Beef Udon

Introducing my Beef Udon, also known as Niku Udon in Japanese cuisine. This traditional Japanese delight features tender slices of beef and thick udon noodles in a savory dashi-based broth, bringing the comforting flavors of Japan to my kitchen. With a remarkable combination of rich umami goodness and quick 10-minute preparation, this recipe lets me enjoy a restaurant-quality bowl of udon right at home in no time!

Beef udon soup being scooped up with a wooden spoon.

Why I Love This Recipe

Beef Udon holds a special place in my heart because it symbolizes the definition of Japanese comfort food made with remarkable ease! This dish features thinly sliced beef, simmered to perfection, where I combine chewy udon noodles in a savory dashi broth. It’s a bowl of warmth and flavor, making it perfect for both chilly evenings and busy weeknights!

Beef Udon is a delightful and accessible recipe that welcomes everyone to savor its comforting embrace. Just like my Japanese Chicken Curry and Tonjiru Pork Miso Soup, udon is especially cherished during colder months for its heartwarming qualities and satisfying taste. It’s the ultimate comfort food experience that is a family favorite and one I promise you don’t want to miss!

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • Dashi fish broth made from steeping kombu and bonito flakes with boiling water. Can also use Hondashi mixed in water for instant dashi.
  • Soy Sauce – low-sodium Soy Sauce preferred. Can also use tamari for gluten-free.
  • Japanese Sake – typically will come in a large bottle labeled junmai sake. Can also substitute with dry sherry wine or Chinese cooking wine, found at local grocery stores or Asian markets. 
  • Sweetener – use your preferred sweetener.
  • Salt – sea salt preferred.
  • Green Onion – finely chopped green onion scallions.
  • Noodles – Japanese udon noodles found at Asian grocery stores. Use Shirataki Noodles for low carb.
  • Beef – use thinly sliced rib-eye or chuck beef found in many Asian or Japanese supermarkets.
  • Togarashi (red pepper)Togarashi Japanese chili pepper blend found in most Asian or Japanese supermarkets. Optional.

Additional Toppings

Enhance your undo with classic toppings like Fish Cakes, Mitsuba, Shichimi Togarashi Red Pepper Blend, and Katsuobushi Bonito Flakes. These traditional additions elevate the udon with extra layers of flavor.

🥢 Dashi Pro Tip

For instant dashi, opt for a mixture of water and Hondashi. This shortcut eliminates the need for extensive preparation, allowing you to streamline your cooking process effectively.

🍶 Mirin Ingredient Note

While mirin is traditionally used in udon, this recipe takes into account the potential unavailability of Mirin in certain locations. To address this, the recipe adjusts the ratio of Japanese sake and sweetener.

🍜 Udon Ingredient Note

You have two options when choosing the Udon – Frozen Udon Noodles or the Dried Packaged Udon. The frozen udon noodles are thicker, while the dried ones are slightly thinner. Rest assured, both varieties will be labeled as ‘udon noodles’ on the package, and it’s a matter of personal preference on which one you use.

Beef udon served in a Japanese style noodle bowl.

Directions

Step 1 Heat oil in a large frying pan and add sliced beef. Season with soy sauce and sweetener, cook until browned, then set aside.

Beef cooked in a frying pan.

🧂 Seasoning Pro Tip

For even seasoning, try sprinkling from a higher above. This practice guarantees a balanced and consistent flavor throughout your beef.

Step 2 Combine Dashi with Japanese sake, soy sauce, and salt. Bring to a simmer.

Udon soup base in a pot.

🧂 Flavor Adjustment Pro Tip

When fine-tuning your udon base broth, rely on Salt for adjustments and avoid adding extra soy sauce beyond what’s specified in the recipe. This practice ensures that you maintain the intended flavor balance without overpowering the soup base.

Step 3 In a separate pot, prepare udon noodles or noodles of choice following package directions, typically boiling in hot water for 3-5 minutes.

Cooked udon in a bowl.

Step 4 Place cooked noodles in a bowl, add udon noodle soup, and top with cooked beef, sliced green onions, togarashi and optional toppings.

Beef udon served in a bowl.

