Miso Nikomi Udon 味噌煮込みうどん

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  • Miso Nikomi Udon is a hearty and comforting noodle soup where chicken, fish cake, and udon noodles are simmered in a miso-flavored dashi broth. When it’s cold outside, this noodle soup will warm you inside out. 

    A donabe containing udon noodles, chicken, fish cakes, deep fried tofu, mushrooms, and leeks in a hearty miso broth.

    Most udon noodle soups are served in clear dashi broth seasoned with soy sauce.  However, in Nagoya region, where Hatcho miso is known for, you can find delicious udon noodle soup flavored with miso, called the Miso Nikomi Udon (味噌煮込みうどん).  It’s deeply savory and topped with an assortment of ingredients. Hungry? Let’s reach for the tub of miso and whatever ingredients you have in the refrigerator and make this tonight!

    A donabe containing udon noodles, chicken, fish cakes, deep fried tofu, mushrooms, and leeks in a hearty miso broth.

    What is Miso Nikomi Udon?

    A popular “regional” food in Nagoya, Miso Nikomi Udon is also widely enjoyed across the country, using different types of local miso.

    The noodle soup is usually served in individual donabe (Japanese earthenware pot). When the food arrives at the table, the soup is boiling, with lots of bubbling going on, and so much steam coming off from the pot.

    Inside the steamy pot, you have chewy udon noodles, chicken, egg, fish cake (kamaboko), shiitake mushroom, long green onions (negi), and deep-fried tofu (aburaage) in a savory miso-based broth.  The broth is made with dashi, usually kombu dashi, katsuo dashi, or awase dashi (combination of the two). With the chicken being cooked inside the broth, you get some light umami-packed dashi and chicken flavor.

    A donabe containing udon noodles, chicken, fish cakes, deep fried tofu, mushrooms, and leeks in a hearty miso broth.

    5 Ingredients for Miso Nikomi Udon & Substitutes

    1. Udon noodles

    The original version uses Nama Udon (生うどん), which means freshly made udon. Typically, udon noodles are made of 3 ingredients: flour, water, and salt.  However, udon noodles for Miso Nikomi Udon are made of only flour and water. This reduces the salt content as miso gets salty after long simmering.

    I have a recipe for homemade udon noodles and if you have time, you should definitely make the homemade noodles first, and then make this Miso Nikomi Udon.  That would be a fantastic meal!

    How To Make Udon Noodles | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com
    You can make regular white version. I made pink version for Valentine’s Day recipe collaboration! 🙂

    But that’s more like a weekend project. In this recipe, I use frozen precooked udon noodles from the Japanese grocery store so all you need to do is to run through hot water to separate it. I love using Sanuki-type udon for this recipe as it has a much chewier & bouncy texture. Some other udon noodles can be a bit more floury and doughy and break easily.

    2. Dashi (Japanese broth)

    If you use Kombu Dashi, this soup base is completely vegetarian and vegan-friendly!

    Kombu Dashi | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    You have an option of using Katsuo Dashi or Awase Dashi (kombu + katsuo), but it’s all up to you.  In this recipe, I have made dashi using dashi packets.  You can find on Amazon (this is my favorite brand!) or your local Japanese grocery stores (I get mine from Nijiya).

    3. Protein of your choice

    Typically chicken and egg are used for this recipe, but you can omit them and make it vegetarian/vegan-friendly by adding lots of veggies, mushrooms, and tofu!

    Miso Nikomi Udon Ingredients

    4. Other ingredients you can use

    Living outside of Japan, ingredients can be hard to find. Long green onions can be replaced with white part of leeks and more green onions/scallions.  Kamaboko, a Japanese fish cake, can be difficult to find, then try Chinese/Korean fish cakes from Asian grocery stores. Shiitake mushrooms may be hard to find, and if so, use other mushrooms available locally. To summarize, use ingredients you have in hand that you think it’ll be delicious in the miso flavored broth.

    5. Miso varieties

    In Nagoya region, Mame Miso (豆味噌), or 100% soybean miso, like Hatcho Miso (八丁味噌) is used for Miso Nikomi Udon. Mame Miso is perfect for all types of simmering dishes because it doesn’t lose much flavor and taste compared to barley miso (麦味噌) or rice miso (米味噌).

    I used Hikari Miso® Organic Miso – Red Miso for my Miso Nikomi Udon, but Hikari Miso offers Hacho Miso and we tried it for this recipe as well.  Mr. JOC and I love it, but our kids don’t like the stronger taste of Hatcho Miso, so they recommended us to use Red Miso instead.

    Hikari Miso Organic Red Miso | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    Hikari Miso’s miso are all made of 100% USDA Certified Organic rice and soybeans and is additive-free. It has a dark brown color original to Shinshu-style miso. A high volume of rice koji produces its mild taste and smooth texture.

    If you’re interested to try this miso out, you can purchase Hikari Miso® organic miso from most of the Japanese/Asian grocery stores or on Amazon. Hikari Miso® is my favorite brand of miso paste and I’ve been using for over a decade.

    Hikari Miso - Organic Miso Series
    I enjoy using different organic miso from Hikari Miso®.

    There is also a variety of miso, each with a different flavor you can use for various purposes. When you make Miso Nikomi Udon, you can choose any type of miso you like.  Each miso has its own unique flavors that you can experiment and enjoy.

    A donabe containing udon noodles, chicken, fish cakes, deep fried tofu, mushrooms, and leeks in a hearty miso broth.

    Do I need to Use a Special Japanese Pot (Donabe)?

    No, you don’t have to, but if you own a donabe, this is a good excuse to take it out and make this Miso Nikomi Udon.  If you haven’t used it for a while, make sure to properly season before you start using it.  Here’s my tutorial on how to season your donabe.

