If you ask me, a student who never lived off of ramen noodles has never been a real student. So my admiration for these soups pretty much started the day I moved out of my parents house into my own apartment realizing that I have absolutely zero knowledge of cooking and that buying groceries actually costs money. After a few years I’ve tasted pretty much every instant ramen noodle soup there is in the world and my favorite one wasn’t available anymore so I switched to solid food (frozen pizza ).
When my semester in the US came around I was suddenly in a position to taste real japanese food (as real as it gets outside of Japan). 2 out of my 3 top meals I’ve ever tasted are of Japanese decent. The first one is (tada!) Udon Noodle Soup and the second one is hibachi steak & shrimp. In recent time my love for these soups awoke again and I’ve taken up the interest in making them myself. Turns out, it’s really frigging easy if you have all the ingredients . And it’s really frigging easy to get those if you know your way around Google.
So for 1 bowl of soup you need the following ingredients:
- 300ml water
- 5g dashi powder (or make the dashi broth yourself)
- ¾tbsp Mirin
- 2tbsp soy sauce
- optional: ½tsp soy/miso paste (preferrably the dark one)
- 200g Udon noodles
- as many spring onions as you like
- 100g beef (a rump steak is a good piece to start with)
- optional: additional toppings, such as carrots, mushrooms, etc.
Cut the beef into very thin slices. Best way to do that is to freeze the piece of beef first. I usually cut my 200g rump steak into two parts and freeze them separately. An hour before I start cooking I take my 100g out of the freezer so when I start my preparations I’m able to cut the steak into very thin slices when it’s still half-frozen. While you’re at it, cut the spring onions as well. Cut the green parts into 1cm long pieces, while you can cut the white parts in smaller portions. Keep green and white separate. The white parts can go into the broth, the green part will only be used as topping.
Prepare the Udon noodles as the directions tell you to. You usually only need to put them into cooking water for roughly 3 minutes.
Now for the broth: Bring 300ml water to a simmer (don’t cook the water!) and add the dashi powder when it’s already hot. Keep stirring. Before it starts simmering, add the soy/miso paste. If you have a small strainer, add the paste through there, otherwise you’ll have a lot of stirring to do to have it dissolve all the way. When it started simmering, add the Mirin and the soy sauce. Now taste and see if it needs more soy sauce. Lower the heat to medium and add the beef and white spring onion parts. Leave them in there for 1-2 minutes. Beef will probably still have a nice tiny pink touch to it.