Easy Menu with Honmono Nippon EP. 8 – Cold Tanuki Udon

Cold Tanuki Udon

Various types of cold noodles are unquestionably popular summer dishes in Japan. It doesn’t matter if it’s ramen, soba, somen, or udon that can be eaten cold as well. The cold noodles menu has a variety of toppings or soup variations, such as Hiyashi Chuka, Nagashi Somen, Zaru Soba, and Tanuki Udon, for which we will present the method today to be a cool-down menu for everyone to enjoy.

Tanuki udon is udon served in hot dashi broth and topped with fried tempura crunchy scraps (tenkasu), but in the summer, this dish is often served cold for refreshment. There are several theories as to why this dish is called Tanuki, which means Japanese raccoon dog. One of them is the result of a play on the word “Tanenuki” (タネ抜き), which means no filling and refers to empty tempura crunchy scraps (tenkasu), which was distorted into the word Tanuki in the end. Each region of Japan has its own distinct style of tanuki udon.

We’ve had a brief introduction to Tanuki Udon. Let’s prepare the ingredients and start making this menu.

Ingredients (for 2 servings)

• 2 blocks of udon noodles (if using dry noodles, use about 200g; if using fresh or frozen noodles, use about 400g)
• about 160 ml. mentsuyu sauce or instant concentrate cold noodles soup (80 ml./1 serving)
• Water for mixing the sauce according to the recipe specified on the bottle
• Ice for washing the udon noodles and putting them in the cold noodles soup.
• 1 piece of radish (about 5 cm.)
• 2 tablespoons of dried wakame seaweed
• 8 tablespoons of Tenkasu
• 1 onsen egg or boiled egg (cut in half)
• 1 bit of Japanese cucumber

Ingredient preparation

• Udon noodles: Bring water to a boil. If using fresh or frozen noodles, bring them to a boil for about 1 minute. In case of using dry noodles, boil according to the directions on the packet. Stir constantly to prevent the lines from sticking together. When the noodles are cooked, immediately put them in a bowl of ice and water. When the noodles have cooled, drain the water and set them aside.
• Japanese cucumber: Slice into thin slices, then cut into small strips, and set aside.
• Radish: Peel the radish, scrape and squeeze out the water, and set aside.
• Wakame: Soak dried wakame for 15 minutes in water, then rinse thoroughly, squeeze out water, and set aside.
• Mentsuyu: Pour the instant concentrate cold noodles soup or mentsuyu mixed according to the directions on the bottle into a bowl. Put some ice in it.

Serving method

• Arrange the udon noodles and side dishes in a bowl.
• Pour cold noodles soup or mentsuyu into it before eating.