udon soba

24 Udon (うどん) & Soba (そば) you MUST Know

There are some udon and soba recipes in Japan that are completely unknown to around the world. 

Today I will tell you about the recipes and their secrets.

The Difference Between Udon, Soba, and Ramen

Udon and Soba originated in Japan, Ramen originated in China. 
I talk about them on another page

Udon & Soba

Udon and Soba are made from wheat flour, buckwheat flour and water.

Udon and soba soups are called “Mentsuyu”.” Men” is noodles. “Tsuyu” is soup.

Basically, it is made from soy sauce, Katsuobushi and kombu dashi. We never use garlic and animal bone dashi.

We eat them in soup noodle, Soaked noodle style, or grilled. 

But, there is not grilled soba. (Japanese Yakisoba is used ramen noodle.)



On the other hand, Ramen uses sodium carbonate called “Kansui” to make the noodles. This is why the color of the noodles is slightly yellow. This means not using egg in the noodles.

Ramen soup comes in a variety of bases, kinds Tonkotsu, chicken broth, seafood, etc., and there are many variations of flavor, such as tomato or salty lemon flavor.

Ramen is in soup and Tsukemen style or grilled, calls Yakisoba.

2 ways to eat

Japanese people divide noodles into “hot” and “cold”.
Hot noodles are soup noodles. Cold noodles are what we call tsukemen.

Soup type

When you order at a restaurant, you will usually be served this soup noodle.

However, some menus do not have soup noodles.

Dipping type - Hiyashi

The tsukemen type is called ” Hiyashi (chilled)”. 
We call it “Tsukemen” only for Chinese noodles. For Japanese noodles, it is called “Hiyashi”.

How to order at restaurant


This menu is called “Oshinagaki” in soba or udon restaurant.
Of course, you can not read them, but actually you do not need this at all.

Don’t wally I have made a table as fallows so that you can get through to them by a-d in order.

a: Hiyashi or soup
b: Name of dish
c: Udon or Soba
d: Kudasai.(This means “please in Japanese”)

Example: When you want to eat soup tempura soba.



Difference between Kake, Mori and Zaru

I am often asked the difference between these recipes. To tell the truth, Japanese people don’t really understand the difference either.

“Mori” is Tsukemen style noodle on a plate or a bowl.
“Kake” is plain soup noodle. Nothing with ingredients on it. Some people eat with leeks and Shichimi.
“Zaru” is Tsukemen style with sliced Nori on a bamboo tray. The dipping sauce for “Zaru” is richer than the others. 

24 + 3 Udon & Soba recipe of Japan

I introduce Udon and soba noodles are Japanese eat daily and their recipes.

Recipe Contents

Chikara Udon recipe (ちからうどん)


“Chikara” means strength. This recipe is only soup Udon.  It is with a baked mochi(rice cake).
I don’t know where it comes from clearly, but I have heard that eating it gives you strength. In Kansai, it is called “Kachin-Udon”.

FYI: Kurashiru
Source: https://www.kurashiru.com/recipes/708c7aca-6495-45af-b124-d43220df0e09

Curry Udon / Soba recipe (カレーうどん / そば)

curry udon

It is only a soup type. Because it is made by adding curry to mentsuyu.
In Japan, it is said that “The curry at a Soba-ya (Soba noodle restaurant) is delicious,” so when you come to Japan, please try curry soba there!

FYI: Cookpad
Source: https://cookpad.com/recipe/1455999

Kake Udon / Soba recipe (かけうどん / そば)

bukkake udon

If you want to enjoy noodle simply, this“Kakeudon” is the best choice.

This is the basic recipe for noodle soup is as follows.
Dashi broth 400ml (1000ml water: 20g bonito flakes + 10g kombu. Putting all night long. Then strain and use.)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin (as possible)
1 tablespoon sugar

Unit conversion blog

She’s great!

She bought a pastry book of USA and have checked up the temperature and spoon size or so!

FYI: Memo of kagiami
Source: http://kagiami.hatenablog.com/entry/2017/01/08/235635

Kakiage Udon / Soba recipe (かき揚げうどん /そば)


This recipe is just putting kakiage on the top. It’s addictive dish!