📄 Leftover Recipe Note

Unlike ramen noodles, udon noodles are less prone to becoming soggy. This means you can store any leftovers and enjoy them later without worrying about the noodles losing their texture. But for best quality, it’s best to consume the leftovers within 24 hours.

Recipe Variations

Consider trying a delightful twist by replacing the beef with chicken, crafting a delicious Chicken Udon. This alternative brings a richness to the dish, offering extra umami flavor profile while maintaining the comforting essence of udon.

Paring Recommendations

Consider classics like Japanese Cucumber Salad or a refreshing Seaweed Salad, or even a Japanese Shishito Pepper Stir Fry. These vegetable side dishes perfectly balance the rich flavors of udon soup. Feel free to mix and match these options to create your perfect Japanese comfort meal!

Beef udon being picked up with a pair of chopsticks.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of beef to use?

Use thinly sliced chuck or ribeye beef. These cuts are commonly found at Japanese grocery stores and are typically labeled for use in shabu-shabu. The slices should be approximately 1/8 inch in thickness.

What vegetables can I add to Beef Udon for extra flavor and nutrition?

Spinach or bok choy are excellent choices. These vegetables not only introduce a fresh and vibrant element to the dish but also provide essential vitamins and minerals.

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Watch How To Make It

Beef udon served in a Japanese style noodle bowl with a pair of wooden chopsticks.

Beef Udon

Enjoy a comforting bowl of Beef Udon with this easy-to-follow beef udon recipe, featuring tender beef slices and thick, chewy udon noodles.
5 from 11 votes
Course: Lunch, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: beef udon, beef udon recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2
Print Recipe
Calories: 393kcal

Ingredients

Soup

  • 2 Cups Dashi
  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Japanese Sake
  • 2 tsp Sweetener your preferred sweetener
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1 Stalk Green Onion
  • 8 oz Noodles use shirataki noodles for low carb
  • 1/8 tsp Togarashi

Beef

Instructions

  • Gather all the ingredients.
    Ingredients for beef udon on the countertop.
  • Cut green onions into thin slices.
    Sliced green onions on the cutting board.
  • Make 2 cups of Dashi and place on simmer.
    Dashi in a pot.
  • Add sweetener, Japanese sake, Soy Sauce into Dashi from step 2 and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce back to simmer. Taste and if too light, adjust with salt.
    Udon soup base in a pot.
  • Add oil to fry pan and place on high heat. Once heated, add beef and cook until lightly seared. Do not move the beef when searing and should take 1 minute. After the first side is seared, reduce heat to medium, break apart the meat and cook for an additional 1 minute. After 1 minute, add Soy Sauce and sweetener, stir and continue cooking until meat is fully browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
    Beef cooked in a frying pan.
  • Prepare udon noodles per directions on packaging. Transfer udon noodles to serving bowl.
    Cooked udon in a bowl.
  • Transfer cooked beef and 1 cup of broth into the serving bowl. Top with green onions and sprinkle Togarashi.
    Beef udon served in a bowl.

Nutrition

Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 2006mg | Potassium: 558mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 97IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 3mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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2 Comments

  1. Oh my heavens! I just found your website. I watched the video for this recipe and I’m in love! I’ve been eating miracle and shiritaki noodles for years. In my house we love them. We also love all styles of Asian cuisine. This recipe is simple and beautiful. I cannot wait to give it a try. I must find sake. I may be wrong but I’ve been comparing soy sauces with coconut amines. I use both but much prefer the flavor of soy sauce. I absolutely love dark mushroom soy sauce and the carb counts and sugar seem good to me. What has been your experience and which do you prefer? Thank you.

    • LowCarbingAsian

      Hey Erin! So glad you found us and welcome to LCA!

      Depending on where you live, you usually can buy sake at your local supermarket, but if not, a specialty liquor store will carry it for sure. You also can replace sake for dry sherry wine if you absolutely can’t find it.

      As for the coconut amines, I’ve never used it so can’t comment on the difference/flavors. But IMO, soy sauce is such an important ingredient that I’m not willing to sacrifice the flavors of the dish/recipe to save some carbs. However, I understand this is subjective, so each to their own!

      Welcome again to LCA and let us know if you have any other questions!

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