I always love udon noodle soup. As long as I have a pack of udon noodles in the fridge, I can pretty much throw everything in the pot. It is a delicious and very easy “kitchen sink” comforting meal in a bowl. Udon noodle soups often come with seasoning packets which I always discard because of the high sodium content. I make my own broth instead where I can control the amount of sodium that goes into my soup.
I mean, do not get me wrong. I love salty and savory foods! In fact if you make me choose between salty or sweet, I would most likely choose salty foods like french fries, ramen and cured meats like proscuitto over cakes and desserts. The sad thing is sensitivity to sodium runs in my family. Anything salty makes our blood pressure go up. Anyway, I have learned to live with it and with proper diet, I am healthy as well as my parents and siblings. Thank the Lord!
Up until I finally found the perfect combination of broth and seasonings, (thank you, sheltering in place for time for kitchen experiments!) I often ended up with udon soup that was hit or miss. Only because I would just eyeball the soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and broth when I combine them in the pot without measuring them first. Sometimes the broth was delicious, other times, it was meh.
With the perfect measurement of the seasonings below, my udon broth recipe is a keeper! No more “hit or miss” broths. Ginger, brown mushrooms, shitake mushrooms and green onions give the broth nice, rich and earthy flavors.
Easy Udon Noodle Soup With Shitake Mushrooms
- 4 cups chicken, beef or vegetable broth (I often use no-sodium beef broth or low sodium chicken broth from Trader Joe’s)
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or mirin*
- 1 tablespoon ginger , grated
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce (or low-sodium soy sauce but will be less salty)
- *2 teaspoons sugar (omit sugar if using mirin)
- 1 cup brown mushrooms
- 6- 8 fresh shiitake mushrooms (sliced or left whole)
- 3 -4 green onions , sliced
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, cut into thin sticks
- 1 package tofu (or cooked chicken such as rotisserie chicken cut into pieces)
- 2 packs fresh udon noodles (usually in vacuum packs/discard seasonings or save for another use)
- 2 boiled eggs, cut in half
- cilantro (optional)
- sesame oil (optional)
- chili oil (to taste, optional)
- In a pot, combine broth, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar or mirin, sugar, ginger and white parts of green onion. ( If using mirin, omit sugar since mirin is already sweet.)
- Bring to a boil and lower heat to medium.
- Add brown mushrooms, carrots and chopped onions.
- Cover and cook until carrots and onions are tender, and brown mushrooms are cooked through, about 10 – 12 minutes.
- Add the tofu and shitake mushrooms. Simmer for 5 minutes. (If using cooked chicken meat such as rotisserie chicken or seasoned chicken breast, now is the time to add as well.)
- Add noodles. Cook the noodles for about 2 minutes or according to instructions on the package.
- Turn off heat.
- Ladle in a bowl and garnish with boiled eggs, green parts of green onions and and cilantro (optional).
- Season with sesame oil or chili oil (optional).
- It is okay to omit shitake mushrooms if they are not available.
- You may also use white mushrooms instead of brown mushrooms.
- You may add 2 teaspoons of sesame oil to the broth along with rice wine vinegar and other seasoning as you start cooking the broth. However, I found that the broth is already rich without the added sesame oil.
- I recommend adding cut up rotisserie chicken or seasoned cooked chicken meat instead of raw chicken. Raw chicken might be bland if added directly.
- Home made broth for this soup instead of the seasoning package has a fresher and cleaner taste.
- Bon Appetit describes what mirin is in this article and what to use if it is not available.