Packed full of flavour, Kake Udon is one of my favourite udon noodle soup recipe options. If you’re looking for a delicious, easy udon noodles soup, this is the udon recipe for you. Umami rich, Japanese simplicity in a bowl!
Some of my favourite comfort foods are the most simple to make, and this kake udon, a Japanese noodle soup, is one of them. With a to-die-for flavour, I love making this easy udon noodles soup for a quick and easy lunch, snack, or simple dinner.
The udon broth will keep you coming back - a bit salty, slightly sweet and spicy, with an umami bomb of dried mushroom powder – so flavourful!
For me, the udon soup base is the heart of this recipe. Perfecting the moreish udon noodles served with your favourite toppings is part of the real joy of making this. Think tofu, vegetables or even tempura as toppings.
Bring joy to your life and share it with your loved ones!
Note: this kake udon recipe is made for one person. So that you can increase the numbers by clicking the serving numbers in this recipe card. And the amount of ingredients you need to prepare will be shown.
What is kake udon
Kake udon soup (sometimes also referred to as Su Udon) is one of Japan’s great udon soup comfort foods. Often made with minimal toppings such as spring onions, the golden combination of soy sauce, mirin and sake are key to the udon soup base.
Dashi broth (soup stock) is the basis for so many great Japanese dishes, and there are few better examples of its use than in this Japanese udon soup recipe.
Udon in kansai and kanto
But there’s some variation in how it’s served in different parts of Japan. Generally, in the Kansai region in the west of Japan – Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe, you’ll find a lighter broth made with lighter soy sauce called usukuchi.
Whereas, around Tokyo in the east, you’ll find a heavier soy sauce (koikuchi)used, making the broth darker.
This recipe is the Kansai variety and is using light soy (usukuchi shoyu).
How kake udon tastes like
Japanese udon noodles have a mild taste but hold the flavour of the soup stock and whatever ingredients you serve with it. They’re slightly sweet with a chewy texture.
What is the broth in the udon
The kansai variety of kake udon is slightly more mild than in the east of Japan due to the lighter soy. It has a well-balanced saltiness and sweetness from the soy and mirin, and an earthy flavour enhanced by the mushroom powder. This adds a depth of umami without adding more saltiness.
It’s optional, but I usually add shichimi (Japanese chili powder mix made with a variety of herbs and spices) for a bit of spiciness.
Dry or cooked udon
I prefer the cooked udon because it’s fresher and super tasty. If you buy cooked, you need to store it in the fridge and use it within around a week (check the packet).
I also keep some dried udon in the cupboard for whenever I have a craving for udon – it’s so handy, and really there’s not a huge difference in taste to the cooked udon.
Kake udon ingredients
Soy sauce: I use light soy sauce (usukuchi shoyu) for this recipe because I am originally Kansai (Western Japan). You can use any types of soy sauce. Use gluten-free soy sauce and gluten-free udon if you need this udon gluten-free. Other ingredients we use are gluten free.
Udon noodles: I often use cooked udon noodles from the shop. It's quick and easy to prepare udon. You can also use dried or frozen udon. Follow the instruction.
Mirin, sake and soy sauce make this kake noodle soup authentic and flavourful.
How to Make Kake Udon
All you do is to cook udon noodles and pour the noodle soup. You can use any types of dashi noodle soup, and my favourite is kombu dashi. It's authentic Japanese dashi broth and is plant based vegetarian and vegan friendly.
How to make udon noodles soup
Add soy sauce, mirin, sake and sea salt into your favourite dashi. Keep simmering them for five minutes while you cook udon noodles. This way you can save your time.
My best advice is to prepare the topping in advance, and use the boiled water you cooked for udon noodles to warm up the bowl.
Through out the hot water out of the bowl, place the cooked udon and pour over the udon noodle soup. Then add the your favourite topping. I used spring onion, and tempura flakes. Don't forget about sprinkle a bit of shichimi once you enjoyed some bites!
That's it. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Is kake udon vegetarian
Yes, this kake udon is vegetarian as it uses my vegetarian dashi. But it is likely that restaurants will use bonito dashi, so it won’t be vegetarian.
Is kake udon vegan?
Yes, this recipe is vegan friendly. But again, it is unlikely to be vegan in restaurants due to the dashi.
How can you cook frozen udon noodles
Check out the instruction written on the package. It usually no need to boil in advance but can through the frozen udon noodle directly into the dashi broth.
More udon recipes
- 1½ cup dashi (360ml: or plant based dashi)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce (note 1)
- 1 tbsp mirin
- ¼ tsp sea salt (or kosher salt)
- 1 tbsp sake
- 1 tsp mushroom powder (optional: note 2)
- 1 tbsp green onions chopped
- 1 tbsp tempura flakes
- Boil the water in a medium bowl, and add udon. Cook the noodles by following the instruction written on the package.
- While cooking the noodles, prepare the topping. Chop the spring onions, and prepare any other toppings.
- Place dashi into a small pan, and add mushroom powder, sake, mirin, salt and soy sauce in order. Combine all the ingredients and keep simmering for five minutes.
- Once udon noodles are cooked, drain the hot water into a bowl. Using a sieve. This is to warm the bowl. (note 3)
- Remove the hot water out of the bowl, place the udon noodles in it, and add the dashi soup. Add the toppings. That's it! Serve immediately. Enjoy with shichimi
- You can use any soy sauce, and I use light coloured Japanese soy sauce, 'usukuchi shoyu' for better flavour and colour.
- You can use any type of Japanese dashi broth for this kake udon recipe. I use plant based dashi broth which is made with kombu and mushroom powder and is msg or additive free.
- Wash the noodles with cold water if it's necessary and is written on the package to do so. The texture becomes chewy. Since the noodles become cold, pour boiling water over them to warm them before adding to the serving bowl.