FYI: Kurashiru
Source: https://www.kurashiru.com/recipes/3770b5fd-6d0e-48b1-8a2c-bb8f9e78704a

Kamaage Udon (釜揚げうどん)


“Kamaage” means This is a very Sanukian noodle. Do not linse the noodle in a strainer, but scoop the noodles in the pot and eat them in the dipping sauce.

Kamonamban Udon / Soba (鴨南蛮うどん / そば)

“Kamo” means duck. “Namban” refers south eastern Asia. In Japan, our ancestors used to call it “Namban dish” if it contained leeks or onions. 

This dish with duck and leeks. The marriage of leeks and duck meat is the best combination. So, the word “kamonegi” was created from this combination.

FYI: delish kitchen
Source: https://delishkitchen.tv/recipes/208065298815779220

Kamonegi (かもねぎ)

In Japan, there is a saying, “A duck comes carrying leeks”. We often say it “Kamonegi”, which refers to the situation of gullible brings benefit us. If ducks brought in the leeks, we can make them into hot pot or udon noodles without preparing anything, right?

The stupid rich person who plays against a fraud gambler without knowing anything, is called “Kamo(duck)”. How about using it in jargon?

Kenchin Udon / Soba recipe (けんちんうどん / そば)


It is a vegetarian soup called Kenchin-jiru with noodles, made with mentsuyu clear dashi soup, not miso.
This is a kind of vegetarian food, so it actually contains no meat and kombu dashi.
The recipe introduced here is the authentic Kenchin Udon.

FYI: dietplus
Source: https://dietplus.jp/public/article/recipe/20160617-048647

Kitsune Udon / Soba recipe (きつねうどん / そば)


“Kitsune” is a fox in Japanese. It is called Kitsune noodle because of the fried tofu, aburaage.

I’ve already mentioned here, they love aburaage!

This recipe is easyjust putting aburaage and chopped leeks on the top.
Usually this fried tofu is cooked in a sweet soy sauce as used in Inarizushi.

Misonikomi Udon recipe (味噌煮込みうどん)


“Nikomi” means simmered dish in Japanese. 

Miso Nikomi Udon is a specialty of Nagoya, is simmered with miso. This type Udon is often eaten in winter because it warms the body. There is no soba menu, tsukemen too.

FYI: Cookpad
Source: https://cookpad.com/recipe/287730

Mori Udon / Soba recipe (もりうどん / そば)

After boiling, rinse the noodles with water and serve them in a bowl. We eat this in a tsukemen style.
Udon noodles are topped with chopped leeks. Soba comes with wasabi.

Nabeyaki Udon (鍋焼きうどん)

It is cooked in a donabe(Clay pot) pot with ingredients kinds kamaboko, shiitake mushrooms, aburaage, shrimp tempura, raw egg, and fu, gluten. Every ingredients are simmered and is served.

This is also cooked in the same way as miso nikomi udon, so there is no soba recipe.

FYI: Higashimaru
Source: https://www.higashimaru.co.jp/recipe/udonsoup-lowsalt/udon-lowsalt1337.html

Nameko oroshi Udon / Soba recipe (なめこおろしうどん / そば)


This recipe is with Nameko mushrooms and daikon oroshi. It’s refreshing taste makes it easy to eat. We eat it with soba after a hangover.

Niku Udon / Soba recipe (にく うどん / そば)

“Niku” means meat. This recipe is with sweet soy sauce flavored pork roast, leeks and some kamaboko.

FYI: nadia
Source: https://oceans-nadia.com/user/253470/recipe/388164

Nishin Soba (にしん そば)


“Nishin” is a herring. The originally from Kyoto.
This recipe is a herring with sweet and soy sauce cooked, called “Bohtaki” is topped on udon.

In Tokyo, it is somehow a high-class dish…

Sansai Udon / Soba recipe (山菜 うどん / そば)


“Sansai” means wild vegetables. Japanese land is 70% covered with mountains, so there are rich varieties. Warabi(bracken), zenmai(royal fern), Nameko mushrooms, Takenoko(bamboo shoots), and Fukinotou(edible buds of butterbur) are commonly sold in supermarkets.

