Today I'm going to share another great classic Nagoya meshi dish. It's a rich, warming and versatile made with a miso dashi broth and packed with vegetables and chewy udon noodles, it's called Miso Nikomi Udon.
What is Miso Nikomi Udon?
In Japan, udon noodles are most commonly served in a light broth, but with Miso Nikomi Udon, the broth is strong and flavoured with red miso paste. Here are the main components of Miso Nikomi Udon.
- Dashi broth
- Red Miso Paste
- Thick chewy udon noodles
- Thinly sliced pork
- Japanese Fish Cake (kamaboko)
- Fried Tofu (aburaage)
With these ingredients, you can make an authentic Nagoya style Miso Nikomi Udon. But this dish can be personalised to suit your tastes or ingredient accessibility, so let's look at the ingredients one by one.
Dashi is a broth that is used in Japanese dishes. It creates depth of flavour and an authentic Japanese taste. Many dishes are seriously lacking if you don't use dashi. It's easy to make, check out our post here for an in-depth guide on making dashi.
Types of Dashi
- Kombu Dashi (made with dried kelp seaweed)
- Katsuobushi Dashi (made with bonito fish flakes)
- Awase Dashi (made with a mixture of kelp and bonito flakes)
- Niboshi Dashi (made with small dried sardines or anchovies)
- Shiitake Dashi (made with dried shiitake mushrooms)
Miso nikomi udon usually uses "awase dashi" but you can use your prefered dashi. If you use kombu or shiitake dashi, you can also make this dish suitable for vegetarians.
My home city's famous "Hatcho Miso" is most commonly used for this dish and if you can get it, it creates the most authentic flavour for Miso Nikomi Udon. It's a red miso that is dark in colour and has a salty and deep taste, I personally love it. But the great thing about this dish, is you can personalise it and use your own favourite miso paste.
- Shiro Miso - A white miso paste that uses less soybeans. Slightly sweet and mild.
- Shinshu Miso - A yellow miso paste which uses more soybeans than white, but less than red. Fermentation time is longer than shiro miso. It is salty and slightly acidic.
- Aka Miso - A red miso paste that has the highest soybean concentration of all the miso pastes. The taste is salty and rich, it's the best miso paste for Miso Nikomi Udon.
- Awase Miso - A mixture of red and white miso paste. The flavour is a blend of the sweetness from the white and the richness of the red.
Udon noodles are thick, long and chewy noodles that are made from simple flour, water and salt.
Often, the udon used in Miso Nikomi Udon are made without salt because the dish is already salty enough. If you can't find udon without salt, you can reduce the miso paste a little in the recipe.
Udon noodles can be bought dried, frozen and cooked. Frozen are usually best for their chewiness.
You could even try to make udon noodles yourself from scratch! It's not as hard as you might think and is actually kinda fun! Fresh handmade udon is also very delicious.
Miso Nikomi Udon is most commonly made with thinly sliced pork. Chicken is also delicious in this dish! I like using chicken thigh in soupy dishes because it adds flavour as well as becoming very soft.
For this recipe I used thinly sliced pork. Cuts of meat that have fat on them help add flavour to the soup.
If you want to make this dish vegetarian, you can also omit the meat or add tofu.
The most common vegetables used in Miso Nikomi Udon are
- Large spring onions (green onion)
- Mushrooms (shiitake, shimeji, enoki etc)
You can also add other vegetables such as carrots, gobo (burdock root) or any of your favourite kinds of mushrooms.
- Egg - Eggs are usually added last. They are lightly poached in the miso dashi broth so that the yolk is still runny. You can cook longer if you prefer a firmer egg.
- Kamaboko - A pink and white Japanese fish cake is common in noodle dishes. It adds bright colour and makes the dish look more appealing but it's not essential for the dish. You can leave it out if you can't find it in your local Asian supermarket.
- Aburaage - Aburaage is a deep fried tofu and it's really delicious in soupy dishes like udon or hot pot. You might also know it as Inari Age. The dish is more authentic with this ingredient, but it's also okay to leave it out.
I hope you enjoy this rich and delicious Miso Nikomi Udon. If you have any questions or use alternative ingredients, let us know in the comments! We love to hear from you. Happy cooking!Print