Curry Udon

Curry UdonJapanese Curry has been a part of my life for as far back as I can remember.  My Mom made the best curry and I whenever I would smell her delectable curry coming from the kitchen it would make me very happy.  When I tell people how popular curry is in Japan they’re usually quite surprised.  Curry is such a big part of the Japanese diet now and is popping up in new dishes every day.  The more common ones are curry filled bread (curry pan), curry rice, curry ramen and curry soba or udon just to name a few.  I love Curry Rice but a close second for me is Curry Udon.

My favorite place to enjoy Curry Udon in Tokyo is at Tsurutontan in Roppongi.  When we were living in Tokyo six years ago we lived next to Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi and we would walk down Gaien Higashi-dori about three or four times a week on our way to the Tokyo American Club.  We would pass Tsurutontan on the way and there would always be a line of people spilling out the door.  Hubby had heard about this restaurant and told me they were famous for their Udon.  Of course when there’s a line outside of a restaurant in Japan I must get in it.  I know this means something delicious is waiting at the front of that line and I do not want to miss out on anything, especially food.

Tsurutontan has many different toppings that can be added to their basic Curry Udon and the topping I always end up ordering over and over is the Shabu Shabu meat topping.  They lay two large, paper thin slices of rare beef on top of the steaming bowl of Curry Udon so by the time they bring it to your table it is perfectly cooked and ready for that first slurp.  I often use larger pieces of meat when I prepare my curry for Udon but after trying it with the Shabu Shabu meat I’m hooked!  The thin slices of meat blend well with the fat, chewy udon noodles.

I’m happy to say that even from our new place in Azabujuban we only have to walk about ten to fifteen minutes to get to Tsurutontan and whenever I’m back in Tokyo I happily get in line.  When I prepare it at home I switch between Shabu Shabu style pork and beef depending on my mood but both taste great.  I love the combination of vegetables I used in this curry recipe but feel free to use different mushrooms and other vegetables.  You can also use the prepared Noodle Soup Base or Mentsuyu if you are short on time but I prefer to make it myself.  You can really taste the difference.  Below you will find the recipe for my Katsuo Dashi and Mentsuyu.

Ingredients for Curry UdonCurry for Curry Udon:

Ingredients:  4 Servings

1 package of S & B Japanese Curry Roux Blocks (small 3.5 ounce size) I like the HOT
1/2 Pound Shabu Shabu style meat, pork or beef (available at Asian grocery stores or ask your Butcher to slice it for you)
I large yellow onion, sliced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal in 1/2-inch slices
6-8 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
1 package Shimeji or Maitake Mushrooms
Water ~ follow package instructions on Curry box
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Canola or Olive Oil
Udon noodles (cook according to package instructions right before serving) ~ enough for four servings
2 cups Mentsuyu ~ recipe below

For serving:

3 Scallions, finely chopped
Shichimi Togarashi ~ Japanese Seven Spice

Preparation:

In a medium sized, heavy bottom pot over medium heat, add butter.  When butter is melted add sliced onions and sauté for 10-15 minutes until soft and slightly caramelized. Doing this really adds flavor to the curry.  Next add the oil, carrots, mushrooms and meat and cook for an additional 5 minutes then add the water according to the instructions on the box.  Simmer until the meat and vegetables are completely cooked but not mushy (do not overcook) take pot off heat.  Break up the curry roux and add it to the pot.  Stir until roux is completely dissolved, return pot to low heat and continue to cook until curry thickens, about 5 more minutes.

Curry Udon PreparationKatsuo Dashi for Mentsuyu:

Ingredients:

3 1/4 cups water
A handful of Katsuobushi (dried Bonito flakes)

Preparation:

Put water in a medium sized pot on medium high heat.  Just before the water boils, add the katsuobushi.  When the water boils, skim off any foam that forms on the surface.  Turn off heat and let the pot sit until the katsuobushi flakes sink to the bottom.  Strain the stock in a colander lined with paper towels.

*Makes about 3 cups

Mentsuyu:

Ingredients:

3 cups Katsuo Dashi
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Mirin

Preparation:

Put Mirin in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Add soy sauce and Dashi stock and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and keep warm until ready to assemble Curry Udon.

