Sunday, February 24, 2008

Authentic Japanese Udon soup for Americans?

Picture left: My Udon soup, Right: Japanese Udon noodle recipe book. I didn't produce noodle itself. I used the soup recipe only.

I love eating Japanese Udon soup(See: ). I haven’t found a good Udon restaurant around Seattle area.
I saw several English website about Japanese Udon soup recipes. Many of them were American versions of Japanese Udon soup and not authentic Japanese recipes. (See, I decided to create a delicious Authentic Japanese soup for Udon and test it.
I applied Udon soup recipes from Japanese Udon cook book (picture above) and websites. (Sorry all in Japanese, , ttp:// ,
Here is how I have been testing my soup.

The first test
My American family was the first testers. I followed the exact seasoning and process from the book(See the picture above). It was too salty and soup color was too dark.

Second trial to improve my recipe
I asked my old Japanese neighbor, who cooks often for events for Japanese temple and Japanese Language school, to test my soup. I created two types of soup for this trial. I used the exact recipe from the cook book for one. I used less seasoning for another. The first soup was too salty but the second was fine. However, my neighbor pointed out something missing in the taste. I used her suggestion to create another soup for the third trial.

Third trial by more native Japanese
It was organized by my friend. 7 Japanese house wives and my American friend were participants. I created three different soups, the first soup which was boiled some ingredients longer than others, the second soup which was cooked short, and the third which replaced one ingredient to another. I created survey asking about each soup if it was too salty, if it required another ingredients or seasoning, and there were any suggestions in order to improve my soup.
I was nervous. My recipe will be tested by Japanese who grew up eating Authentic Udon soup. They all loved my soup. One even commented that she hasn't eaten Udon soup this good since she had came to America. Another mentioned that the aroma of the soup reminded her grandmother's noodle shop in Japan. Success! All of them liked the second soup.

The forth trial and final
How do Americans like my Udon soup? I organized a birthday party for my husband. Since I try to create perfect Udon soup, I added Udon soup taste testing as a part of the event. This is a good opportunity to find out how Americans (Satellite) like Authentic Japanese Udon soup. About 30 people mostly our American friends and neighbors. Few were European, and Asian descendants. I served Udon soup which did the best so far. The result was unexpected. Most of my American friends finished their bowl of Udon soup. I saw only two people left some in the bowl. Two out of 30 was very promising. This authentic Japanese Udon soup seemed to do well to Satellite.

Conclusion of the testing.
This Authentic Japanese Udon soup trial was very interesting. My Japanese Udon soup may become popular for Satellites while many popular trendy Japanese restaurants serve fusion foods. Many Japanese friends asked me to open Udon fast food restaurants where they can visit. I am not ready to do this business yet. There are a lot of problems to solve. Udon soup is not large enough to fill Americans stomach. More menu items were needed to open the restaurant. My Udon Soup was served with green onion and fish cake. More toppings such as Tempura, eggs, meat, and etc need to be added. The restaurant need to meet health department requirements such as food handling permit and use of commercial kitchen. The location of the restaurant, the size, and number of the employees are the other issues. I need the business plan to start it right and to borrow money from bank.
If I overcome these obstacles and will be ready to work very hard to be restaurant owner, cook, waitress, and cash resister, I may open my own Udon restaurant someday.

Authentic Japanese Udon soup recipe website:
You can make Udon soup easily by following this website instruction:
Ingredients may be bought at Japanese grocery store.
If you have questions about ingredients of Udon soup, please add your comment.


Richard said...

Your Udon soup was excellent! The white and pink stuff you had in it was good too and I didn't quite understand what you said it was? I would like to find a restaurant that serves it.

Adjil said...

I agree - the Udon soup was wonderful!

Dalicia said...

thank you for sharing :) i found your blog through yelp about samurai noodles. i will try your udon soup :)

Nick said...

What about your recipe though? I don't seem to see it