Recipe Tempura Udon


Tempura Udon is a classic Japanese dish that combines the heartiness of udon noodles with the crispy texture of tempura. This comforting dish features thick, chewy udon noodles served in a savory broth, topped with a variety of tempura-fried vegetables and shrimp. The contrast between the hot, flavorful soup and the crunchy tempura makes Tempura Udon a favorite in Japanese cuisine. In this article, we will delve into the ingredients needed, the step-by-step preparation, tips for perfecting the dish, variations to try, calorie information, and a concluding note on this delightful meal.

Ingredients

Essential Ingredients

For the Udon Soup

  • 4 cups dashi broth (made from dashi powder or kombu and bonito flakes)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped

For the Udon Noodles

  • 400g fresh or frozen udon noodles

For the Tempura

  • 8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 sweet potato, thinly sliced
  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup tempura flour
  • 1 cup ice-cold water
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Toppings and Garnishes

  • 1 sheet nori (seaweed), cut into thin strips
  • Shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven-spice powder)
  • Grated daikon radish (optional)
  • Tempura dipping sauce (tentsuyu), for serving

Preparation

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Preparing the Dashi Broth

    • In a pot, combine 4 cups of water with dashi powder or make dashi from scratch using kombu and bonito flakes. Bring to a simmer.
    • Add soy sauce, mirin, and sugar to the dashi. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Keep the broth warm on low heat.
  2. Cooking the Udon Noodles

    • Boil water in a large pot. Add the udon noodles and cook according to the package instructions until they are al dente.
    • Drain the noodles and rinse under cold water to remove excess starch. Set aside.
  3. Making the Tempura Batter

    • In a bowl, mix tempura flour with ice-cold water. Stir lightly to combine, but do not overmix. It's okay if the batter is a bit lumpy.
    • Heat vegetable oil in a deep pot or a deep fryer to 340-360°F (170-180°C).
  4. Frying the Tempura

    • Dust the shrimp and vegetables lightly with flour before dipping them into the tempura batter.
    • Carefully place the battered shrimp and vegetables into the hot oil. Fry in small batches to avoid overcrowding.
    • Fry until the tempura is golden and crispy, about 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  5. Assembling the Tempura Udon

    • Divide the cooked udon noodles into bowls.
    • Pour the hot dashi broth over the noodles.
    • Arrange the tempura on top of the noodles.
    • Garnish with green onions, nori strips, and shichimi togarashi. Add grated daikon radish if desired.
    • Serve with tempura dipping sauce on the side.

Tips

  • Cold Batter: Ensure the tempura batter is ice-cold to achieve a light and crispy texture.
  • Oil Temperature: Maintain the oil temperature between 340-360°F (170-180°C) for the best results. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature.
  • Quick Cooking: Tempura should be cooked quickly to retain its crispiness. Fry in small batches to keep the oil temperature steady.
  • Noodle Rinsing: Rinse the udon noodles under cold water after cooking to remove excess starch and prevent them from becoming too soft.

Variations

  • Vegetarian Tempura Udon: Omit the shrimp and use a variety of vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, and eggplant for the tempura.
  • Seafood Tempura Udon: Include other seafood options like squid, fish fillets, or scallops along with the shrimp.
  • Spicy Tempura Udon: Add a spicy kick to the broth by incorporating a spoonful of chili paste or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.

Calorie Information

The calorie content of Tempura Udon can vary based on the ingredients and portion sizes. On average, a serving of Tempura Udon (about 500 grams) can contain approximately:

  • Udon Noodles (200g): 210 calories
  • Dashi Broth and Seasonings: 50-70 calories
  • Tempura Shrimp (4 pieces): 200-250 calories
  • Tempura Vegetables (assorted, 100g): 150-200 calories
  • Toppings and Garnishes: 30-50 calories

Overall, a typical serving of Tempura Udon can range between 640 to 780 calories, depending on the specific ingredients and portion sizes.

Conclusion

Tempura Udon is a harmonious blend of textures and flavors, combining the chewy satisfaction of udon noodles with the crispiness of tempura. This dish is a true testament to the versatility and depth of Japanese cuisine. By following the steps outlined in this recipe and incorporating some of the suggested tips and variations, you can create a delicious Tempura Udon that will delight your taste buds and impress your guests. Enjoy the comforting warmth of the broth, the satisfying chew of the noodles, and the delightful crunch of the tempura in this classic Japanese dish.

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