Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Simplified Japanese fat noodle dishDSC_4227

Have you seen ‘UDON’? It is a 2006 movie about a guy who wants to be a comedian abroad in New York but couldn’t make it and broke, returns to his home town of Kagawa prefecture in Shikoku. HIs father owned a fat noodle shop which he had no desire of taking over. He eventually got a job at the local town newspaper as editor of tourist guide book. He accidently created Sanuki noodle boom which is Kagawa’s specialty udon. I like the scene in which he and a lovely colleague go all over town trying different noodle shops. I had the sudden urge to have noodles after watching it. This funny, cute and delicious movie is available on Netflix. You’ve got to see it if you like udon noodles.

Kagawa is the smallest prefecture in Japan. It’s nickname is udon prefecture (うどん県) Many self-serve Sanuki udon eateries available there. Similar to self-serve yogurt shops, you choose noodle sauce and choose your toppings then pay. The price is determined by number of toppings not by weight. Don’t fret! it’s not expensive!  Charter the ‘udon taxi’ (about $50 for 1 hour) there and you could try lots of udon shops and taxi drivers really knows udon but I think that will make you udon out for a while. Do you know there is such an udon shop in Seattle? U:DON  is the name. Cute, huh?  It’s located in University district. I bet students love this good but cheap place.

I like fox (きつね) among toppings the best. The fox is actually fried bean curd sweetened with sugar and soy sauce. There is an old folk tale of how Foxes possess magical power that transform themselves into human to deceive people and their favorite treat is fried bean curd. Some people in Japan worship fox and use bean curd as an offering. Another popular topping is tanuki (たぬき-red raccoon) fried mixed vegetable tempura (かき揚げ). A Tanuki also can turn himself to human or other object and trick people without being mean-spirited but I don’t know if they like fried vegetable tempura though. Today I made a simple udon noodle topped with soft poached egg. We still don’t a have kitchen, remember? This one pot wonder is hearty and easy!DSC_4209

Ingredients for today’s udon dish Serves 1

  • Water 300cc
  • Dashi (soup stock) 1 packet This one is tea-bag style and specifically for udon noodle.DSC_4208
  • 1 Frozen Sanuki udon bundle –no need for defrost, no precook necessary ( I like frozen noodle better than dry ones).DSC_4231
  • 1 stalk of Green onion finely sliced.
  • Grated ginger (optional)
  1. Boil water in pan
  2. Add dashi and simmer for 5 minutes
  3. Remove dashi packet from pan and put noodle in.DSC_4214
  4. Cook about 4 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle with green onion and your favorite topping. My husband likes add a few drops of rice vinegar.DSC_4228

I made the soft poached egg in the microwave using a poached egg gadget but you could make it in same pan as noodle is cooking. Gently drop the egg in after the noodle has cooked a little bit, cook until desired hardness is achieved. DSC_4201Here is another handful of fresh eggs from a friend.DSC_4212DSC_4217DSC_4220

We had snow last Thursday. The second snow fall in March DSC_4097DSC_4098DSC_4111DSC_4136DSC_4138DSC_4113DSC_4116DSC_4102DSC_4105My painting teacher ‘s neighbor built a snow man and a snow kid..Ah may be it’s a pet.DSC_4143Then next day was sunny and warm. Gorgeous display of flowers in front of the grocery store.DSC_4150DSC_4153

The kitchen floor is refinished and stained.DSC_4164A skilled cabinet installer spent 12 hours to put cabinets in the kitchen. Exciting and grateful.DSC_4233DSC_4237DSC_4238 

I remember something from the movie where someone said “A boom is like a festival, at some point it ends”.  That’s something to think about.


  1. We've actually been eating a lot of udon the last two days... but we didn't have the frozen ones. I also prefer that.
    Looks cold! Don't envy that.

    1. Mariko, We had heavy rain for a week! Now we have a small pond in our back yard. Thanks for your comment. Tell Jake happy birthday.

  2. うどんっていう映画観たことないですが、主人に今聞いたら、聞いた事あるって言ってました。観てみようかな。





    1. なみちゃん、オレゴンも大雨が続いてます。日本で花見を楽しんで来てください。コメントありがとう。

  3. There's something about a nice brothy noodle soup like this that just soothes the soul.

    1. Sylvia, Thank you for your comment. I can't wait to try your chocolate granola. I totally missed the dead line of your giveaway. My procrastination , my bad.

  4. Hi
    I have never seen "Udon" movie. It sounds like an interesting and heart warming film. I 'll go and get it.
    I always love Udon and Kitsune Udon is my favorite too. I really enjoy reading this post. Thanks for sharing. :-)

    1. Hi back to you Tataya. Thank you for your comment. I assume you can speak Japanese too. ありがとう。

  5. Those are seriously some fat noodles! It never snows out here .. wish it did :P and that snowman is so cute :)

    1. Thank you Kankana. I'm thinking about making your carrot pistachio truffles-I have to search for cardamom powder, it's somewhere in one of boxes. It may be easier to just buy? At least this recipe don't require oven.