
Sure, you can consider the fried prawns as toppings, but adding other ingredients to enhance the tempura udon noodles dish is common.
For example, a favourite topping for this dish is narutomaki fish cakes. If you’re lucky enough to find them at your local Asian supermarket, be sure to add them to the dish! You can also refer to our recipe on how to make narutomaki fish cake.
Otherwise, you can top it with Kamaboko fish cakes. Kamaboko is a steamed fish paste that comes in a loaf on a wooden plank wrapped in plastic. If you wish to add more colour to the dish, go for the pink-skinned kamaboko.
Other topping suggestions include chopped scallions, mitsuba (parsley-like herb), soft-boiled eggs or poached eggs.
Tempura udon is a meal you can dress with tons of additional ingredients. Just add anything you think would go well because the more, the merrier!
Vegetarians do not have to dream of having a taste of this comforting Japanese meal. It is possible to turn it into a vegetarian meal!
Since most of the ingredients are vegetarian-friendly, you will only need to substitute a few of them. For example, you can replace the fried prawns with kakiage tempura (deep-fried mixed vegetables). As for the soup, you can prepare vegetable tempura udon soup with vegetable stock instead.
Cook them as usual, add some vegetarian toppings and voilà, you have vegetarian tempura udon noodles!
A serving of this hot and yummy dish contains about 220 calories.
This slurp-worthy dish is already a perfect meal on its own. However, it tastes even better when paired with other side dishes.
A typical Japanese meal consists of a main dish, some side dishes, a bowl of soup, and rice. So why not complete the meal and have it like the Japanese?
Dumplings or potstickers will go well with this meal. Other than that, sushi rolls or spring rolls would complement the dish very well. A healthier option would be the classic green salad or some edamame.
If you plan to share your tempura udon noodles with someone, you can pair them with some fried rice. You might also want to prepare extra fried prawns on the side with preferred dipping sauces.
- Prepare the noodles and soup separately to prevent the noodles from being overcooked. Overcooked noodles will result in them being too mushy and soft.
- If you want to add kamaboko as a topping, slice it on the plank according to the amount you need. Place the sliced kamaboko on a plate and attach the rest to the plank.
- When making the soup, you can vary the ratio of dashi stock to adjust to the desired taste. You can change the amount of soy sauce used for the preferred degree of saltiness. Doing this will also vary the colour of the broth. The darker it is, the saltier your tempura udon broth will be.
Tempura making tips
- Are you making tempura from scratch? If you are, then dip the prawns into panko crumbs after dipping them in the batter. By doing this, your tempura will turn out crunchier. You can also prepare extra and freeze them for later. They usually last for quite a while, and this will make it convenient for when you want to eat them again.
- In making the tempura batter, it is essential to use cold water to keep the fried pieces crunchy and golden brown. Do not whisk the mixture too much to avoid the formation of gluten. We recommend leaving some powdery crumbs in the batter to ensure it is not too doughy or watery.
- Before frying the prawns, it is crucial to ensure that the oil has reached the frying temperature. For this, you can use the ‘chopstick technique’. Stick a wooden chopstick into the oil in the frying pan, and if there are bubbles around it, the oil is ready.
- Do not add too many prawns into the frying pan at once to prevent them from sticking together. Once they have turned golden brown, lay them on a paper towel or oil tray to remove excess oil.
Tempura Udon Recipe (Shrimp and Vegetables)
- 1 cup Dashi
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1 packet Udon noodles
- 2-4 pcs shrimps
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup iced water
- 1 cup Panko crumbs
- 2-4 slices Narutomaki fish cakes
- 1 tablespoon chopped scallions
- Shichimi tōgarashi
- On a chopping board, decapitate and devein the prawns. Then, make three slits on each of them.
- In a bowl, add the flour and iced water. Then, whisk the mixture briefly. Prepare Panko crumbs in a separate bowl. Dip the prawns into the batter and cover them with Panko crumbs.
- Fill a deep pan with oil and heat until 180c. Add the prawns into the oil and fry until golden brown. Once cooked, place them on a paper towel or oil tray to remove excess oil.
- Place them on a plate and set them aside. We will top the tempura udon bowl with these prawns for serving later.
- In a saucepan with medium heat, add the Dashi stock. Then, add soy sauce and mirin. Bring the soup to a boil.
- Once it boils, turn off the heat and set it aside.
- In a pot, add some water and add the noodles. Cook according to the instructions on the packaging or let it cook for 1-2 minutes until tender. Drain the noodles and serve in two bowls.
- Pour the soup over the noodles. Top with shrimp tempuras and narutomaki fish cakes. Garnish with chopped scallions and add a little bit of shichimi for some spice. Enjoy your tempura udon while it’s hot!
Calories have been calculated using an online calculator. Nutritional information offered on Honest Food Talks is for general information purposes and are only rough estimations.
Cooking with Teej has a great step-by-step video recipe on Youtube to make this Japanese dish. We recommend you check out his video to understand the whole process!
Tasty, wholesome and fulfilling! That’s how we would describe this Japanese noodle dish.
Did you try making this recipe home? Then, share your hearty bowl of noodles with us by tagging us on Instagram @honestfoodtalks!
Next, check out this viral and tasty TikTok ramen hack that’s been taking the internet by storm!