Named after the Japanese word for ‘fox’, kitsune udon (きつねうどん) is a delicious dish made with thick udon noodles served in a dashi based soup stock with a large piece of abura-age (油揚げ), deep fried thick-sliced tofu (thought to be the fox’s favorite food), or lightly sweet and savory inari-age (稲荷揚げ), made by simmering abura-age in soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. You can easily find both abura-age and inari-age prepackaged in Asian grocery stores, although inari-age is perhaps slightly more common, as its used for making inarizushi (inari sushi, made by filling inari pouches with sushi rice). If you already have dashi stock on hand, this recipe takes almost no time to go together, (five to ten minutes, tops) otherwise allow yourself at least 30 minutes extra to make fresh dashi.
- 2 packages fresh or frozen udon noodles (I like frozen sanuki udon, see Cook’s Notes)
- 4 abura-age or inariage
- 1 green onion/scallion
- 2 cups dashi (2 cups = 480 ml) (Use Kombu Dashi for vegetarian/vegan)
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon usukuchi soy sauce (light color), or regular soy sauce
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- Narutomaki (fish cakes) (skip for vegetarian/vegan)
- Gather all the ingredients. Bring a large pot of water to boil for cooking noodles (Don’t cook yet till Step 5).
- In a medium saucepan, add dashi, mirin, and sugar.
- Add soy sauce and kosher salt and bring to boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat and set aside.
- Squeeze excess liquid from the inariage (or you can keep it as it is). Cut the green onion into thin slices. Slice the Narutomaki fish cake into 1/8 inch (3 mm).
- When everything is ready, start cooking udon noodles. Frozen udon noodles (my favorite kind) takes only 1 minute from putting into boiling water. If you use dry noodles, follow the package instructions. Heat up the noodle soup.
- Pick up the noodles in a strainer or drain hot water. Make sure to remove excess water (which will end up diluting your soup).
- Serve udon noodles and soup in serving bowls and top with inariage, narutomaki, green onion and sprinkles of shichimi togarashi.
It’s really important to have good flavorful dashi for this recipe. Although you can make dashi easily with dashi powder or dashi packet, I encourage you to make your own dashi because the broth tastes so much better and it only takes less than 30 minutes to make.
To make vegetarian/vegan kitsune udon, make kombu dashi and skip those spiral fish cakes as garnish.
You can use any kind of udon noodles in this recipe, but I like frozen sanuki udon from Asian/Japanese supermarkets. If you use frozen udon, you don’t have to defrost prior to cooking.
last updated August 17, 2023