This kitsune udon is possibly one of the easiest Japanese dishes you can make. Kitsune udon literally translates to "fox udon," named according to a folklore that fox spirits love fried tofu. The key to making this hot, soupy dish an umami success is really in the aburaage (fried tofu skins) and dashi (broth). This dish is open to variations too. You can add some vegetables, preferably leafy ones like spinach. You can also replace the noodles with soba, or something gluten-free, such as rice or kelp noodle
Kitsune Udon: Noodles With Seasoned Tofu Pouches [Vegan]
- 2 cups kombu dashi (see notes)
- 2 packets udon noodles
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1/2 tablespoon brown rice syrup or sweetener of your choice
- 2 squares seasoned aburaage (see notes)
- 1 cup Shimeji or Enoki mushroom
- If you are using fresh udon from a packet (usually vacuum-packed), boil the udon in plain water first to loosen the noodles. It should already be cooked so just a minute or two in boiling water is sufficient. Drain it and set it aside. You can skip this step if you are using dried udon.
- Combine the soy sauce, mirin, brown rice syrup, and dashi in a pot and bring it to a boil.
- If using dried udon, put in the dried udon and mushrooms and leave it in until it's cooked. If using vacuum-packed udon, put in the mushrooms first and when it is cooked, put in the udon (the udon is already cooked).
- Pour it into two serving bowls and top it off with an aburaage square each.
Make your own kombu dashi, simmer water and a small strip of kombu together for about 10 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, then strain. Aburaage, also called tofu skins or tofu pockets, can be found at most Asian grocery stores.