Assembling the Curry Udon:

Divide boiled and drained udon noodles between four large soup bowls.  Add 1/2 cup of Mentsuyu to each bowl.  Add one cup of the curry to each bowl and gently stir to combine.  Top each bowl with chopped scallions and Shichimi (optional) before serving.

Curry Udon
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • Curry for Curry Udon:
  • 1 package of S & B Japanese Curry Roux Blocks (small 3.5 ounce size) I like the HOT
  • ½ Pound Shabu Shabu style meat, pork or beef (available at Asian grocery stores or ask your Butcher to slice it for you)
  • I large yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal in ½-inch slices
  • 6-8 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
  • 1 package Shimeji or Maitake Mushrooms
  • Water ~ follow package instructions on Curry box
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Canola or Olive Oil
  • Udon noodles (cook according to package instructions right before serving) ~ enough for four servings
  • 2 cups Mentsuyu ~ recipe below
  • For serving:
  • 3 Scallions, finely chopped
  • Shichimi Togarashi ~ Japanese Seven Spice
  • Katsuo Dashi for Mentsuyu:
  • 3¼ cups water
  • A handful of Katsuobushi (dried Bonito flakes)
  • Mentsuyu:
  • 3 cups Katsuo Dashi
  • ¼ cup Soy Sauce
  • ¼ cup Mirin
Instructions
  1. Curry for Curry Udon
  2. In a medium sized, heavy bottom pot over medium heat, add butter. When butter is melted add sliced onions and sauté for 10-15 minutes until soft and slightly caramelized. Doing this really adds flavor to the curry. Next add the oil, carrots, mushrooms and meat and cook for an additional 5 minutes then add the water according to the instructions on the box. Simmer until the meat and vegetables are completely cooked but not mushy (do not overcook) take pot off heat. Break up the curry roux and add it to the pot. Stir until roux is completely dissolved, return pot to low heat and continue to cook until curry thickens, about 5 more minutes.
  3. Preparation for Katsuo Dashi for Mentsuyu:
  4. Put water in a medium sized pot on medium high heat. Just before the water boils, add the katsuobushi. When the water boils, skim off any foam that forms on the surface. Turn off heat and let the pot sit until the katsuobushi flakes sink to the bottom. Strain the stock in a colander lined with paper towels.
  5. Preparation for Mentsuyu:
  6. Put Mirin in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add soy sauce and Dashi stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat and keep warm until ready to assemble Curry Udon.
  7. Assembling the Curry Udon:
  8. Divide boiled and drained udon noodles between four large soup bowls. Add ½ cup of Mentsuyu to each bowl. Add one cup of the curry to each bowl and gently stir to combine. Top each bowl with chopped scallions and Shichimi (optional) before serving.

 

Comments

  1. This looks lovely! Next time I make curry I’m going to try it this way. I’ve never added mentsuyu before. I can’t wait to try it!

    • Shirley says:

      Thank you for the comment Heather! Yes the Mentsuyu is a must, it gives the curry just the right consistency for the udon. Hope you enjoy it :)

  2. This looks so yummy and that photo of your mise en place is stunning.

    Keep it coming!

    nazila

  3. I think that I could eat this every day…so delicious!
    That last pic is so tempting…

  4. So nice to meet you last night at FareStart! I have been enjoying scrolling through your blog and look forward to trying some of your vegetarian recipes. :)

    • Shirley says:

      Thank you Emmy! I enjoyed meeting you as well and thank you for checking out my blog. I hope to see you again very soon.

  5. Excellent blog here! Also your website loads
    up fast! What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate
    link to your host? I wish my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  6. I noticed that the mentsuyu recipe will make more than necessary for the curry recipe. What else can that be used for? How do I store it and how long will it keep? Thanks!

    • Shirley says:

      Mentsuyu is the soup for soba or udon so you can serve it warn with noodles or It can be a dipping sauce for cold noodles. You can also warm it up, add veggies and tofu for a quick soup. It will last in the refrigerator for up to four days.

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