Vegetarian Udon Recipe: Video | Kitchen Explorers | PBS Food

Vegetarian Udon Recipe: Video

My most favorite comfort food is a bowl of Japanese Udon.  The combination of hot, flavorful soup broth with thick, chewy, wheat-flour noodles does more than just satisfy my hunger pains.  It nourishes me from the inside out.  If I’m having a hard day I eat Udon.  If I’m having a great day I eat Udon.  It comforts me like my favorite fleece jacket I never want to take off.  Udon is food for the soul.

One of the most appealing aspects of this fast-food Japanese dish is how easy it is to prepare at home.  I usually have all the ingredients in my kitchen so I can prepare it in a moments notice using fresh vegetables, eggs, and meat to top my bowl off with.

Traditional Udon broth is made from dashi, a soup base made of shaved bonito flakes, kombu, soy sauce, and Mirin.  Although these ingredients, including the noodles, may not be readily available at your local supermarket you will find them in Asian grocery stores or online.  And if the idea of preparing homemade broth seems intimidating then you can go to most grocery stores for fresh single serving Udon noodles with a flavor packet in the produce section.

I prefer to buy my noodles frozen so I can eat them anytime at a moments notice.  It’s a great staple dish to add to your family menu because you can make your soup as basic as noodles and broth or much more elaborate.  I’ve found my kids love the basic version in the same way they prefer plain spaghetti and cheese pizza.  But occasionally I’ll prepare a fancier version by adding fresh vegetables and tofu.

Although today’s recipe isn’t a traditional soup base, it still incorporates the basic principles of broth with all the ingredients easily found at your local store.  If you cannot find Udon noodles then substitute with spaghetti noodles and you will have a great family meal.  Enjoy!

Vegetarian Udon

Vegetarian Udon

Consider this savory udon soup as a form of Japanese comfort food.



  • 1 lb. frozen or fresh Udon noodles prepared according to package directions
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup medium tofu, cubed
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup matchstick carrots
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • Optional protein: Feel free to add a protein like thinly sliced fish or a runny fried egg on top.


  1. Bring broth, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar to a boil for one minute and reduce heat to a simmer.
  2. Add tofu, broccoli, carrots, spinach, mushrooms and cook for three minutes or until broccoli is tender.
  3. Divide Udon between four bowls with a pinch of sesame seeds on top.
  4. Optional protein: Feel free to add a protein like thinly sliced fish or a runny fried egg on top.

Yield: 4

Alice-Currah-169x215Alice Currah is the publisher of popular food blog, Savory Sweet Life. Her approachable everyday recipes are accompanied by beautiful step by step photos and have been featured online at Martha Stewart, Real Simple, The Pioneer Woman, Epicurious, Bon Appetit, Saveur, iVillage and many more. In March 2010, featured Alice as one of “Eight of the Very Best Food Bloggers.” You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

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