Umami Recipes
Umami Recipes

Niku Udon (Japanese Beef Noodle Soup)

4 servings


30 minutes

total time


20 grams/about 2 (4-inch) squares kombu

20 grams/about 2 cups loosely packed katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)

1 pound thinly shaved beef (see Tips)

1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 bunch scallions, white parts cut into 2-inch segments and halved lengthwise, light green parts thinly sliced at a sharp angle

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/4 cup sake

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons mirin

2 tablespoons soy sauce, plus more as needed

3 tablespoons mirin, plus more as needed

1 pound fresh or frozen udon noodles

Shichimi or nanami togarashi, or use your favorite chile powder (optional)


Make the dashi: Combine 2 quarts cold water and the kombu in a medium saucepan, and place over medium heat. As soon as the water boils, remove from heat and add the katsuobushi, pushing it gently into the water to submerge (don’t stir vigorously). Steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain and discard the kombu and katsuobushi (or reserve to make another batch of weaker dashi) and return the dashi to the saucepan. Keep warm, but don’t let it boil.

Cook the beef: Combine the shaved beef, onion, scallion whites, sugar, sake, soy sauce, mirin and 1 cup of the finished dashi in a large skillet or sauté pan. Bring to a simmer over high heat, stirring. Continue cooking over high heat, stirring frequently, until the beef and onions are tender and the mixture is still moist but not soupy, 10 to 15 minutes.

As beef cooks, bring a pot of unsalted water to a boil — udon noodles are typically made with plenty of salt in the dough — and cook the udon noodles according to package directions.

To serve, add the soy sauce and mirin to the reserved dashi and stir. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste with more soy sauce or mirin. (The broth should have a balanced savory-sweet flavor.)

Divide the cooked noodles across 4 large serving bowls. Ladle the broth on top of the noodles. Divide the beef and onion mixture evenly across the noodles, including any liquid in the pan. Top each bowl with sliced scallion greens. (You may have extra.) Serve immediately with shichimi togarashi to taste.


Serving Size




Total Fat

7 g

Saturated Fat

3 g

Unsaturated Fat

4 g

Trans Fat

0 g




1001 mg

Total Carbohydrate

95 g

Dietary Fiber

5 g

Total Sugars

8 g


42 g

4 servings


30 minutes

total time
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