What Are Udon Noodles? Varieties and Recipes That Boost Your Health

What Are Udon Noodles?

Japanese cuisine finds udon noodles a favorite. Basically, this noodle is a thick kind and made from wheat flour. Often served in soups, there are a variety of ways of cooking udon noodles.

One is for soups wherein it is mixed with different kinds of broths and toppings. Otherwise, there’s the basic way of serving it in simple and clear broth, added with onions. 

Not only can hot udon noodles be slurped with gusto during cool weather. Come summertime, you can relish it cold with a dipping sauce, or you can chill it as a broth, or else prepare it as a salad.

Udon Noodles- What Kind Of Pasta Are They?

Udon noodles have a thick strand, and they vary in ingredients, shape, and size. Typically, they are served in soup.

The majority of udon noodles are made from wheat flour. Variations are available according to the region as well where potato starch may be used or carrot may be combined to bring out an orange color. 

What about the shapes of udon noodles? Essentially thick, they may be round or square, or if the flat is ribbon-like. 

You can buy these noodles fresh, or you can buy them dried. They have to be boiled so that they become smooth and chewy and therefore pleasant when you eat them.

Udon noodles, for the most part, are sourced from Japan. They are available in dried or frozen packages. However, in some markets, they may be packed pre-cooked where you can warm them in soup. You can also stir-fry them and serve them on your table. 

Generally, udon is priced a bit higher than regular pasta. You can purchase these noodles in grocery stores and Asian markets. You can buy udon noodles online, too. 

If you want to avail of a wider selection of udon, it’s best to buy them on Asian markets. Occasionally, you can even find fresh ones there. Then there are likewise packaged instant udon noodles that are quite popular in Japan that you can get from Asian markets. 

You can empty your udon noodles from the package and boil them directly in water. Voila! It is then ready to serve. 

A simple noodle and broth dish that often makes use of udon is the Kake udon soup. If you want to slurp something more flavorful, add in curry, or maybe red miso broth. Udon noodles in soup are splendid with toppings like shrimp, tempura, or fried tofu. Throw in an egg or some meat and vegetables and you can have a delicious meal.

Another option is to stir fry udon in the sauce. If you want to serve it cold, munch it with a dipping sauce, also called zaru udon.

What Are The Different Types Of Udon Noodles?

Fresh and dried udon noodles are available in many brands. They do not vary that much, so your purchase of them mainly depends on what’s more accessible to you. You can find numerous options for these products online as well.

Whole wheat udon

This udon noodles variant is usually found in natural foods stores. In many ways, whole wheat udon noodles are similar to soba noodles to traditional thick Asian noodles. Nevertheless, they are very nutritious. 

Dried udon

You’ll most likely find this type of udon noodles wrapped in cellophane of 8-ounce packages. They are cooked in the same way as any kind of pasta. That is, you boil them in a plentiful amount of briskly simmering water. To be sure, go with what the package directions say.

To achieve al dente texture, cook the udon for 5 to 7 minutes. Directions might tell you to drain the noodles and then quickly rinse them so that some of the starch would be washed away. You can keep dried udon noodles in your pantry for an indefinite period of time. They tend to look like fettuccine and a little flat than fresh udon.

Fresh udon

This type of udon noodles is chunky and round, unlike the flat dried kind. Its packaging is sealed and in quantities of 12 to 16 ounces. They should be kept in the fridge right after buying them. Be particular about its best before date, too. 

Fresh udon noodles are ready to use, just add them to a hot soup and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. They are to be cooked for the same duration if you want them stir-fried or served as a cold dish. Again, it is best to go with package directions.

Are Udon Noodles Healthy?

They’re not that bad if you have no problems eating wheat. But, you must know that udon noodles are mostly comprised of carbs. To achieve a balanced meal, it makes sense to cook udon as a dish that contains plenty of vegetables. Examples are soups, stir-fries, and salads. 

Udon noodles have high carbohydrates content but are low in fat. One cup of them holds 4 grams of protein and a moderate portion of fiber and iron. 

You will like udon noodles for their uniquely chewy and smooth quality, but if you are looking for a substitute, you can opt for Japanese soba noodles. They may vary in texture, though, but soba can keep up well in the same manner in hot and cold soups. If you want a swap for your stir-fried udon, try thick Chinese egg noodles.

Why Are Udon Noodles Good For You?

Udon noodles are good for you because it boosts your immune system. It is rich in Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B9, and folate. This type of pasta also helps in controlling your weight and diet because it is light and can easily be absorbed by your body. 

What’s so special about udon is that it can ward off health problems and diseases because it is comprised of complex carbohydrates and fiber that help prevent heart disease and cancer.

Most of all, udon is beneficial because of its anti-stress effect, which is known as “soul food”. It gives comfort and nourishment to your body, thereby causing the release of stress.

Read: How to Make Easy Weeknight Dinners For Family

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