When you get sick in the US, chicken noodle soup or warm tea and honey are common remedies. In Japan, if you are feeling under the weather, you traditionally eat rice porridge (okayu) or udon noodle soup. Udon noodles served in hot soup and topped with seasoned aburaage are called kitsune udon. It literally means fox noodles.
Kitsune Udon literary means fox udon, or fox noodles, in Japanese. The name came from the folktale that fox enjoys aburaage (deep-fried tofu), which is the main topping for this noodle).
Chewy and soft, udon are thick wheat noodles that are best when you can find them fresh. Dried udon is still good, but the texture is denser.
This recipe assumes the aburaage, or deep fried tofu, is already made. If not, here's a quick recipe:
- Remove the excess moisture from the block of tofu by wrapping it in a clean towel and placing it between 2 cutting boards.
- Cut the tofu block into triangle shapes, about two inches long.
- Pour the oil into the wok and heat, when you dip a chopstick into the heated oil and bubbles rise from it the oil is ready for use (if it smokes, it is too hot).
- Slide the tofu triangles one at a time into the hot oil.
- Fry on both sides until golden brown.
- Scoop the triangles out of the wok and allow them to drain on the wok's draining grill (or place on paper towels).
- Once the triangles are drained and cool, give them a second deep frying to deepen their color and make them nice and crisp.
- Place once again on the grill to drain and cool.
- Place the fried tofu triangles in a colander and run very hot water over them to completely remove all remnants of oil from the tofu.
- 4 aburaage (deep-fried tofu), blanched and cut into halves
- For Simmering Aburaage:
- 3/4 cup dashi soup stock
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. mirin
- For Soup:
- 5 cup dashi soup stock
- 3 Tbsp. mirin
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- Salt, adjusting the amount of salt to your preference
- 4 packages pre-boiled udon noodles
- Heat dashi, mirin, sugar, and soy sauce in a medium pan and bring to a boil. Adjust the flavor with salt as you like.
- Simmer aburaage in the soup on low heat until the liquid is almost gone. Set aside.
- Boil water in a large pan and heat udon noodles as indicated in the package.
- Drain the udon and divide into four bowls.
- Pour the hot soup over udon noodles.
- Top with seasoned aburaage and kamaboko slices.