Demystifying an Udon Menu

How do you like your noodles? Hot or cold? What temperature do you want the broth? Or, perhaps no broth at all? The texture of the noodle changes with the temperature. The umami changes depending on the type of broth or dipping sauce. While some connoisseurs may insist on only eating it a certain way, I suggest ordering what suits your needs that day. If it’s hot outside lean towards dishes like zaru or hiya-hiya. And in winter, go with the standard kake udon.

Here are some Tokyo udon shops you may want to check out.

かけ Kake – the standard hot noodles in a hot broth

ぶっかけ Bukkake – cold noodles with a bit of strong broth, garnished with toppings such as grated daikon, sudachi, and green onions

醤油 Shouyu – cold noodles topped with soy sauce and some garnishes

ざる Zaru – cold noodles served with a small bowl of tsuyu dipping broth (also called tsuyu-dashi)

釜あげ Kama-age – hot udon noodles served in a bowl of hot water and served with a dipping sauce

釜玉 Kama-tama – kama-age noodles that are topped with a raw egg and some soy sauce

The following are based on the temperature of the noodles (the first part) and the temperature of the broth (the second part)

あつあつ Atsu-atsu – hot noodles in a hot broth; basically a kake-udon

ひやあつ Hiya-atsu – cold noodles in a hot broth

ひやひや Hiya-hiya – cold noodles in a cold broth

8 Comments Add yours

  1. mamstergrub says:

    Couldn’t be more timely, Yukari. I had a wonderful hiya-hiya udon at the Hanamaru chain the other day, a summer special with green chile, oroshi daikon, shoyu, and fresh sudachi. Amazing and under $5.

    1. yukarisakamoto says:

      Hanamaru is great – especially for the summer udon noodles like you had. Trumps McDonald’s and KFC any day. Hope you are enjoying Tokyo. Yukari

      1. says:

        Yukari, would you happen to know what brand nihonshu they serve at Hanamaru? My wife and I had dinner there last week and loved it, but because of the language barrier, weren’t able to ask the brand. Thanks for any help on this.

      2. Which Hanamaru were you at? Did you take a photo of the saké? Not all shops serve nihonshu. I did a quick search online and couldn’t find any listed.

      3. Snuf Leamon says:

        No, it came out in a glass tokkuri, so no name listed on it.

      4. What shop were you at? What is the address or closest train station?

      5. Jon Leamon says:

        It was in the KITTE.

      6. Do you recognize the shop here? I don’t think Hanamaru Udon is in the Kitte building near Tokyo station.

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