Asian Recipes/ Curry/ Dinner/ Japanese/ Lunch/ Recipes

Easy 15 Minute Japanese Curry Udon

18/06/2021

Warm up with a big bowl of spicy homemade Curry Udon. This Japanese classic is super quick (just 15 minutes!) AND only 7 ingredients!

Bowl of curry udon with chopsticks.

Why We Love This

Curry udon is the perfect one pot dish for when you’re hungry NOW! With a handful of ingredients and minimal prep time, you’ll get dinner on the table fast. 

Japanese curry roux adds rich flavour and spice to the broth, the perfect partner for chewy udon noodles!

Spoon stirring curry udon in a large pot.

What is Curry Udon? 

Curry Udon is like the perfect combination of udon soup and Japanese curry. This quick dish is served at many udon restaurants throughout Japan.

Each have a slight variation, our version today is based on a little shop we found in Himeji, Japan. It was freezing day, and we’d been cycling through the suburban streets all morning. Come lunch time, the rain had set in when we spotted this place, and finally got out of the weather. Their udon curry was slightly unusual in that it used beef mince instead of sliced pork, and the flavour was exceptional. We loved being able to recreate it for you, and hope you enjoy it just as much as we did!

What You’ll Need

  • Udon Noodles – Fresh, homemade udon noodles are always best. If you don’t have the time, frozen is second best and dried udon is the cheapest.
  • Dashi – Packed with umami, dashi stock brings the iconic Japanese flavour base. Substitute with chicken or vegetable stock.
  • Beef – Beef mince works best, can also use pork or chicken. Substitute with thin slices of pork or beef, shabu shabu style. If you’re vegetarian, opt for tofu or shiitake mushroom!
  • Curry Roux – We love making homemade curry roux, or grab a store bought box of S&B Golden Curry.
  • Onion– Brown or white onions bring a nice sweetness to the dish. Sub with leek or shallots if you need.
  • Spring Onion – Also known as green onions. These work great both in the dish, but remember to save some for a nice garnish on top!

Ingredients laid out to make Udon Curry.

How to make Curry Udon at home:

  1. Place a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add the vegetable oil, then toss in the onion and fry for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add beef mince and continue to fry for 3-5 minutes until browned. 
  2. Pour in the dashi stock and bring to the boil. Add in the udon noodles and boil for a couple of minutes to cook and soften (frozen udon will take a couple more minutes). Use a chopstick to jiggle and gently loosen as they cook.
  3. Break up the curry roux, adding in a few pieces at a time until you’re happy with the thickness. Stir through gently to melt and thicken.
  4. Serve immediately while nice and hot!

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Toppings – Place a crunchy piece of chicken katsu, tempura or popcorn chicken pieces on top to make it go even further.
  • Thicken Curry – You can thicken the curry one of two ways – by cooking it down further on a low simmer, or by adding a few more chunks of curry roux.
  • Cooking Chopsticks – Use chopsticks to help loosen the noodles when using frozen or pre-packaged udon.
  • More Flavour – Cook the curry the day before you want it to allow the flavours to develop even further!
  • Like it soupy? Add more stock for a runnier dish, and make it a curry soup.
  • Missing the MSG? Add a splash of soy sauce or salt and pepper to get that extra salty kick.

FAQs

Can I make curry udon without dashi?

Yes, just use chicken, vegetable or beef stock instead.

Do I have to use curry roux?

Japanese curry roux will give you the perfect warm curry flavour and smooth glossy texture for curry udon, so we definitely recommend it. As mentioned, you could make your own curry roux at home or just sub with curry powder and a cornstarch slurry to thicken it up. The flavour won’t be quite as rich but should get you through in a pinch. 

Variations

  • Spice Level – Add heat with rayu chilli oil, chilli powder or shichimi togarashi, or use a hot curry roux base.  
  • Garnishes – Serve topped with extra spring onion slices, sprinkle with furikake, bonito flakes or aonori flakes. For extra texture try it with crispy fried shallots. You could even try it with a soft boiled egg on top!
  • Make Katsu Curry – Swap out the udon and place a big Chicken Katsu cutlet on top instead.
Blue bowl filled with curry, noodles, beef and spring onion.

Need more noodle dishes in your life? Make these next:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

Bowl of homemade curry udon.

Easy 15 Minute Curry Udon

Warm up with a big bowl of spicy homemade Curry Udon. This Japanese classic is super quick (just 15 minutes!) AND only 7 ingredients!
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 4 Bowls
Calories: 544kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $8

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 400 g udon noodles homemade or bought
  • 3 cups dashi stock (750ml / 25.36floz), sub chicken stock
  • 200 g beef mince
  • 1 curry roux (approx 100g / 3.5oz), homemade or store bought
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1-2 spring onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil for cooking

Instructions

  • Place a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add the vegetable oil, then toss in the onion and fry for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add beef mince and continue to fry for 3-5 minutes until browned.
  • Pour in the dashi stock and bring to the boil. Add in the udon noodles and boil for a couple of minutes to cook and soften (frozen udon will take a couple more minutes). Use a chopstick to jiggle and gently loosen as they cook.
  • Break up the curry roux, adding in a few pieces at a time until you're happy with the thickness. Stir through gently to melt and thicken.
  • Serve immediately while nice and hot!

Video

Recipe Notes

  • Spice Level – Add heat with rayu chilli oil, chilli powder or shichimi togarashi, or use a hot curry roux base.  
  • Garnishes – Serve topped with extra spring onion slices, sprinkle with furikake, bonito flakes or aonori flakes. For extra texture try it with crispy fried shallots. You could even try it with a soft boiled egg on top!
  • Toppings – Place a crunchy piece of chicken katsu, tempura or popcorn chicken pieces on top to make it go even further.
  • Thicken Curry – You can thicken the curry one of two ways – by cooking it down further on a low simmer, or by adding a few more chunks of curry roux.
  • Like it soupy? Add more stock for a runnier dish, and make it a curry soup.
  • Missing the MSG? Add a splash of soy sauce or salt and pepper to get that extra salty kick.
  • Udon Noodles – Fresh, homemade udon noodles are always best. If you don’t have the time, frozen is second best and dried udon is the cheapest.
  • Dashi – Substitute with chicken or vegetable stock.
  • Beef – Beef mince works best, can also use pork or chicken. Sub with thin slices of pork or beef, shabu shabu style. If you’re vegetarian, opt for tofu or shiitake mushroom!
  • Curry Roux – Use homemade curry roux or store bought S&B Golden Curry.
  • Onion– Brown or white onions. Sub with leek or shallots if you need.

Nutrition

Calories: 544kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 1817mg | Potassium: 341mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 77IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 1mg
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Easy 15 Minute Japanese Curry Udon

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