Nabeyaki Udon (鍋焼きうどん)

Nabeyaki Udon (鍋焼きうどん)

Nabeyaki udon is a kind nabemono (鍋物, なべ物), or hot pot dish, comprised of seafood and vegetables cooked in a cast iron tetsunabe (鉄鍋) or clay donabe (土鍋). Typically, nabeyaki udon has an egg and tempura shrimp on top. Although the list of ingredients and the steps for making this dish seem long, in reality nabeyaki udon is very simple to make. However, if you are pressed for time, you can use pre-packaged frozen shrimp tempura or pick some up from a restaurant. If you are using a clay donabe and are afraid of it cracking on your stove top (it can happen), I recommend first soaking the pot in water to keep the clay moist, and then using a wok ring to keep the pot from coming into direct contact with the heating element (or do what I do, and make an improvised wok ring by using the collar of a springform pan). This recipe makes two large main course servings- you can either serve it family style from one large nabe pot, or you can split the udon noodles and soup between two smaller individual serving nabe pots.


  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • Warm water
  • 1 stalk spinach, rinsed (you can substitute bok choy or other similarly flavored greens)
  • 1” carrot
  • 1 package kamaboko fish cake (you will only need a few slices)
  • 1 oz. shimeji mushrooms (also called beech mushrooms), bottom ½” trimmed
  • 6” piece of negi (use white part only), or green onions
  • 1 chicken thigh
  • 2 packages udon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 stalks mitsuba (optional)
  • 2 pieces shrimp tempura
  • Shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven spice) (optional)
For Udon Soup:
  • 3 cups dashi
  • Dashi from dried shiitake mushrooms (see instructions)
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large shrimp
  • scant 1 oz. tempura batter mix
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • Potato/corn starch for dusting

Ingredient Notes:

  • Shimeji mushrooms, known as beech mushrooms in English, have a firm, slightly crunchy texture and a nutty flavor that lend an extra layer of umami to a nabe pot. You will probably see either Buna-shimeji (ブナシメジ, usually sold here as either Brown Beech or Brown Clamshell Mushroom) and Bunapi-shimeji (ブナピーシメジ, also called White Beech or White Clamshell Mushroom). However, you may omit them or substitute fresh shiitake or enoki mushrooms if you can’t find shimeji at your supermarket.
  • Negi (ねぎ), also called “naga negi” (“long onion”), “shiro negi” (“white onion”), or “Tokyo negi”, are generally known as Welsh onions in English. They’re larger and thicker than regular green onions, and the white part of the stem is longer. I recommend substituting regular green onions (you may want to double the amount of green onions to compensate for their smaller size).
  • Mistuba (三つ葉,みつば), also called Japanese parsley or honeywort, is traditionally used as a garnish in miso soup, stir-fry and other traditional Japanese dishes. Although mitsuba resembles Italian flat-leaf parsley, its flavor is very distinct. There’s really nothing else with an equivalent flavor that you can substitute in its place, but you can come close by using a blend of watercress and celery leaves (just be careful not to use too much watercress, as its peppery taste can become overpowering).
  • Kamaboko (蒲鉾, かまぼこ) is a type of cured surimi, (a white fish purée seafood product), that comes in a distinctive loaf shape, and is then steamed until it’s fully cooked and firm. You can find kamaboko in Asian grocery stores, and in some regular supermarkets in Hawaii and California, usually in the freezer section or located near the seafood department.


1. Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in warm water to rehydrate for at least 15 minutes. You only need just enough water to cover the mushrooms. You can place a smaller bowl on top to keep the mushrooms submerged under water.

2. Squeeze the excess water out of mushrooms. Cut off the stems if there are any and score a cross on top. Reserve the leftover soaking liquid (shiitake dashi) for the udon soup broth (strain the dashi through a mesh strainer to remove any grit or impurities before using).

3. Blanch the spinach in lightly salted boiling water for 1 minute (starting stem side first).

4. Slice the carrot (if you want, you can cut out the carrot into a flower shape with a vegetable cutter like I did).

5. Cut kamaboko into thinly slices and break shimeji mushrooms into small pieces.

6. Slice naga negi diagonally and cut the chicken into 1” pieces.

7. To make udon soup, combine dashi soup and dashi from dried shiitake mushrooms in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil over medium high heat.

8. Once boiling, add mirin, soy sauce, and salt. When boiling again, turn off the heat and set aside.

9. If making your own shrimp tempura, prepare, batter, and fry your shrimp (follow link to directions). Set aside for later use.

10. Cook udon in boiling water. Once the noodles are separated, take them out and soak in ice water to prevent them from cooking further. Drain and set aside.

11. Place noodles in large nabe pot, and then arrange the rest of the prepared ingredients (except for egg, spinach, and mitsuba). If using two smaller individual nabe pots, split the noodles between the two bowls and then divide the remaining ingredients between them.

12. Add udon soup to the pot and cover with the lid. Bring the soup to a boil over medium high heat. When it comes to a boil, leave the lid slightly open to let some steam out, or it will overflow. Lower the heat and simmer to cook until the chicken is cooked through.

13. Add egg, spinach, and mitsuba and cover to cook until the egg is done to your liking.

14. Place shrimp tempura on top and serve. Sprinkle shichimi togarashi on top if you like your soup a bit spicy.