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Malaysia

Kitsune Udon soup is both hearty and filling

A hearty bowl of Kitsune udon hits the spot on a rainy night. (Pinterest pic)

NON-HALAL RECIPE: The Japanese consider Kitsune udon as soul food. It features hot dashi soup with udon noodles topped with abura-age (thin deep fried tofu), with a sweet and salty sauce. Its a hearty soup that is sure to be both filling and delicious.

Ingredients

Dashi (broth):

• 4 1/2 cups water

• 1/4 cup loosely packed kezurikatsuo (preserved, fermented tuna shavings)

• 3 pieces dried dashi kombu, (brown seaweed)

Abura-age:

• 1/4 cup water

• 15 Niboshi (sardines)

• 2 tablespoons soy sauce

• 1 tablespoon mirin (rice wine)

• 1 tablespoon sugar

• 4 squares abura-age

Udon:

• 200gm dry udon or 300gm fresh udon

• 4 cups dashi

• 2 tablespoons soy sauce

• 1 tablespoon mirin

• 2 teaspoons sugar

• salt to taste

• 2 scallions cut on the bias

• 4 slices naruto (fishcake) cut on the bias

Method

For the dashi

• Bring the water to a boil in a pot. Once it boils, turn the heat down to maintain a gentle simmer.

• Put the kezurikatsuo into a disposable tea bag, or wrap it in cheese cloth and tie the top. Drop the satchel in the water along with the kombu. Let this steep for about 15 minutes, then discard the tea bag.

For the Abura-age

• Add everything except the abura-age into a small pot and bring to a boil.

• Once the sugar has dissolved, add the abura-age and simmer, flip several times until most of the liquid is absorbed and the abura-age is a deep brown colour.

• Transfer from the pot to a small bowl and allow it to cool. When it’s cool enough to handle, press out some of the excess liquid. You don’t want to squeeze all the liquid out, just enough to keep it from being too salty.

• Boil the udon in a large pot of water for the length of time specified on the package. Make sure the noodles are al dente as they will be sitting in a bowl of hot broth and you don’t want them soggy. When they’re done, rinse them under cold running water to stop the cooking.

• Put the dashi, soy sauce, mirin and sugar into a pot and heat until it comes to a simmer. Taste and add salt if you feel like it needs more.

• Add the noodles to heat through, then divide into two bowls.

• Top with the seasoned abura-age, scallions and naruto then pour the broth over everything.

For a little extra colour and kick, you can serve this with shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven-spice chilli flakes).

This article first appeared in Rasa Malaysia.

Low Bee Yinn is a food blogger and cookbook author.

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