Easy Udon Noodle Soup

Difficulty Easy

The most comforting easy meal: Udon Noodle Soup! Thick udon wheat noodles in a simple yet savory broth. The pleasure factor in this simple bowl of noodles and hot broth cannot be overstated. It’s such a treat to drink the dashi broth and slurp up the chewy noodles! A 10-minute, delicious dish for rainy days or when you’re feeling under the weather.

What is Udon Noodle Soup?

Udon Noodle Soup is a popular Asian soup featuring thick wheat noodles and a savory, umami-filled broth. The chewy texture of the thick, lush Japanese noodles are everything! But the hot broth also provides just the right amount of savory comfort.

In Japanese cuisine, there are different kinds of Udon Noodle Soup. Some popular favorites: plain (Kake Udon), meaty (Niku Udon), topped with fish cake and fried tofu (Kitsune Udon), and with a curry soup base (Curry Udon).

I grew up eating this savory bowl of noodles in my Korean American childhood. My Korean grandma, who grew up during the Japanese occupation, often made Udon Noodle Soup for breakfast or a midnight snack. It was also a favorite dish on cold days or when someone was sick. The ultimate comfort food!

Similar to Ochazuke, it’s easy to digest. It can also be put together in 10 minutes. The secret comes from using instant dashi powder and Tsuyu soup concentrate. Together, they make a flavorful soup base that’s also quick and simple.

Enjoy plain with just the noodles and flavorful broth. Or add a few extras: bean curd, fish cake, and a poached egg. My kids love this dish. And so do I!


  • Udon Noodles. Thick and chewy udon noodles are made from wheat flour. Look for them at Asian grocery stores. They are available in three forms: dried, refrigerated, and frozen. I recommend frozen Sanuki Udon noodles which best retain their chewy texture and do not require additional cooking. They are a freezer staple in my pantry.
  • Instant Dashi Powder. A great substitute for homemade dashi stock (Japanese soup stock made from dried bonito flakes, kombu, and dried shitake mushrooms). Works the same way as chicken bouillon to add instant, long-cooked flavor to soup. The powder form of dashi broth and one of the building blocks of Asian cuisine.
  • Tsuyu. Japanese soup concentrate. Add to water to make a flavorful udon broth. Can be swapped with soy sauce and little sugar (notes in recipe card below).
  • Soy Sauce. Adds savory umami.
  • Mirin. Sweet cooking wine. Can be swapped with Sake.
  • Green Onions + Furikake. Optional garnish that adds flavor, texture, and freshness.

Add various toppings, of your choosing:

  • Tofu Skins/Bean Curd/Fried Tofu. My favorite ingredient for Udon Noodle Soup. They add flavor and texture. Tofu skins are a byproduct of making tofu, as a skin develops over the coagulated soybean. They are a popular ingredient in Asian cooking and come in many different forms: dried, fresh, or fried. They also go by different names: bean curd, tofu skins, or fried tofu. They are brown and wrinkly and come in sheets, rolls (like the kind used in hot pot), or even yubu (Korean tofu skins). FYI they are also vegan. Look for them in the refrigerated section at Asian grocery stores.
  • Fish cake. Japanese fishcakes. They come packaged in a tube. I like Naruto Maki (with a red swirl) and Kamaboko (with a red edge) for their mild flavor and color. Slice thinly. You can also use Korean or Chinese fish cakes.
  • Poached Egg. For extra protein, add a poached egg. Cook directly in the broth.
  • Kimchi. A classic addition to Korean Udon Noodle Soup. For a subtle spicy soup. Add kimchi (preferably old) to the broth at the beginning of the cooking process.
  • Frozen Hot Pot meat. For meaty Udon, add thinly sliced, frozen meat that’s used for hot pot.
  • Tofu. Cubed tofu is a great addition.
  • Rice cakes (Tteok). If you have them, add a handful of chewy Korean rice cakes. YUM!

How to make Udon Noodle Soup

  1. Make broth. In a medium saucepan or individual cooking pot, add water, instant dashi powder, tsuyu, soy sauce, and mirin. Add the fish cakes and bean curd. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir and let the flavors meld together, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add noodles. When everything is bubbling, add frozen noodles directly into the hot broth. Use tongs or chopsticks to gently loosen the noodles. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the noodles are no longer frozen.
  3. Add egg. *Optional.* If adding a poached egg, crack a raw egg into a small ramekin. When the soup is bubbling, add the raw egg in the center of the pot. Cover, lower heat to medium-low, and cook for 2 minutes. The egg should be just set with a runny yolk. *For a firmer yolk, cook for 1-2 additional minutes.
  4. Garnish and serve. Transfer to a large bowl. Or, if using an individual cooking pot, serve as is. Add green onion and furikake. Serve immediately and enjoy!

PRO Tips:

  • Add noodles last. To keep that chewy texture, add the noodles last. Do not overcook! Frozen Sanuki Udon noodles are pre-cooked and only need to be reheated in the hot broth until soft and pliable.
  • Freeze fish cakes. Since you only need a few slices for one serving, slice all the fishcakes in advance and transfer to a ziploc baggie. Freeze and pull out a few slices anytime you’d like — it should keep for 1-2 months this way.
  • Freeze bean curd. The bean curd also freezes well. I always have some in my freezer to make this bowl of hot noodle soup.
  • Cook in a ramen pot. If you have a Korean ramen pot, this is a great recipe for it. Perfect for an individual serving.


How can I make Vegan Udon Noodle Soup?

Udon Noodle Soup can easily be veganized. To make a vegan broth, use vegan dashi powder (affiliate). Order online or look for it at the Korean market.

Where can I find the instant dashi powder? How do I store it?

Most Asian markets sell Instant Dashi. Look in the seasoning or soup aisle. There are several different kinds. I like Hondashi which is made from dried bonito flakes and has a smoky flavor.

Store in a cool, dry place. I place in a OXO container and store in the fridge. It will keep best that way.

Where can I find Tsuyu? How do I store it?

Tsuyu can be found at most Asian markets. Look in the aisle with Japanese ingredients or soy sauce. If you don’t have it, swap with soy sauce and a little sugar.

Store in the fridge, tightly sealed. It will keep best this way.

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udon noodle soup with fish cake and green onion

Easy Udon Noodle Soup

Lis Lam
The most comforting easy meal: Udon Noodle Soup! Thick udon wheat noodles in a simple yet savory broth. The pleasure factor in this simple bowl of noodles and hot broth cannot be overstated. It's such a treat to drink the hot broth and slurp up the chewy noodles! A favorite meal for rainy days or when you're feeling under the weather.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Breafast, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine Japanese, Korean
Servings 1
Calories 452 kcal


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 package Udon Noodles
  • 1 Tbsp Tsuyu *can be subbed with 1 Tbsp soy sauce and 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Mirin
  • 1/2 Tbsp Instant Dashi Powder
  • 1 green onion, minced
  • 1-2 sprinkles furikake

Optional toppings:

  • 1-2 sheets beancurd or tofu skins
  • 3-4 slices fish cakes
  • 1 egg



Calories: 452kcalCarbohydrates: 73gProtein: 28gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 171mgSodium: 3074mgPotassium: 217mgFiber: 6gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 409IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 102mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Noodles, Soup, Udon
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15 minutes, All Recipes, Asian, Korean, Main, Snacks, Soup, Weeknight Meals

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