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!

Related: Miso Nikomi Udon Soup / Yaki Udon Noodles

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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 with slight variations. 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.

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, pork tonkatsu, 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!
  • Katsu Curry Style– 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!
4.97 from 31 votes
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

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.
    1 onion, 1 tbsp vegetable oil, 200 g beef mince
  • 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 cups dashi stock, 400 g udon noodles
  • 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.
    1 Japanese curry roux
  • Serve immediately while nice and hot! Garnish with spring onion.
    1-2 spring onion

Video

YouTube 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 – Use powder, make homemade dashi, or 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

Nutrition Facts
Easy 15 Minute Curry Udon
Amount per Serving
Calories
544
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
17
g
26
%
Saturated Fat
 
7
g
44
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
5
g
Cholesterol
 
36
mg
12
%
Sodium
 
1817
mg
79
%
Potassium
 
341
mg
10
%
Carbohydrates
 
71
g
24
%
Fiber
 
6
g
25
%
Sugar
 
11
g
12
%
Protein
 
28
g
56
%
Vitamin A
 
77
IU
2
%
Vitamin C
 
3
mg
4
%
Calcium
 
73
mg
7
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Easy 15 Minute Japanese Curry Udon

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Nobby Hall
    29/04/2023 at 11:55 pm

    5 stars
    Tastes bleddy good. I used exactly 1.5 imp pints for the dashi and added 2 blocks of roux. I love udon and found a lot of recipes are a tad involved this is greaf recipe tho. I used a medium hot roux but spiced it up a tad with chilli oil for the last portion and it was superb. I had some left over vege bacon crispy bits and they really made a tasty addition. All in all folks a good, quick recipe. Now to try other recipes on this site which I found by accident I’m glad I did 👍👍

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      04/05/2023 at 3:57 pm

      Great work! Love the spin you put on the recipe, and sounds like it turned out awesome. Happy cooking!

  • Reply
    Ryan Allen
    12/02/2023 at 9:58 am

    5 stars
    I can’t wait to give this a try! I recently had it for the first time and now want to try making it. Thanks for the great recipe.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      13/02/2023 at 2:28 pm

      Hey Ryan, thanks – you’ll have to let us know what you think!

  • Reply
    Sean
    22/07/2022 at 1:31 pm

    5 stars
    I’ve been making this for whenever my mother isn’t feeling well and she loves it everytime. If I could rate it higher than 5 I really would

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      26/07/2022 at 7:42 pm

      Aww, that’s amazing. Thanks for sharing with us Sean!

  • Reply
    Mandy
    08/07/2022 at 3:02 am

    4 stars
    Wow, made this tonight and it was so good! The recipe was easy to follow and so easy to make! Thanks ladies! Will definitely be making this again 😊

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      18/07/2022 at 9:55 am

      Awesome Mandy, so glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  • Reply
    Aly
    24/09/2021 at 2:54 pm

    5 stars
    It taste amazing. Thank you

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      29/09/2021 at 10:56 am

      You’re very welcome Aly! Thanks so much for letting us know. 🙂

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