Thick chewy udon noodles soaked in a rich, fragrant curry sauce, this Curry Udon will satisfy your noodles craving in an instant! Bonus: it’s simple enough to throw together on a busy weeknight.
Curry Udon (カレーうどん) has been a popular menu item in Japan for a long time. It is lesser known compared to curry rice, but the creamy curry is just as fulfilling when you enjoy it with udon. And to me, the silky noodles have a way to soothe the soul in a comforting way unlike the other. When you blanket it with a rich curry sauce, you just want to grab your chopsticks and slurp away.
Japanese Curry Roux for Curry Udon
Since the Japanese have a tendency of adapting other cuisines to suit our palate, you can expect Japanese curry to be quite different from Indian curries or Thai curries. It is thicker, milder and sweeter, with a stew-like consistency. An ideal curry for curry beginner, or for people who prefer a gentler, sweeter flavor.
To make the curry sauce, we’ll need to make curry roux. Homemade curry roux from scratch is of course the best, but there’s always an option of using the convenient store-bought curry roux when needed. Since it’s going to be a quick curry recipe, I take the easy route this time. Nowadays, you can even find the rectangular packages of Japanese Curry Roux sold at major American grocery stores.
I used thinly sliced pork loin in the recipe as it cooks in seconds, but feel free to use your choice of protein. A quick stir fry is all you need, and once the dashi is ready, mix in the curry roux. While you’re doing this, cook up the noodles in another pot for 2-3 minutes, and everything will be ready to go. A satisfying noodle dish whipped up under 30 minutes.
This curry udon is rich and flavorful, with just a tinge of sweetness in each spoonful.
And for the summer, here’s the cold version!
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- 3 cups dashi
- 1 Tbsp neutral flavor oil (vegetable, canola, etc)
- ½ onion (sliced)
- ½ lb thinly sliced pork loin (or your choice of protein) (cut into small pieces)
- 1 Tbsp sake
- 2 cubes Japanese curry roux (Roughly 40 g total. See Notes for homemade recipe)
- ½ Tbsp soy sauce
- salt (kosher or sea salt; use half if using table salt) (to taste)
- 2 packages Udon noodles (I use frozen sanuki udon)
- 1 green onion/scallion (finely chopped)
- Korean Chili Thread (optional)
Gather all the ingredients. For curry roux, you will need to break into cubes and use 2 pieces. Prepare dashi.
In a large frying pan, heat oil on medium-high and sauté onion until soft, about 7-10 minutes.
- Add your choice of meat/seafood in the pan and increase the heat to high. Stir fry until the meat/seafood is almost cooked through.
- Add dashi stock and sake in the pan and bring it to a boil.
- When boiling, skim off the scum and fat from the stock. Reduce heat to medium and cook 5-7 minutes.
Turn off the heat and add 2 cubes curry roux. Using chopsticks or wooden spoon, dissolve the roux completely. Heat the curry on medium high for 10 minutes. Make sure you stir once in a while so the curry will not get burnt on the bottom.
Meanwhile, Boil a lot of water in a large pot and cook udon for 2-3 minutes and drain well.
- Add soy sauce and season with salt (optional).
Serve udon in a bowl and pour over the curry. Top with green onion and Ito Togarashi (chili pepper threads).
Japanese curry roux: Homemade recipe, click here.
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.