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Did Udon Originate in Japan? Behind the Man, the Myth, and the Udon


There are many kinds of comfort food in the world, from things like mac and cheese, chicken soup, or mashed potatoes and stew. But to many Japanese people, udon noodles are an essential comfort food. These noodles are thick and substantial, yet slippery and melts in your mouth in just the right way, soft and slightly chewy.


Udon noodles are thick noodles made from wheat flour, water, and just a bit of salt. Since they are so light, udon noodles are also easily digestible, and they are also rich in crucial B Vitamins


There is an ongoing mystery as to the origins of udon itself. No one quite knows for sure where they came from and when exactly. However, there are many theories and claims. One of the oldest theories claims that udon noodles came to Japan from China in the 700s, when a monk from Kagawa was dispatched to China to study knowledge and technology in Buddhism, architecture and engineering. When he returned to Japan, he also brought back the noodles enjoyed by the people in China. Despite the mystery of its origins, it is known that the dish became widely popular with the public during the Edo period.


There are many different ways that people serve and enjoy udon noodles, as it is an incredibly flexible dish. The simplest form of udon noodles is known as kake udon, made with a hot soup and a mild broth called kakejiru made from dashi, soy sauce, and mirin. Usually, kake udon is topped with thinly chopped scallions to complete the dish. Other variants include curry udon made with Japanese curry or even a stir-fried variant called yaki udon.


While in the west it is considered rude to slurp during your meals, with udon noodles it is a requirement. When your udon noodles are served with a soup, broth, or sauce, you eat them by using your chopsticks to lead the thick noodles into your mouth while making a slurping sound. The slurping not only enhances the flavors, it also helps cool down the hot noodles as they enter your mouth. Be sure to try them if you ever get the chance!


You can order udon noodles at Sakae Sushi. We offer Tempura Udon, Beef Udon, Chicken Teriyaki Udon, and even Kids Mini Udon for your little ones. Simply go to our delivery website, here, and order this comforting food at home!

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