    If you don’t own one, then just use a big pot that can fit 3 cups (720 ml) water, udon noodles, and some ingredients for serving two people.  You can use a bigger pot to double the recipe, or use half a portion for one serving.

    A donabe containing udon noodles, chicken, fish cakes, deep fried tofu, mushrooms, and leeks in a hearty miso broth.

    Versatile Miso Udon Noodle Soup

    Miso Nikomi Udon is a very versatile noodle soup, where you can throw in any vegetables or proteins you have in the refrigerator.  Here in this recipe, I used what considered “typical” ingredients for Miso Nikomi Udon so you know how it is commonly served in Japan, but please be flexible.

    To keep it “authentic”, you will still need dashi (it’s an essential ingredient for what makes Japanese food authentic) and miso for this recipe. However, noodles, vegetables, proteins, and mushrooms can be replaceable. Have fun making your own Miso Nikomi Udon!

    A donabe containing udon noodles, chicken, fish cakes, deep fried tofu, mushrooms, and leeks in a hearty miso broth.

    Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.

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    4.91 from 11 votes
    A donabe containing udon noodles, chicken, fish cakes, deep fried tofu, mushrooms, and leeks in a hearty miso broth.
    Miso Nikomi Udon
    Prep Time
    15 mins
    Cook Time
    25 mins
    Total Time
    40 mins
     

    Miso Nikomi Udon is a hearty and comforting noodle soup where chicken, fish cake, and udon noodles are simmered in a miso-flavored dashi broth. When it's cold outside, this noodle soup will warm you inside out. 

    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: miso, udon noodle
    Servings: 2
    Author: Nami
    Ingredients
    Seasonings
    • 4 Tbsp miso (I used Hikari Miso® Organic Red Miso)
    • 3 Tbsp mirin
    Instructions
    1. Gather all the ingredients.
      Miso Nikomi Udon Ingredients
    Make Dashi
    1. Make 3 cups dashi using one of 3 Ways to Make Dashi. Here I used the convenient dashi packet method. If you’re vegetarian/vegan, use Kombu Dashi.

      Miso Nikomi Udon 1
    Prepare Ingredients
    1. Cut the end of shimeji mushrooms and separate into smaller chunks.
      Miso Nikomi Udon 2
    2. Cut the stem of shiitake mushrooms and cut in halves. I use “Sogigiri” Japanese cutting technique to increase the surface.
      Miso Nikomi Udon 3
    3. If you like, you can make a decorative cut on the shiitake mushrooms. Here’s the tutorial.
      Miso Nikomi Udon 4
    4. Cut Kamaboko fish cake into 4 slices.
      Miso Nikomi Udon 5
    5. Cut the Negi (long green onion) diagonally, and separate white and green parts (we will add them to the pot at different times).

      Miso Nikomi Udon 6
    6. Pour hot water over aburaage to get rid of the factory oil. Some people skip the step as the oil used is cleaner these days. I do it anyway to get rid of excess oil. [Optional] Cut into smaller pieces. I cut into triangles.

      Miso Nikomi Udon 7
    7. Cut the chicken into smaller bite-size pieces. I use "Sogigiri" technique to create a bigger surface of the chicken so it will cook faster and absorb more flavors.

      Miso Nikomi Udon 8
    8. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the frozen udon noodles and loosen it with chopsticks. As soon as they are loosened (30 seconds or so), drain the udon noodles into a colander and set aside.

      Miso Nikomi Udon 9
    9. Crack eggs into a small bowl (so you won’t accidentally drop an egg shell into the pot) and make sure all ingredients are now ready to go!
      Miso Nikomi Udon 10
    Cook Miso Nikomi Udon
    1. In a large pot (or donabe), add 3 cups dashi, chicken, and white part of negi.
      Miso Nikomi Udon 11
    2. Cover to cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, or until the outside of the chicken is no longer pink (inside can be still pink at this stage). When boiling, turn the heat down to simmer. Skim off the fat and scum with a fine mesh skimmer.
      Miso Nikomi Udon 12
    3. Add 3 Tbsp mirin and 3 Tbsp miso (keep 1 Tbsp for later. Why? Read my post.). I use a Miso Muddler and it works wonderfully to make sure miso is dissolved completely. You should place miso in a ladle and use chopsticks to let miso dissolve inside the ladle before releasing into the dashi. That way you can make sure there are no miso chunks left at the bottom of the pot.
      Miso Nikomi Udon 13
    4. Add udon noodles, aburaage, shimeji mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, and green part of negi. If you care about the presentation of this dish, now is a good time to place each ingredient and fish out the chicken pieces and place on top of udon noodles.
      Miso Nikomi Udon 14
    5. Increase the heat to medium, cover with the lid, and cook for 5 minutes. When boiling, turn the heat down to simmer. Once in a while, make sure to check udon or other ingredients are not stuck on the bottom of the pot, by inserting cooking chopsticks. Skim off the fat and scum with a fine mesh skimmer.
      Miso Nikomi Udon 15
    6. Add 1 Tbsp miso in the soup. Be careful not to drop the chunk of miso. Use a ladle as a “mixing bowl” so you won’t lose the miso.

      Miso Nikomi Udon 16
    7. Add kamaboko fish cakes (where it could have a nice color) and carefully drop the eggs in the middle. From this point, you do not want to cover with the lid (egg yolk will have a thin white coating when you cover). Cook for 2-3 minutes.
      Miso Nikomi Udon 17
    8. Serve the pot at the table along with individual bowls. Serve in the bowl and sprinkle Shichimi Togarashi for a bit of spicy kick.
    Recipe Notes

    Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, 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 in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

     

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