Satisfy your noodle cravings with a warm bowl of curry udon soup. Bursting with flavor and full of slurp-worthy noodles, it can be on your table in about 30 minutes.
I first tried curry udon soup at one of our favorite sushi restaurants. It was amazing…warm, thick, loaded with noodles and so satisfying! My mind instantly started trying to figure out how I could recreate this soup at home. I knew there were three basic ingredients; udon noodles, curry, and chicken. So that is where I started, and I built the recipe from there.
One of the keys to this recipe is the curry. This is not powdered curry or Indian curry that you would buy in the spice section of your grocery store. The curry used in this dish is Japanese curry, and it is quite different from the powdered curry. Japanese curry often has a thick gravy-like texture. The flavor is sweeter than the Indian variety and is umami-rich (a taste often described as meaty, broth-like, or savory). You can find Japanese curry in the Asian aisle of the grocery store. It’s usually sold in large square blocks that you will dissolve in your dish.
Another key ingredient is the udon noodles. Typically there are three ways to buy udon noodles; dried (like typical pasta), frozen and fresh. And yes, some options are much better than others, way better in fact…I would never recommend buying dried udon noodles; when cooked, they do not have the texture that udon is known and loved for. I actually would avoid buying udon altogether if dried was my only option. Frozen is a step up from dried and most brands are pretty good. But fresh udon is the absolute best way to buy udon. And I don’t normally promote brands on my blog, but fresh Sun Noodles are by far the best I’ve found. Since they are fresh, they are sold in the refrigeration section. They will expire quicker than dried or frozen, usually within a couple of weeks of buying, so take note of the date. Follow the cooking directions on the package of whichever you buy. Fresh udon is only boiled for a couple of minutes, drained, and then rinsed in cool water to stop the cooking. Rinsing also removes some of the starch and prevents the noodles from sticking together. You want your noodles to have a chewy texture, not mushy, so take care not to overcook them.
I chose to use chicken for this soup. That’s is how I first had it, so it’s how I recreated the dish. But I have also seen curry udon with thin-cut beef, pork, and no meat at all. So don’t be afraid to mix it up and try different meats.
Curry Udon Soup
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 pound chicken, boneless and skinless
- 4 – 5 cups chicken broth, depending on how thick you want the soup, (see notes)
- Curry, (I use half a package + 1 square of S&B Golden Curry, this equals 5 small squares)
- 21-28 ounces udon noodles, fresh or frozen (preferably fresh Sun Udon Noodles)
- Green onion, for garnish
- Slice the onion. Add the oil to a deep frying pan or pot and add the sliced onions. Fry over medium-high heat until starting to turn translucent, about 5 minutes.
- While onions are frying, cut up the chicken into bite-size pieces. Add chicken to the frying pan and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.
- Once the chicken broth is boiling, add the curry. Stir until the curry is completely dissolved in the broth, about 5 minutes.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the udon noodles as instructed on the package (discard any sauce that came with the noodles). When noodles are done, drain and rinse in cool water. This helps to stop the cooking and keeps the noodles from sticking together.
- To serve, place noodles in individual bowls and ladle curry mixture over the top. Garnish with sliced green onions.