It is usually sold after removed bitterness.

Saraudon (皿うどん)


Sara Udon is a Nagasaki speciality dish. Fried various vegetables and seafoods are on the top of deep-fried Chinese noodles. This is usually covered with ankake (starchy sauce).

FYI: Kurashiru
Source: https://www.kurashiru.com/recipes/178fbd9d-2d34-45c7-a0ec-4d3ecb53ddb6

Sudachi Udon (すだち うどん)

Sudachi is one of the unique Japanese citrus as same as yuzu. It is more bitter and stronger refreshing aroma than other citrus. In the summer, we eat sudachi with kake udon! Not Mori udon.

Sudachi is usually eaten with udon since it is located next to Kagawa Prefecture, which is famous for Sanuki udon.

FYI: Ameba
Source: https://ameblo.jp/mksr21392510171115/entry-12320684224.html

Tanuki Udon / Soba (たぬき うどん / そば)

“Tenkasu” is deep fried dough when tempura makes. In Japan, Foods we use this tenkasu is called “Tanuki”. Tanuki means raccoon. In Osaka, there is no “Tanuki udon”. Tanuki soba contains inariage as well as kitsune, instead of Tenkasu.

We eat it with leeks and Shichimi.

Tempura Udon / Soba (天ぷら うどん / そば)

It comes with tempura separately for Hiyashi, or on top of the noodles for soup noodles.

Furthermore, only Japanese people know this, but the tempura batter used for only soup soba needs to be thicker than regular’s one.

Regular soba dipping sauce is not suitable for tempura soba because it tastes too strong.
Therefore, the Japanese make a separate soup for tempura soba only.

The soup used for tempura soba has less soy sauce flavor than regular, so the batter is made thicker to absorb the flavor better.

Tororo Udon / Soba (とろろ うどん / そば)

“Tororo” means grated yam. There are three types of yam in Japan: Chinese yam, Japanese yam, and Jinenjo, different in stickiness. Taste is almost same.

We often use Chinese one, because getting easily and tasty.

This recipe is simply putting tororo on the top of noodle.

Tsukimi Udon / Soba (月見 うどん / そば)


We call a dish with an egg on top “Tsukimi”. This is a dish with a raw egg on top. You can read more about Tsukimi here.

Wakame Udon / Soba (わかめ うどん / そば)

Wakame, as you know, is a young kombu seaweed, and one of the most popular toppings in Japan. It is so popular in Japan that it has been made into cup noodles. It is also often used in ramen.

Yakiudon / Yakisoba recipe (やきうどん / やきそば)


This is noodles stir fry.
Yaki-udon and yaki-soba are made with pork and vegetables stir-fried in mentsuyu. But, usually Yakisoba noodle is Chinese noodle.

●Yakiudon (Udon stir fry)
FYI: Shirogohan.com
Source: https://www.sirogohan.com/sp/recipe/yakiudon/

●Yakisoba (Chinese noodle stir fry) 
FYI: lettuce club
Source: https://www.lettuceclub.net/news/article/102762/

Zaru udon / Soba (ざる うどん / そば)

“Zaru” means bamboo tray. Zaru udon is the same as mori udon recipe, but it is served on a zaru. In addition, the noodles is covered with nori.

The others


These are the types of soba noodles that Japanese people know. They are not types of dishes, but customs and ways of eating.


Wanko soba is called “Warikosoba” also, specialty in Iwate prefecture. Small servings of soba noodles are served in small bowls.

In Japan, there is a bowl soba gluttony contest like the hot dog’s one in USA. Some women have eaten 420 bowls in an hour!



“Hikkoshi” means moving. The practice of handing out soba noodles as a greeting for moving began in the mid-Edo period, in the culture of Edo’s citizens. Therefore, it is a custom unique to Tokyo.


seiro soba

“Toshikoshi soba” means the year-crossing soba, is a special Japanese noodle dish that Japanese people traditionally eat on New Year’s Eve.
Japanese believe that eating long soba brings us a long lasting life. I don’t want to eat, though.

In the next, I will tell you the Japanese “Soba Restaurant Manners”.

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